Head down to Haskins Laboratories at 300 George St. for an interdisciplinary extravaganza. Here, science meets art — and with astounding results.
Perhaps suitable for a lab that professes to study the science of the spoken and written word, the new exhibition “Intricacies: Extreme Detail in Current Art” explores webs and complexities in the work of seven local and New York artists. Presented with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, a nonprofit arts organization, the exhibit opened last Thursday with a reception featuring a talk by the president and research director of Haskins, Kenneth R. Pugh.
Some of the show’s pieces have copious amounts of color to shock the viewer and others are comprised of tiny strands and lines. In “Intricacies,” science and art stand in an uncertain and often contradictory balance, but that is what remains fascinating about the works. They are located within a scientific space and gesture to an external force, transcending their status as office art.
Debbie Hesse, the curator of the event, said she thought the show worked well in its setting.
“I think it’s a very elegant space and this show seemed to be a good one for the space,” she said. “It’s nice to collaborate with a place where the people who work in it really appreciate art.”
The show is also very striking. Cham Hendon’s work “Woodland Friends” does not fail to surprise. After the initial shock of the bright tones, one notices the wolf, the squirrel and the other woodland animals in succession, as if they are appearing from the forest.
“Some of the art’s very strong, and when you have that in large groupings, it can be a little powerful and we like that,” said Philip Rubin, the chief executive officer at Haskins.
Some artists’ pieces are more subtle; John Arabolos’s works explore the themes of webs and distortion in a way that calls to mind an imposed matrix of warped images.
Edith Borax-Morrison, an artist from Trumbull, Conn., said she has only recently begun to show her sketch-art, which incorporates pencil lines warped in flux.
“It’s a new form of art that I’m exhibiting,” she said. “I’ve been doing these types of sketch drawings for years, and I kept those drawings secret, but in the last few years I’ve shown them.”
The most striking of her diaphanous sketches is “Gossamer Drift,” a collection of thread-thin lines within a circle that betrays not only lightness, but also some inner radiance. Perhaps the scientific environment provokes a biological response: It is almost as though Borax-Morrison is portraying some renegade cell through a microscope.
Notable, too, is “Minerva’s Revenge,” a tangle of heavier black and white lines which stands in stark contrast to the lighter paintings.
Borax-Morrison said that she was unsure of where the ideas for her artworks originate.
“Whatever happens, happens,” she said. “It seems like it comes from my unconscious, so somewhere towards the middle of the work I step back and see what has to be balanced and what has to be changed.”
The exhibition runs through Jan. 23.