ReviewArt

Art Experiences in Bloomington, Indiana, and elsewhere

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Television from the Inside - Jeremy Brightbill's paintings at Artisan Alley

Jeremy Brightbill's paintings attract one hypnotically, like interference patterns on the wire mesh of a screen door, or in the beamed energy of a crt ...
... pulling you in, closer and closer...
Each painting seems to be a blizzard of tool marks and colors.  Often,  regimented blobs and blips of color seem to be laid in over more emotional surges of color...

... but other times the seemingly more regimented overlaid lines and blobs seem to be bursting with emotion, in one case forcefully pushed into the underlying layers of paint ...
Roving art critic and connoisseur  Wildebrand Elisium took it all in at last night's opening reception  ...

... and discussed the exhibition with curator Nicole Pancini and artist Jeremy ...
Perhaps the favorite painting was Press Play Then Play Again?

In this painting, colors and strokes seem to have fallen, exhausted by contention and striving,  into a delirious melee.
Another great show at a Bloomington art mecca!

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Friday, February 19, 2016

June Onesti at the Bellevue Gallery at the Farmer House Museum

June Onesti has been a distinguished ceramic sculptor in Bloomington for many years and was the first teacher of pottery at the Waldron Art Center, starting in 1990...
June has been showing a mini-retrospective of her work at the Bellevue Gallery / Farmer House Museum ...
paintings by Karen Holtzclaw
Onesti's pieces are very muscular, even monumental...
... they seem to invite meditation on the relationship between human beings and earth in all its forms...
Exquisitely finished form is balanced against, literally on, dynamic masses of lumpen clay...

Glazes are used by June Onesti to add textures that seem to transform clay into hardened, crystalline stone, while also recalling biological slimes, creating effects both hard and soft...

Inscribed lines on June's pieces remind one of runes carved into rocks anciently...


Such runes represent star charts?  Dance choreography?  An advanced form of writing?
June works with classic forms too...
A similar pot seems to have melted and slumped towards a primeval form..
That pot seems to be in the heavy grip of gravity, but another bowl, even larger, somehow seems to scuttle away into a corner...
Fissures seem to drink in liquid pools of glaze, creating  textures that are lucious, but also wild and strange...
Wild mushrooms seem to sprout from some of Onesti's sculpted surfaces...
Onesti's flat pieces are my personal favorites.  On one hand they are simply plates, albeit very heavy one with tiny little saucers imbedded ...

I told June that her flat pieces looked like sacred cow patties.  She agreed!  Her work has a lot of understated humor, but it is very serious at the same time.  Onesti's works seem to speak about the relationship between human beings and the materials that they interact with, handle, play with, manipulate, etc..  Onesti's pieces are so monumental that they encourage us to think about the grand sweep of history, but so earthy that they stay grounded and remind us to do the same...

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June's teacher was Don Reitz, at the University of Wisconsin...

Reitz:
When I work I think a lot. Mostly it's not about that which is in front of me. That action is generally a spontaneous response.... Lately, due in part to the passing of my dear friends and heroes, I have been thinking about time. Surely the greatest gift of all, yet we take it for granted. This gift of time what shall I do with it? How much time is there? Will I waste it by worrying about the RULES, yesterday's idea, or about laborious, extraneous techniques before I need them? I choose not to.
...Time, an essential ingredient in firing, hardens and colors the clay, but also gives me time to think and look inward.

Time has enabled me to bring to my work a personal uniqueness...a bridge which allows me to move freely from reality to REALITY...
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Friday, February 5, 2016

First Friday February - Mothman?!

First Friday takes on an eerie quality at the Waldron Art Center this month ...
Mothman's appearance might have portended ill, but instead it portended some pretty neat flying art pieces...
Such strange-but-fascinating work by Edward Bernstein brought out the yearning child in our Hardened New York Art Critic...

But can you blame him?
Another fascinating sculpture awaited in the Vault, a walk-in cubist space...

... which got to our Hardened New York Art Critic right in the eye...
...and beguiled with implications of infinity...
Bernstein offers many other fascinating pieces...
My favorite was what seemed to be a doorway to hell...
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A friendlier mood was found next door, in an exhibit of limestone sculptures by Michael Van Vooren...
Van Vooren's pieces create a more convivial mood, which invites viewers to join in...
... even mending broken hearts, apparently!
That feeling of emptiness...
...soon filled...

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Upstairs colorful paintings by Carolyn Markey also explored the concept of void...
And filling the void...
...which made me think of the skylight grid overhead...
Thankyou Waldron and artists for many  flights of fancy ...
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