Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cast of Characters @ Duncan McClellan Glass

The figurative has been the mainstay of art for millenia, though apparent abstractions surfaced early. In this show, titled "Cast of Characters", this broad theme is exemplified in a variety of media.
Alexis Silk,"Hung Up"

Alexis Silk is a young sculptress who worked first with bronze, cast iron, then became a glass blower. Her works in this show combine the last two media, iron and glass. Iron's toughness juxtaposed with the fluid ephemerality of glass make for a formally seductive combination. Coupled with the human figure, female torsos in this show have a very human quality of strength and a delicate, beautiful form. The torsos have the luminosity of glass, sensuous, flowing, reflective and translucent simultaneously. In "Hung Up", all these factors are coupled with an orange-red color and a realistic (non-idealized) figure imbued with the curves and volumes of a real person.

Alexis Silk, "Skin Deep"

Silk's "Skin Deep" emphasizes the cast iron part of the work. Suspended horizontally from what looks like meathooks. The glass looks "stretched", as if from its own weight from the hooks. Again, the colors here are exquisite, but the piece is more opaque, and looks more susceptible to gravity, implying the elasticity of the flesh.

Christine Peloquin, "Nowhere Fast"

Christine Peloquin is a mixed-media artist currently residing in Mount Dora. In the image on the left, we see what appears to be the same woman in a canoe, rowing in opposite directions. The space is broken up by long, rectangular "pixels" that partially overlay the stylized figures, water and canoe. It is also tiled in independent panels.

Christine Peloquin, "Time to Think"

This segmentation of space is also evident in Peloquin's "Time to Think".  A pensive woman's face peers at the viewer with a slight smile on one side of her face. Note how the right-hand panel with the eye in it is in monochrome. Again, we see the tiled panels, each a sub-framed painting of its own, and the further subdivisions of the space into smaller frames.

Philip Nolley, "Ritual Vessel"

Philip Nolley's glass pieces at first glance look like ceramics. They're diamond carved blown glass and sand. A little observation and their glassiness comes through.
  Look at Nolley's "Ritual Vessel". It is an exquisite form. Its crust reminds me of the pictures of the Cosmic Background Radiation, the echoes of the origin of the universe. Why is this sacred item broken? The first thing that comes to mind: In the Gnostic Gospels the creation event happened when God became aware of Himself and he shattered into pieces. It is literally called the Breaking of the Vessels. The shards became you and me and everyone and everything there is. Our largely forgotten mission is to reunite with all the other pieces. This piece could be a metaphor for the Divine. I could be completely off, but what is true beyond a doubt is that it is an inspiring piece.

Chris Ahalt, "Blue Whale" & "Sperm Whale"

Chris Ahalt's whales are simply beautiful, exquisite objects in the form of popular and endangered critters make stunning decorative objects. Made of flame-worked borosilicates,
both blue and sperm whales look happy and benign

Seen at Duncan McClellan Glass

Congratulations to all the artists, Duncan McClellan, Jorge Vidal, Tracy Kennard and the rest of his crew for a memorable show.

PS. The Museum of Fine Arts has a glass show currently, and among several international, national and local glass artists, I noticed Duncan McClellan and Massimiliano Schiavone there. One of the Duncan pieces was "Man of the World", which I reviewed here months ago.

Cast of Characters @ Duncan McClellan Glass - Figurative artists featured in this exhibit at DMG. 2342 E. Emerson Ave St Pete.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review Luis. The pieces Duncan selected for this show were exquisite and even more powerful in person. This show can be seen until June 30th along with new work from Urge: Catching the Collector's Eye that will be debuting on June 9th. We hope to see you there again! Thanks for the review!