'Organic: Basic Inspirations'
In this show, the eye of the beholder is in the beauty as much as beauty is in that eye
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Oct. 9, 2009
'Organic: Basic Inspirations'
through Oct. 30
We are bound to art by our very consciousness. Pattern recognition draws us toward order, toward the ordered forms of this world (or toward those forms that are intentional repudiations of order), and we are helplessly in thrall. Our perceptions: woven into the tapestry of what we perceive, warp and woof and sense of wonder.
Oscar Silva, featured artist in Studio2Gallery's "Organic: Basic Inspirations" show, is no stranger to weaving. This is the man who spends hour upon countless hour tying together fiber and lengths of handmade paper, wire, and weeds in service to his muse. This is Silva, who layers wafers of wood into delicate architectures of meaning, who binds beauty in braids of raffia, horsehair, and jute. His labor-intensive sculptures Oracle; Kwele, Teller of Fortunes; and Spine are the first objects we see upon entering the tidy gallery off South Lamar, heralding the greater whole of this group exhibition.
A tall pedestal soon thereafter holds a series of large brooches by Eun Yeong Jeong – brooches fashioned from stainless steel and sterling silver, holding fragile constructions of carved and stained loofah, plastic, and threads of organza, looking like specimens of beautiful extraterrestrial flora and fauna: as if the bioforms of Alien had been designed not by Giger but by Fabergé.
Across the room are two frames holding flat paper constructions against black backgrounds. These intricately braided and threaded creations of multicolored paper upon handmade sheets of flax and onionskin resemble circuit boards for a computer made of papyrus reeds and are often mistaken for works by Silva; but no, they're part of a series of paperworks by Georgie Cunningham. We hope to see more of this artist's works in the future; we have, in fact, something of a jones developing.
On the far wall, a digital photographic collage on canvas by Leslie Kell: Winter's Summer Home; it's a kaleidoscopic image that, via its vivid mirror-mad beauty, almost single-handedly validates computer-aided photo manipulation. One wishes a leaded glass version of this image for the window above the front door of one's lottery-born dream home.
Silva's sculptures and wall hangings are represented in the gallery's central space, too, his Shrine to the She Devil and Yellow Fiber House, among other creations, lend glory to the mixed aesthetic surround.
Before we exit Studio2Gallery's elegant little venue, we cast our eyes again upon Doug Russell's large pair of graphite-on-paper works: Entanglement 1 and Entanglement 2. These are subtle, compelling illustrations of entwined roots that fairly writhe as metaphors for one human condition or another. One condition, perhaps – our entanglement with patterns both natural and fabricated, our inextricable fascination with matter that promotes a matrix of rhythm and visual rhyme. Among all the braidings and layered repetitions of "Organic: Basic Inspirations," we find that the eye of the beholder is in the beauty as much as beauty is in that eye.