Summer group shows are often a pleasant and decorative affair, like the non-demanding beach books of summer reading, but not this one. Dynamic and diverse, this exhibition is a bracing tonic of impassioned personalities and their abundant imaginations. It will be a pleasurable detour from your summer reading.
Here are a few of my favorites:
I hope Judy Pfaff had as grand a time creating Night Blooming Ceres as we have in experiencing it. It hangs on the wall, lit from behind, with florescent tubes expanding its delicacy and translucence. Pfaff ‘s wry humor is in full display as we recognize her unlikely materials. Ranging from honeycomb cardboard, melted plastic, paper coffee filters, and Chinese lanterns. They brilliantly create a glowing flora of texture and light.
Structural Detour 13 is a fine example of Nicola Lopez’s eloquence with the chaotic geometry of urban structures. With a bright red orange background, she has layered printed remnants of girders and steel beams, fragments of an exploded construction site.
Delicate plastic filaments and cooper wire shimmer like jewelry in Nancy Cohen’s Contradiction in Terms. In the soft green and aqua colors of sea-tossed glass, a multitude of gem-like transparent and opaque surfaces are entangled together, as though they were caught in seaweed and found washed up on the shore.
Imaginary constellations are formed in Victoria Burge’s lyrical meditations on space. Ink washes over the faint echoes of a map to give depth and the impression of clouds within her illuminated skies. There is ample room for conjecture as interpretation can veer between stars, flight paths, or city lights; those secret connections in the darkness.
In stark contrast, Susanna Heller’s work bursts with the frenzied use of paint, impasto strokes and drips of the expressionist hand. With a strong color palette, variations of warm and cool grays are a background to teals, pale yellow, sienna, and the occasional shock of red. Necklace of Stones depicts the violence of demolition at the edge of a city. Urban imagery is shown at a high point of disorder and transmutation.
Melvin Edward Nelson brings a sense of spiritual fervor and intimations of transcendence. His dreamlike, visionary images are riveting. Planetary Ladder, 1964 is a work of pastel pinks and vibrant violet watercolor. A strong black grid dominates the center of the page as it reaches towards an otherworldly sphere. If you look closely you’ll see faint lines and handwriting showing through from the back side of the paper. It has obviously had a prior life.