Thursday, August 21, 2008

University of Albany Art Museum Presents Work of Edmier and DiBenedetto

In the long-running Broadway show and TV hit "The Odd Couple," Felix and Oscar live together due to an odd set of circumstances. While the arrangement is wrought with difficulties, the relationship makes for great entertainment.

The same is true for New York City artists Keith Edmier and Steve DiBenedetto. Paired in separate exhibits at the University at Albany Art Museum, the artists' works produce interesting conflicts and intriguing results. It's great theater of the absurd.

The exhibits, one on each floor, feature the curious and time-warped installations of Edmier and DiBenedetto's wild and intense paintings and drawings. While their mediums and methodologies differ greatly in "& Episode 1," and "Edge Dwelling" the artists share enough similarities through pop culture and color to stay together — for a while at least.

Although billed as two shows, their proximity invites us to compare and contrast. On view until Sept. 21, the two exhibits came together in an unexpected way, said Janet Riker, the museum's director. Several years ago, DiBenedetto was in discussions with the museum about a solo show when his neighbor, Edmier, jumped in and got involved. They both work from the same Manhattan building and are friends.

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