Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More CWOS 2008 meanderings—Westville, West Haven

Before heading to West Haven, I wanted to post one last image from the Westville AIRS, this being (I believe) "Sub-space Biographies" by John Bent (Web; I wrote about a couple of Bent's installations at Artspace this past March), a work of oil on canvas and gouache on adhesive vinyl as the guts of the image spill onto the wall. Artists shouldn't be afraid to spill their guts.
My time in West Haven was only spent at Gilbert Street. I dropped in on Susan Clinard who has a sculpture studio there. (I did a short post on Clinard for last year's CWOS coverage.) Here is Clinard's terra cotta "Open Spaces":
Nancy Eisenfeld, who has recently been working extensively in combining her new interests in found object sculpture with painting and drawing, was showing drawings—yes, just two-dimensional drawings—as her entries in the West Haven AIRS. Eisenfeld told me she was thrilled to be working on them, and her enthusiasm showed in the work. Vigorous, filled with energy, almost as if she's drawing her idea of sculpture as gesture. She is "Speaking a New Language" (ink, charcoal, pencil):In her artist statement in the Artist Directory, Kathryn Sodaitis writes, "I create abstract paintings composed of lines, shapes and dots. Drawn with an imperfect and imprecise hand, these works express systems poised between order and disorder." At the West Haven AIRS, Sodaitis showed an untitled wall installation that straddled the order/disorder divide—a combination of grids and seemingly randonly placed watercolor painting fragments:
Ann Lindbeck's works meshed printmaking and collage. They were architectural, with a sense of depth. There was a deft use in some of watercolor, interpolating the fluid tones with the stronger, dense lines of the etching. Many of these are monoprints. As Lindbeck told me, the monoprints are created from a base plate—for example, an etching—but before it is run through the press, she adds elements that can change the resulting image, whether the variation is color or paper or collage elements.

Grids are something I've been working with a very long time," she told me. "Some of this came out of spending time looking at Japanese architecture." Studying the Japanese architecture, Lindbeck took note of the asymmetries, the use of woven bamboo and the different kinds of woods in making walls.

"I was looking at that and taking it in a different direction once I got into the studio," Lindbeck said. The titles of the owrks relate to parts of a house. The imagery Lindbeck described as "in-between places—not quite inside and not quite outside." This is "Watari 5," a monoprint collage:Of his obsessive, mandala-like ballpoint pen drawings, TPO said, "It's something I've done since high school. It started out with not paying attention in class and doodling in the margins and took off from there."

They have the pulsating energy of Op Art, although TPO said he wasn't familiar with the genre. At any rate, he starts the works off on graph paper, using a straight edge and pencil to work up the design. "After that," he told me, "all the pen is freehand." (When he told another visitor that the thousands of straight lines and circles were drawn freehand, the man just kept repeating, "No, that's impossible.") TPO said the drawings shown in the AIRS comprised a decade's worth of work. "It takes a while."

"I'm an engineer full time," he said. Working on the drawings is a way of clearing his mind, he explained, "but everyone who looks at it, when I say I'm an engineer, say 'that makes sense.'" This kind of digital photograph can't do justice to the detail of his imagery but this is "20,000 and One Lines," so titled because—well, guess:


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