There were two artists’ works I noticed upon entering the gallery. Katalin Hausel’s wooden structures and Cecilia Israel-Bradfield’s clay figures inhabit the space and attract your attention. Ms. Israel-Bradfield’s objects are off to the left as you enter, but they spread out to the back of the gallery and one of them sits next to Ms. Hausel’s work. The clay figures look like a mix between old, round water jugs and Weebles. Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down! They sit on the floor like portly hogs taking a sunbath. Or maybe they’re in the slaughterhouse ’cause there are body parts sticking out of the cores. The limbs don’t look gorey, but there are a couple of figures lacking full sets. The way that they tapered and reached out to each other made them look, whimsical? They made me smile. Upon returning to gallery, that life was taken from them. The clay had sufficient time to dry and I found them severly cracked and fallen apart in some areas. Like old cicada skeletons on a tree trunk they appeared abandoned.
Without examining the list of participating artists, I assumed the wooden structure in the back to be the work of Jarrod Beck. I had noticed the dusty, charcoal text on the floor, but its transparency made me think it was from an older piece that they had trouble removing. Why I thought that, I don’t know, ’cause I’ve been to every show there for like three years now. The beams were arranged along the back wall creating cells or x-forms, depending whether you observe positive or negative. In the center of the gallery wall the beams begin to lean out as if they were toppling over. As it extends and hangs out into the gallery, it forms a canopy that you are able to walk under. On the second tour of the gallery, I made the connection between the text on the floor, the wooden structure and Katalin Hausel’s previous work. Compared to her piece at Gallery 3, it also had a playful interactivity to it. Though, unlike “Compassionate” this text was illegible. And like the dink that I am, I didn’t take down the name of the piece. I vaguely recall something like “precarious”. Unable to decipher the text and connect it to the structure, I found it troublesome.
Along the side wall were the works of Jimmy Luu and Michelle Bayer. Mr. Luu took his designated space and applied paint and samples of his work to create a catalogue for a public sculpture project he is working on. The word “onward” is partially elevated in what looks like a business park field. Only the top portion of the word is elevated and it contains grass within its aluminum? boundaries. Made me think of Ms. Hausel’s work and Robert Smithson’s “Floating Island”. Next to Mr. Luu, toward the back was Michelle Bayer. In the corner was an intaglio print of a stethoscope that was also three dimensional. Something about using the print process to die cut the paper and print its folding guides. Next to it was a series of some more interesting work. I believe the ratio of sizing to fibers was modified in order to produce a sheet of paper that would self-crumple as it dried. Playing with that mixture was a great experiment. But as a work they were lacking. The dozen or so pieces were too identical. In the wall text, Ms. Bayer informs about her interest in tools and process. I would have imagined more of a mixing of ratios to discover different effects or somehow manipulating the given effects as a tool with which to produce something else or continue a process. At this point, this mini-process was repeated multiple times and produced the same thing.
On the opposite wall were some photographs by Michael Osborne. Instead of the sci-fi shots of construction sites and buildings, this series depicts the workings of a printing press. In the these photographs, the machines come alive as the gore that was absent in Ms. Israel-Bradfields figures has found its way into the frame. The saturation of the ink building up on the machinery becomes this bloody, pulpy clumps of meat. The colorful wires or hoses then become the lifelines for the monolithic bodies. There wasn’t really a sense of movement from the different photos, but there did seem to be a beating or breathing pulse present in the group.
In the other room, the transmediums of the bunch were hidden away. Natacha Poggio and Erick Michaud presented sound and video works. Ms. Poggio had a partial image of the Icarus statue by Charles Umlauf from the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, hanging in a green-lit space. Sounds of nature looped throughout the presentation. As a satellite project, Ms. Poggio presented “before the fall” at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden on the 8th and the 15th. Unfortunately I missed both sound journeys. Erick Michaud overwhelmed the senses with two different videos and a web presentation. I can not lie, I have no patience for video. Opening night I was able to catch some shots of for sale signs from the projected video. And on my second visit I was able to snoop around the mySpace page setup for Dr. Doom or whatever that character’s name was. I also caught Mr. Michaud dancing with a pushbroom between his legs on the TV monitor next to the web setup. The web setup consisted of a computer desk with a standard family computer setup with the mySpace page ready to be explored. What was curious about it were the Halloween/ autumn decorations. The decorations went well with the character on the computer, but not with the other works. I’m thinking they were three separate pieces. I definitely could have used more time with both of these artists.
This grouping of artists was suspect. There were strained relationships happening, but no real substantial links. Some of these artists were maybe not presenting their best work. Maybe they were backup pieces. Who knows? This show was NOT BAD.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.