On display: No limit to the imagination at Saratoga
The latest exhibition to open at Saratoga Arts mixes mediums to delve into the power of memory and the rich landscape of the mind.
It starts with the vaporous works of Christian Wechgelaer, who mixes dizzying scribbles with Polaroids, film strips and layers of paper. A mixed media piece, titled “The Rite of Spring 3,” features sketches of falling leaves and a zip-up jacket with a hat floating right above it. Next to this work is “The Rite of Spring 2”, with faded sketches of a protractor near a film strip and an abstract portrait of a face where the expression does not agree with the rest of the lines.
Each of Wechgelaer’s works has a nostalgic quality, drawing on distant childhood memories buried somewhere deep in the mind.
“There is a tension between real space and imaginary space that has always existed in my memory,” Wechgelaer said in an artist statement. “There is the real space of my childhood home, which becomes fiction because I can only see it through the fragmented imagery of my mind. . . . Although I am never left with the answers I seek, through the process of making, I make a physical connection to my own memory.
Wechglaer’s two-dimensional works are juxtaposed with heavy clay sculptures by Dan Greenfeld. Each structure is meant to be abstract, although it is impossible not to see representative shapes in a few.
There are well over a dozen structures on the floor and they create a walking path through the exhibition space. According to Greenfeld’s artist statement, he shapes each sculpture without tools. Instead, he uses his hands to pinch coils of clay to sculpt the shapes that viewers see.
“All of the marks my hands make are left in place to register my movements,” Greenfeld said.
It invites viewers to interact and interact with the works, whether through sight or touch.
“Maybe this interaction will affect and change the viewer in some way. Any response from viewer is welcome. All are valid, ”said Greenfeld.
Nearby are the fabric works of Charlotte Moody, who hand-sews fabric samples to create 5-inch abstract collages.
In a series called “Mind Fragments”, Moody overlays frayed squares and patterned strips of fabric, sometimes embroidering a representative figure, such as a flower or a leaf.
While there are some repeating tissues, the real connective tissue in Moody’s work is the reappearance of circles. In almost all the compositions there seems to be at least one, sometimes it’s in the foreground, other times it’s less obvious and you have to look for it. According to Moody, the symbol is used to represent all possibilities.
“Art has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Art is what keeps my mind and body young and active, ”Moody wrote in an artist statement.
In another section of the gallery, artist Corran Shrimpton considers both mind and body through striking and sometimes fantastical sculptures.
A black figure sits atop a pedestal, with words and phrases like “Lose 10 lbs.” and “Clean eat clean,” chalked all over the place. The figure is turned away from the viewer, grabbing an eraser on a pedestal just out of reach. Shrimpton aptly named the work “Clean Slate”.
“By combining the familiarity of the human form with unexpected elements, I create figurative ceramic sculptures that meet the classic definition of the genre,” Shrimpton wrote. “My work exteriorizes and distorts emotion, inviting the viewer to investigate, empathize and connect with it from a new perspective. I don’t just sculpt the traditional figure. My figures fight against the long history of heroic male statues and naked women through the male gaze. While many of my pieces are female nude, they are not sexualized and do not attempt to conform to traditional beauty standards.
In one of the most fantastic works, called “Bloom”, a kneeling figure with honeycomb patterns and flowers on her head, appears to have pulled a piece of honeycomb from her chest. Although the figure’s eyes are lowered, perhaps there is an expression of shock and his whole body is tense.
Not far from there, a golden figure is seen in a white tub filled with flowers, floating in a resin. The figure stares right next to the tub, arms resting on his knees. Entitled “Steeped Tea”, it is a meditative work, reflecting a feeling of deep solitude.
The exhibition will be available until June 26 and can be viewed online as well as at Saratoga Arts. For more information, visit saratoga-arts.org.
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