Lest the bare concrete floor suggest otherwise, Untitled (space) is hardly an ephemeral presence in the New Haven art scene.
Its latest exhibit, “Aether,” open through May 12, unites five contemporary artists from diverse backgrounds within the theme of tenuous immateriality.
The small collection of recent works includes sculptures, installations and a painting. Despite differences in medium, however, each artist is clearly exploring the interaction between the material elements of the artwork itself and the surrounding three dimensional space.
Shari Mendelson’s dynamic sculpture “HB1517” (2000), constructed of welded wire, looks like scaffolding gone awry. Expanding from a tightly packed nucleus of wires forming a complex and random geometry, the piece moves the two-dimensional line into the third dimension.
Regarding her work, Mendelson has written of her desire to express “mass, collapse, energy.”
Energy in the form of lightwaves is the focus of Paul Stremple’s telescope series. Upon bars of solid glass, cut at an angle at each end, he etches patterns that glow in the colors of the visible spectrum. The angles of the glass catch the light and disperse it into a rainbow, patterned by Stremple’s etchings. Looking into one end of these telescopes reveals the colorful design.
Delanie Jenkins’ installation, “Scape” (2001), Linn Meyers’ painting “Summer 2000,” and Paul Villinski’s sculpture “Lament” (2001) all engage with the idea that the creative process is a work of art unto itself.
“Scape” is a series of fishing line-like strings with a lead weight suspended from each end, sprouting out of a gallery wall. The unevenly distributed series of filaments is reminiscent of hairs emerging from follicles in the skin, falling every which way. The nearly invisible threads cast dramatic shadows against the white walls.
Jenkins, with her intricate piece, wishes to remind the viewer of the effort in making art. She has written that “because process is a crucial element, labor intensity and repetitive tasks and objects are central to the work.”
Villinski pieces together found gloves into the shape of a bird’s wings. The variety of textures, visible handstitching and sewing needles hanging from threads suggest the art of quilting and elicit a similar sense of personal history as would viewing a family quilt handed down through generations.
Likewise, Meyers’ canvas covered in vertical lines of varying colors demonstrates a loving devotion to the painstaking processes of artistry. Each line is carefully painted, and the colors vary in intensity as they move across the canvas.
“For the past few years I’ve been exploring questions of how we perceive depth, both real and implied, in my own paintings,” Meyers said.
Also the curator of the show, Meyers explained her inspiration for the exhibit saying, “I’d been noticing similar themes of space/depth being expressed in very different ways in other artists’ works.”
Gazing at the pieces currently on exhibit at Untitled (space), the viewer is engaged, inspired, reminded and perplexed all at once. “Aether” is a dynamic, thought-provoking show, deserving of much attention from the Yale and New Haven communities.
220 College St.
Thursday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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