If the long holiday weekend tempts you to head out of the city, you won’t have to venture far to find terrific art. Whether taking you deep into the woods, or simply away from the familiar ways and means of painting and sculpting, a range of shows waits for you in upstate New York this Labor Day weekend.
At the School, Jack Shainman’s museum-scale gallery inside a former public school in Kinderhook, N.Y., this year’s featured artist is Radcliffe Bailey. Introducing Mr. Bailey’s how there, “Travelogue,” is his arresting installation “Windward Coast — West Coast Slave Trade,” a thunderous sea of old wooden piano keys amid which a single glittering black human head stares upward, at some distance from a small, ghostly black schooner. Buried deeper in the wooden waves is an upright tribal figurine: perhaps the lost dream of a drowning man. Among other sculptures by Mr. Bailey (there are collages on view as well), another standout is a haunting assemblage of rock and iron that forms a Christ-like head, haloed in barbed wire and collared in spiked iron, and taunted by a single jingle bell that dangles soundlessly above.
Radcliffe Bailey's installation “Windward Coast — West Coast Slave Trade” in his show “Travelogue,” at the School gallery in Kinderhook. Tony Cenicola/The New York Times