For its eclectic choice of artists and its accessible aesthetic, New Haven’s Artspace has become one of the most visited and diverse galleries in Connecticut. For 11 years, the gallery has hosted the Citywide Open Studios Project, which allows visitors to view artists’ works in their own studios.
Artspace’s new exhibition, CONNCentric, focuses only on Connecticut artists.
“There’s not so much of a focus on the aesthetic as on the geographic,” Anida Kulla ’11, who helped to curate the event, said. “The difference [between CONNCentric and Citywide Open Studios] is that this event is curated … These works have to be selected by a committee, whereas the artists can show any works they want at their galleries.”
While some works — like Stephen Auslander’s “Pregnant Stuka Barbie,” a Barbie head glued on a pregnant pink Stuka warplane model festooned with Swastikas — are clearly made to shock, the exhibit also displays traditional art. T. Whitney Prentice’s “In the Red” contrasts with Jennifer Reynolds’ “Autumn Night.” Prentice’s work is a sublime nude in oils, whereas Reynolds’ photograph subverts the traditional genre. The subject sits in the same posture (one asks if it is the same nude) but is covered in tattoos. Andrea Bonfils’ “Blue Sky Evergreens” moves from cold toothpaste blues to browns and greens in a style reminiscent of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
Tourist James Hackett said he particularly enjoyed Cham Hendon’s “Niagra II.”
“The monochromatic elements in this piece leave more to the imagination,” he said.
However, the pieces at CONNCentric range from structural dreams, such as the mirrored farmhouse in Joy Wulke’s “Agrarianscape” to the neon chaosmos of Gregson’s “Outrigger 10” and Martha Lewis’ wonderfully titled “Helium Atom Time-Of-Flight Spectra of Molecules Dancing on Surfaces.”
Unfortunately, current Yale students’ work was not represented this year, Kulla said.
“There were some last year, but most of them choose to show in Green Hall,” she said.