Signs of Life opens at Corridor Gallery
It has been a great pleasure curating the exhibition Signs of Life with Richard Burroughs. I invited him to curate this exhibition with me from our Rush Arts Gallery submissions. We looked at the top ranking submissions from 2013 and a few from 2012 until a theme evolved.
I am fascinated by new mediums and new ways of creating. Our first meeting was with Selin Balci, an artists whose studio is a biology lab and who is creating fascinating works in the bio-art realm. She grows spores and fungi in labs, feeding them until she is content with the compositions. Last year at a gallery in DC she had an interactive piece where she took specimens from gallery goers and let their specimens grow in petri dishes throughout the exhibition. Richard and I were particularly taken with the videos of the spores growing and where she started to use maps of the world as guidelines for the spores. Selin uses the mold and fungus growth as metaphors for our contemporary society. We are a global world constantly taking cultures over, feeding off each other and battling for resources. The work is fascinating and I have not seen anything like it before.
Our second visit was with Michelle Lesser, who also happens to be a Rush Teaching Artist and works with the Rush Kids. Her processes of printmaking and mapping are inspired by the human genome and her work stems from social science concept maps of humanness. Her question of what makes us all human has fascinated mankind since the beginning. The delicate compositions on Mylar and plexi with lithographs and hand drawings are poetic statements of the things we as humans all have together.
The intimate watercolor a of Florine Demosthene speak to grand spiritual questions speaking to the duality of humanness and the question of what is created after destruction. Inspired by areas where devastating earthquakes have destroyed communities, her portraits of people rising up and out of the rubble are profound metaphors of how we all in one way or another come from the earth.
Speaking of rock formations, Stephanie Calvert has been fascinated by the growth of crystals deep in the earth juxtaposed with man-made rainbow crystals. Her paintings are greatly enlarged crystals painted with oil on aluminum surfaces. The juxtaposition of the traditional medium on the industrial material is poetic, and remnant of the way the seemingly natural crystal formations are altered by science. The aluminum also adds a luminosity to the painting where the negative space becomes a reflective smooth surface. She amplifies the discussion between the traditional and the contemporary, the natural and industrial world we all live in now.
Rachel Frank also explores this world of the natural and super natural where fantasy and natural environment meet. In the exhibition Signs of Life she has three sculptures. The first is a large tree trunk covered in colorful reflective glass beads. As if out of a fantasy movie set this object questions our surroundings and brings a magical element to the room. Another object in the room transcends time with a giant enlarged trilobite, no longer microscopic, sitting in the room and seeking attention. A glittered bejeweled tire tread sits in the gallery as if the magic has been lreduced to litter or treaded on by man's invention.
Above the tire tread a wall-size print on paper by Carla Aspenberg looms. Using found objects and inspired by the habitats of bees, this large print brings to light the threatened environment of honey bees. Swarming and expanding it's as if the bees are to take off in flight from the paper and explore the gallery on their own.
Exploring the ancient and the modern, sculptor Heidi Lau creates fantastic towers that could be found in the City of Atlantis. The delicate ceramic towers are made of repeated twisted forms which have also had varieties of moss embedded in them creating a natural patina reminiscent of the ancient. A cluster of ceramic forms interact with each other on a shelf, perhaps being a model for a city in a delicate vignette where potential inhabitants have resided.
Andrews F. Scott's sculptures live in the ultra modern vein, utilize 3D printing and can be thought of as digital sculptures. Andrews uses himself as a subject, creating portrait busts from cut cardboard and plexiglass. Some of these illuminate from within, emanating a graceful light. A strong portrait head, the artist's features are a serious and stern self portrait as if he has created monuments to himself through his high-end technique.
Signs of Life at Corridor Gallery reflects our humanness and our evolution from the environment and microorganisms to our contemporary industrialized society and technological advances. The show is not to be missed and all of the artists should be put on your toiwatch list. Corridor Gallery is located at 334 Grand Ave, Brooklyn, NY open Fri-Sat 12-6 pm and by appointment 718-230-5002. The exhibition will be on view Nov 17 - Jan12.
There is an opening Reception on Sunday Nov. 17th from 4-6pm
A Closing Reception will be held Sunday Jan. 12th 2014, 4-6pm.