Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sorry folks, but I won't be reporting on the comings and goings at the DCCA again until January third. I'll be busy eating cookies and visiting family. So, by the way, will the busy little bees in the DCCA offices.
But don't fret, dear readers! Even though most of the staff will be away, the DCCA galleries will be open until 3:00 on the 24th and from the 26th to the 31st at 3:00, so feel free to come by and explore our wonderful new exhibits, THE BOOK: A Contemporary View and Brain Fruit. This morning I was able to sneak into THE BOOK, and I can honestly say that you'll be amazed by the wonderful pieces in the show.
So, adieu for now, dear readers, and stay tuned; there'll be plenty going on at the DCCA in 2011.
|Jackie Brown, Brain Fruit II: An Excited State, 2010,|
various materials, filled-space installation
Once you've entered the newly transformed gallery, you feel a little like you've stepped into the middle of a collection of giant neurons--hence the "brain" part of the title. Of course, this is a piece of contemporary art, so it isn't quite that literal and it definitely isn't that simple. While Brown has created something like a system of neurons, the forms she has created follow no natural schema. Whereas neurons are spindly columns with organically shaped tendrils (or "dendrites" to the scientifically minded among you), Brown's forms have dripping, irregular bases that support textured blobs that seem to have sprouted sharp, geometric rods. Yes, Brown has created a vaguely biological system that she wishes to be understood as inter-connected, but the piece does not address neurology exclusively--at least, not as it applies to individual brains.
Friday, December 17, 2010
|Susan White, Between a Rock and a Hard|
Place, 2010, Deconstructed book pages,
text dots, variable
Lately, the sound of electric drills and the smell of paint have been floating through the air at the DCCA (please feel free to blame the paint fumes if this post seems more whimsical than usual). A new exhibition just opened in the Constance J. Hennessy Project Space (more on that later) and our Preparator is hard at work installing an exciting new exhibit entitled THE BOOK: A Contemporary View in the Carol Bieber and Marc Ham Gallery.
For the past week or so I've been embracing my wildly rebellious side and peeking around the "installation in progress, please do not enter" sign that's in the doorway of the gallery. I've yet to get very far though, as the guy who's been carved into the pages of books that have been suspended from the ceiling is more than a little intimidating. The same goes for the page-cyclone in the corner. There's also a rumor floating around about fearsome book mushrooms that are growing on the walls, but I've yet to see them.
THE BOOK: A Contemporary View, is dedicated to exploring the book as an object, subject, and concept. As the glimpses I've gotten of the exhibit would suggest, the artists participating in the show have created fascinating works of art that stretch the definition of the word "book" with delightful results. The exhibition will open next Wednesday so be sure to stop by and see if the rumor about the book mushrooms is true.
"Works in Progress" is a series of posts dedicated to giving you advance notice about upcoming DCCA shows.
Friday, December 10, 2010
|René Treviño, Hercules Holding|
the Sun and Rainbow, 2008,
Acrylic on Mylar, Courtesy of C.
Grimaldis Gallery, MD
Given the Greeks' penchant for self-reflection, it is fitting that artist René Treviño should adopt one of Greek mythology's best known heroes to examine his own identity and the society in which he finds himself. In Hercules Holding the Sun and Rainbow Treviño combines a black and white rendering of a bronze statue of Hercules with a vibrant Mayan calendar. These two images fuse traditional western culture with the less familiar and thus, exotic Mayan culture. In a nod to the myth of Hercules holding up the heavens, Hercules leans forward and cradles the Mayan calendar in his upraised arms.
To anyone who grew up after the revisionist history movement (the scholarly movement that was responsible for bringing Christopher Columbus down a few notches), the combination of these two elements suggests a rather obvious interpretation of the piece. Clearly, a student of this movement would say, this is an emblem of the crushing guilt western culture is forced to carry as a result of its destruction of Native American cultures! While this theme is certainly at work in the piece, there is something else going on.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
|Renee Benson, No. 97, 2010, Acrylic on|
Canvas, 30" x 40"
Luchansky's piece sets the tone for the rest of the exhibition. Yes, the canvases she puts on the walls are small on their own. When put together, however, one can't help but feel as though one is being shouted at by a drill sergeant. When put together, Release is a loud and provocative statement. "Loud," may seem to be a strange word to describe a piece of visual art, but it isn't too far off the mark. By using morse code in Release, Luchansky fuses the taps and tones of morse code with the visuality of paint on canvas. The result is a strange, synesthetic experience that bridges the gap between sound and sight, thus completely overwhelming the viewer.