Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

New shows open at Silvermine on Sunday

Silvermine Guild Art Center
1037 Silvermine Rd., New Canaan, (203) 966-9700
Bob Gregson: Full Tilt
Collective Vision
Silvermine, Milestone Graphics and the American Print Renaissance, 1979-1989
Aug. 5—Sept. 16, 2012.
Opening Reception: Sun., Aug. 5, 2—4 p.m.

Press release from Silvermine Arts Center

Summer might be drawing to a close, but the new exhibits opening at the Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT, are in “full tilt.” Opening Aug. 5, the new exhibits at the arts center feature an all guild juried show, an historical exhibit of prints, and the first look at recent works by Robert Gregson. The new exhibits will run through Sept. 16 and all are invited to the opening reception on Sun., Aug. 5, from 2—4 p.m.

Bob Gregson is a bit of a provocateur. His new show of recent works, entitled Full Tilt, begs the question of being off-kilter or askew. The walls of the gallery are filled with plywood constructions—all or parts of which are tilted—which will visually energize the space. While Gregson’s pieces are thoughtfully planned and solidly geometric, he includes panels that can be rotated and mirrors that extend the edge of the picture plane. This is key to the creative tension. He teases the viewer into actively playing with the work by attracting them with color to turn panels or play hide and seek through the holes in his sculpture. Gregson started his career in the 1960s by creating art experiences that involved sound and projections. This evolved into games and events integrated into cities and communities. For the last 15 years he has been refining his work, making wall constructions and models for sculpture projects that challenge the boundaries between artist and viewer.

When talking about his work, Bob states, “I like to engage people in different ways. My work is a conversation between me and the people who experience it. The ambiguous territory between artist and audience sparks a creative energy. To do this the work must exist on several levels at once. It must be an invitation that provides permission to be involved. It must intrigue and provoke. It must be generous. The act of creation is a balancing act between autonomy and connectedness. Like a theater piece that is reinvented each time it is performed, I like the idea that the work is never actually completed but continually reinterpreted and refreshed through those who encounter it."

The new Guild show, Collective Vision, juried by Cynthia Roznoy, Curator at the Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center, Waterbury, CT, incorporates three different themes. The first theme "Double Vision" focuses on the collaboration between pairs of artists. The pieces submitted by the artists function as a diptych (works that join together), as well as functioning as separate works of art. "Symbol and Reality" explores how we use symbols as language to communicate today, acknowledging that from Egyptian hieroglyphs to computer emoticons, we are surrounded by symbols. The third theme, "Impermanent Markings," explores mark making as the chosen means of artistic expression. Perhaps the most basic of artistic acts is drawing. From simple sketching to intensely labored works, drawing takes advantage of a variety of materials, including ink, pencil, charcoal and pastel.

In the ongoing celebration of Silvermine’s 90th anniversary, the historical exhibition Silvermine, Milestone Graphics and the American Print Renaissance, 1979-1989 consists of a selection of prints made by Guild members from Fairfield County during this time period. Prints exhibited by a selection of Guild Artist members, both past and present, include Ann Chernow, Alberta Cifolelli, Margaret McKinnick, Jack O’Hara, Bernard Riley, Barbara Rothenberg, Lucy Sallick and Harvey Weiss. All of these artists are connected through Milestone Graphics, the oldest fine art printmaking workshop in Connecticut, owned by Jim Reed, who at the time had the only local printmaking studio available. Jim Reed, a Guild Artist member, is serving as advisor.

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