Monday, July 25, 2011

Pattern Play @ Florida Craftsmen Gallery

"Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern." - Alfred North Whitehead 

Jorge Vidal, the outgoing young man who used to be the Director of Exhibits at the Morean Arts Center, curated "Pattern Play", the current exhibit at Florida Craftsmen gallery. The works shown are by Jennifer Cecere, Sarah Gross, Cosme Herrera, Catherine Woods and Michelle Weinberg.

Gallery View

Patterns are by nature repeating. In art this can take many forms including line shape and color, and it always carries a kind of symmetry. The mind can easily tire of repetition, one of the challenges facing any artist using patterns. The other is turning symmetry into a kind of game, like solving a puzzle. But art is not a game, with rules, goals and singular solutions. Curator Vidal makes this point with the "Play" part of the exhibition's title.

Michelle Weinberg, "Flow Chart #2"

Michelle Weinberg works in Miami Beach and NY. The recipient of many fellowships and residencies has also taught and mentored in many universities, including USF, in the US and overseas. [Link]. She is at home with patterns. In the PoP Art-styled "Flow chart #2",  the lamp overhead is not on the ceiling. Our eyes create a right angle where there isn't one. It's floating. On the desk are a cassette recorder and cassette. On the floor, an opened bag with flowers apparently floating out of it. Weinberg is playing with the illusion of 3-D space in the 2-D flatness of the painting.

Sarah Gross

Sarah Gross' rippling clay wall spans the space between two columns in the gallery, effectively dividing it in two. The hand-cut trefoil and quatrefoil holes in the clay vary within each brick, and where they interface there are more spontaenous breaks in their pattern. The work also uses color to create other patterns, as do the wave forms in the work. Think of the difference between this and a brick wall. The latter has an unbroken pattern and symmetry, and unlike this wall, is not transparent and organic. It is worth waiting to watch people walk behind the wall, their figures fragmented, or to see it from the other side, where it projects light, like a magic lantern. Gross reconfigures the installation for different spaces. [Link]

Jennifer Cecere, "Pansey"

NYC artist Jenifer Cecere [Link] showed this mandala-like work titled "Pansey". It incorporates some of the signifiers of women's craft (in this case, reminiscent of quilts). Inspired by childhood fables and fairy tales, according to Cecere. This work is extremely sensitive to viewing distance. Be sure to view it up close and far away.

Close-up detail of "Pansey"

Cosme Herrera, "Logos IX"

I had the pleasure of speaking with Cosme Herrera about his works at a Mindy Solomon Gallery show months ago. His works are simple in the sense of being sparse, but quite complex in the patterns seen here in the wood-grain vinyl laminates he uses, and their philosophy. He is very focused on man's complex relationship to nature, specially in parks. Cosme and I spoke for a while at the show's opening. He sees the landscape as narrative (many of the world's indigenous people do), and man in dialogue with it. Some elements in his work are elegiac, for vanished trees. The odd form on tripod legs seen here is, in part, a kind of talismanic/mnemonic device for missing trees. The effect of the blanked-out sections reminded me of wintry landscapes, and serve to recontextualize and emphasize the trees and other forms that are left. Cosme has also done geo-installations, and if a grant comes through, he wants to design a small park-sized area.

Catherine Woods, "Fuschia Stripe".

Catherine Woods, "Madras"
Let's not mince words: Catherine Woods' translucent sculptures are hypnotic eye candy. They also transcend their decorative nature as patterned color abstractions. It pays to take one's time viewing these works because they shift with minute changes in point-of-view. [Link]

"Madras Close-up"

Congratulations to the artists, Florida Craftsmen, and Jorge Vidal for an interesting show.

--- Luis

1 comment:

  1. Luis, Love the description of Catherine's work - "hypnotic eye candy"! Great article on Pattern Play. I hope to see you at Duncan's Gallery again!