Oki Fukunaga – Hanger Crystal, “Baobob”
Countless mediocre works of art have resulted from an uninspired use of common objects. Mr. Fukunaga has boldly crossed this historically treacherous territory victorious, like an alchemist who has finally solved the age-old problem of how to turn lead into gold. These stellar works of sculpture manage to very successfully both celebrate and transcend the universally recognizable wire clothes hanger. The resulting large-scale pieces have a powerful yet playful post-minimalist presence, massive but light. The inventive method of construction offers the viewer an exciting array of shifting patterns and forms. Very exciting work from this young artist.
Dana Stewart – The Unknown From Below
A striking new type of creature from the Master Menagerist, one which manages in equal measure to strike both terror and mirth in the heart of the viewer. Here Mr. Stewart draws directly upon his own lifetime of experience as a dedicated surfer and the frisson he experiences on the water, a knife-edge balance between the thrill of the endeavor and the fear of very real dangers sometimes lurking below the surface. The direct but ambiguous imagery of this work contributes to the mythical, dreamlike quality of this beast, allowing one to project their own fears and associations. The choice of the bell-shape is a wise one, as it allows any surface upon which the piece is placed to stand in for the veil which hides the monsters below, real or imagined.
David Cann – Nancy’s Bones
One of three works in this exhibition, all belonging to a very strong recent series of sculptures paying homage to other artists. Each share qualities of chunky industrial muscularity coupled with solid steel forged into forms of grace, even delicacy. It was difficult to choose one individual work to single out for this award, as all three pieces are extremely successful, but in the end, Nancy’s Bones (a sly reference to works by Nancy Graves) stands out, partly because of the use of well-applied added color to the forged steel elements (a welcome addition to Mr. Cann’s vocabulary). It is worth noting as well, that the paired “bone” figures also nicely recall some of the early, African sculpture-influenced works of Alberto Giacometti.
Judith Rosenthal – Winter Flowers
We are fortunate to be able to see five different pieces from Ms. Rosenthal in this exhibition, and to experience the richness of her visual language along with the mastery of her medium. These are exquisite works - delicate, potent and iconic. Each one is a world unto itself. At first glance, “Winter Flowers” may seem to be merely a simple vessel form and somewhat plain in comparison to its more demonstrative neighbor (Sprouting Bulb), but there is so much more at stake here. The entire shape seems to be in the process of swelling or collapsing, like a ripening or overripe peach, or a breathing apparatus. Worthy of contemplation.
John C. Rodgers, Jr. – Forward Leaning #1
This is a beautiful collaboration of diverse materials, colors, surfaces and forms, put together with a clockwork precision. There is an entrancing energy to the expanding concentric elements in the upper half of the piece, as the arching cantilever and counterweight aspects of the lower half elegantly supply visual (and actual) balance to this elegant work.
Adam Capone – White Rabbit
Part of a charming series of works related to “Alice Through the Looking-Glass,” this piece strikes a very fine balance between high craft and playful whimsy. Found, made and manipulated wooden elements of organic, architectural and utilitarian origin are combined together with great care and craft to a very successful result. Is the Jefferson Airplane title meant to evoke the psychedelic aspects of Alice’s Wonderland? Those crazy twisty ears and dandy multicolored waistcoat buttons incline me to believe this to be the case. Fans of Mr. Capone’s work should plan also to drop in to see his inventive solo exhibition currently on view at the Sidetracks Gallery, just a few steps down the street.