From the first glimpse of an opaque shower curtain to the final vision of bare fluorescent tube lights, the senior thesis projects of rising Yale artists now on display at Holcombe T. Green Hall excite the eyes with a variety of media and styles.
The show’s opening Thursday marked the first time ever that the projects of all 18 art majors were displayed in one location, creating an engaging exhibit that spans three floors and five rooms of the new Holcombe T. Green Hall.
The spacious exhibit area hosts sculptures, photographs, paintings, prints and graphic design, representing the various disciplines that an art major can pursue in depth. Each artist clearly has a well-developed sense of their art, displaying a comfort with the chosen media and a candid individuality.
Senior Max Perelman’s photography project occupies the first room of the exhibit, and appeals, at first, to our voyeuristic tendency. By peering through a small opening, the viewer encounters five photos, each offering a different vision of a bathroom. Perelman experiments with stereoscopic pictures, which combine two images into a single three-dimensional image with the help of mirrors. The placement of the pictures inside a white pipe, from which hangs a shower curtain, blends the photography with sculpture.
Three large prints by Joseph Montgomery ’01 occupy opposite walls in the following room. In the first of his prints, Montgomery uses lines of red, black, yellow and blue to create ladders and slides in a stimulating mixture of lines and curves. The texture and the vision Montgomery creates — a mystery of repeating images and motifs — skillfully combines the styles of pop art and optical art.
Senior Rob Giampietro’s project is noteworthy for its individuality and high sense of emotion. In a series of photographs entitled “Sequence,” Giampietro plays with light and shadow, heightening the emotional effect of the shots. Some appear otherworldly, such as a dreamlike shot of lovers kissing. Others have a tangible sense of action and movement. The mix of styles augments the already engaging story the photos present.
Sara Edward-Corbett ’01 displays, in her painting project, a similarly engaging narrative with jarring visuals and heightened contrast. The three entirely black-and-white pieces depict flat figures, detailed to appear like woodgrain. Shadows mask the narrative and the actions of the subjects but progress through the three juxtaposed paintings.
The work of Matt Duncan ’01 also creates a narrative through three juxtaposed canvases. There is a welcome sense of ambiguity. In the first segment of the work, a woman stares into space with darkened eyes while grasping a man’s neck — whether she is planning to kiss him or injure him is unclear. The following pieces also depict uncertain actions, employing different characters but a similar use of color, giving them a sense of continuity.
Like many of the displayed works, the remarkable sculpture of Rebecca Armstrong ’01 invites the viewer to experience different perspectives. Here, the viewer is asked to look through binoculars. Armstrong experiments with disparate elements: filled water bottles, fish tanks and tube lights cover the ground, along with a bucket and several electrical cords. A container of gasoline sits to the side, below a shelf of cigarette lighters. The walls display a painting, a television spewing images of water and several envelopes (which the viewer is encouraged to take). Armstrong allows the viewer to consider the way in which we view a single theme — water — in different contexts.
Taken as a whole, the senior thesis projects all invite participation from the viewers, creating a dialogue through the various mediums. They certainly benefit from being on display together, as viewers can enjoy a wide range of evocative, individualistic works from a strong group of Yale artists.