Friday, August 29, 2014

Jenny Lynn McNutt in "A Menagerie of Metaphors"

Jenny Lynn McNutt’s work will be featured in A Menagerie of Metaphors along with such art luminaries at Louise Bourgeois, Walton Ford and Kiki Smith. The show, the 103rd Annual Exhibition at Randolph College’s Maier Museum, will be on view September 12-December 14. Jenny Lynn will be the featured visual artist in the 23rd Annual Helen Clark Berlind Symposium (October 3-4) at the museum.

As the title of the show suggests, the work on view goes beyond illustration into the realm of allegory and Jenny Lynn’s rabbits fit right in. With their exaggerated haunches and ears, they evoke the quintessential idea of a rabbit or lanky hare, but their soulful, threatening, or rapturous attitudes add an anthropomorphic touch that underscores the “elastic continuum of creatures.” This theme, central to Jenny Lynn’s work, also figures in Precise Breathing, a project she developed about the honeybee between 2001 and 2010 beginning with a solo performance and culminating with a diverse installation of sculpture and works on paper.

Using dynamic lines and veils of scumbled color that range from soft to bold, Jenny Lynn renders her leporids with an exuberance and potency that seems to perfectly match their animus. Dancing, floating or upside down, they seem to inhabit a dreamscape. Indeed, it was a transformative dream where a ten-foot hare appeared and waltzed Jenny Lynn away that provided the inspiration for this body of work entitled Zoopsia (hallucination of animals), first begun in 2010 at VCCA.

In Residence: Karen Bondarchuk’s Corvids

Karen Bondarchuk’s series of corvids commands attention. She’s been focusing on these birds for several years, as well as work that has recently come to include the Wild West of Edward S. Curtis photographs and the 1952 film, High Noon. She cites also “The near extinction and relocation of every indigenous presence standing in the way of Manifest Destiny” as a potent influence as well.

Karen's birds are beautifully rendered, caught in candid moments, mid-animation. Enlarged to an “up close and personal’ size, they’re rather unsettling, with their beady eyes fixed on us. But the fact they’re so large and in most cases, consigned to the lower part of the composition so their forms are partially cut off, adds visual whammy. In some, Karen goes even further, introducing letters and words, and such oddities as a floating bottle cap—perhaps a halo above the un-saintly crow? In one, a slashing line of red, a beautiful gesture in and of itself, suggests blood. These are works that combine consummate technical skill with imagination and dash.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

AXIS Show Unites 13 VCCA Fellows

Fellows who come to VCCA speak about the heady atmosphere of creativity and support that pervades the place. The many collaborations that have blossomed between Fellows over the years stand as testament to this, as does our annual Commission event that places collaboration front and center.
But perhaps there has never been a collaborative happening quite like the upcoming exhibition at the Brentwood Arts Exchange (Brentwood, MD). AXIS unites 13 visual, digital, sound and literary artists who are VCCA Fellows. According to Indrani Nayar-Gall, the show’s title “suggests a center or core that is capable of connecting, changing, and moving things, people and ideas to create a multitude of possibilities and alliances; it is a crucial transformative concept at this point in history. Fitting with the title, this exhibition brings together contemporary artwork by artists from across the United States and Europe whose work connects in spirit while it diverges in form.”
The show’s genesis can be traced to a VCCA open studio in October 2012. Struck by the range and quality of the work being produced, Indrani and Judith Pratt bandied about the possibility of an exhibition showcasing the work of VCCA Fellows. There followed two years of planning, sending out proposals, and collaborating. AXIS will open at DC’s Brentwood Arts Exchange on September 2 and run through October 18.
 “We are so pleased to have this show become a reality,” says Judith. “To shine a spotlight on all that VCCA does for its artists. We also hope the show encourages many more people to seek out what VCCA has to offer.” The thirteen AXIS artists are: Jo Ann Biagini (CA) • Julia Bloom (DC) • Blinn Jacobs (CT) • Caroline Burton (NY) Alonzo Davis (MD) • de’ Angelo Dia (NC) • Rebecca Morgan Frank (MS) • David R. Lincoln (NY) Joan Michelson (UK) • Indrani Nayar-Gall (NC) • Judith Pratt (VA) • Jessica Deane Rosner (RI) • Aaron Stepp) (KY). 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Michener Museum Acquires Schaff's "Questing Nest"

Following her show, True Grit: The Poetic Images of Barbara Schaff at the James A. Michener Art Museum (Doylestown, PA), the museum paid Barbara the ultimate compliment by acquiring one of her drawings, Questing Nest.  

Using compressed charcoal and gesso on paper, Barbara creates an elegantly lyrical snarl of a bird’s nest; her line and inflections of light and shadow recall the wispy deftness of Asian art.

To quote the Michener Museum write up, Barbara “has spent most of her adult life in a passionate and disciplined search for the poetic image.” Her lifelong quest “for poetry is not about hiding behind a veil of secrecy and illusion. Poetic images drill down through the gentle topsoil of life into the gritty realities, the bedrock. Poetry is, above all, true-to the complexities of the human heart, and the eternal-and fleeting-mysteries of the universe.”

Wallach's Songs at Kingston Festival

Selections from Joelle Wallach's Post-Millennial Love Songs and Love in the Early Morning will be performed by Alison Davy, soprano and Gene Rohrer, piano on August 28 at The Uptown Gallery as part of the Kingston [NY] Festival of the Arts. 

Post-Millennial Love Songs explore poems about love, while Love in the Early Morning: Songs About Making Love to Milkmen is a “serio-comic song cycle of lust and longing, sexual fantasy and domestic comedy.”

Other composers on the program are Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lee Hoiby, and Francis Poulenc.

Duesberry's "Reflections of Maine, Coming Home"

Joellyn Duesberry’s dynamic paintings are densely packed with information. Not only does she revel in capturing details of the landscape, but also the formal aspects of paint on canvas using intense color and bold brushwork to convey light, shadow, scale and texture. 

Though she divides her time between Denver, CO and Millbrook, NY, Joellyn has a particular affinity for Down East's rugged beauty. "My instinctual search of the Maine Coastal landscape in the past five decades for subjects en plein air relating to aesthetic elements which fascinate me, has given me peak experiences unattainable anywhere else. Manmade traces seem to have been gentle on the landscape, and the geometry I seek to uncover in the land is thus often aided by structures, dwellings within the darkly forested sites or detritus on the beaches. My recent compositions of Maine show less struggle with building abstraction, whether stern hard rock or limpid water, and, therefore more of a load of deep feelings, both current and remembered, articulated and inchoate, that make me want to paint this particular place called Maine.” 

Joellyn’s exhibition of her paintings, Reflections of Maine, Coming Home is on view through August 30 at The Gallery at Somes Sound.

Hartwig Rainer Mülleitner in International Steel Symposium, Riedersbach 2014

The three-week “International Steel Symposium Riedersbach 2014,” which began on August 11 will close with a final presentation: 25 Steel (Symposium) Symphony on Friday, August 29 in the plaster hall of the Energie AG power plant Riedersbach, Austria.

A total of 21 artists, including VCCA’s own Hartwig Rainer Mülleitner, have participated in the symposium creating a wide variety of objects made from steel.