Amy Marinelli: ‘here: recent drawings’

Melvile Library Gallery, Stony Brook University, January 30 – February 5, 2007

Here. Where is here? Is here a place? A state of mind? When we go ‘there,’ we always end up ‘here;’ yet always, everywhere, I am here and you are there. So where or what is ‘here’? Marinelli’s drawings ask these questions. As a group, the drawings depict landscapes- fallen trees, groups of twigs, meandering streams and heavy rounded boulders- though exactly where these landscapes exist is left to the viewer’s imagination. While suggesting places or landscapes, the drawings also show situations, bodies and memories. Continue reading “Amy Marinelli: ‘here: recent drawings’”

Athena LaTocha: ‘Sturm und Drang’

Melvile Library Gallery, Stony Brook University, November 3-11, 2006

‘Sturm und Drang’ (Storm and Stress), for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, was a cultural movement in the late eighteenth century, built around the desire for freedom of expression and the primacy of instinct and impulse. Members of the group, including Goethe and Lavater, were hostile to rules and reason, and contemptuous of cultural norms, polite manners and social refinements. The movement stressed the importance of inspiration, inner vision and unconscious drives. Given this limited understanding of the movement, LaTocha’s style and intent become clearer. A sense of storm and stress pervades these works. From the extreme variance in scale (some as small as 2 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches, others as large as 12 by 8 feet), to the seemingly violent manipulation of surface and materials, viewers find echoes of Sturm und Drang. Continue reading “Athena LaTocha: ‘Sturm und Drang’”

Alan Goodrich: i’m not scared

Melvile Library Gallery, Stony Brook University, October 31 – November 11, 2007

“I’m not scared” the constant refrain of countless Halloween revelers as they travel from horror film to haunted house to trick-or-treating in local neighborhoods made spooky with cotton cobwebs, inflatable ghosts and goblins, and plastic witches and headless horsemen with burning red eyes. Alan Goodrich presents paintings, drawings, video, and photographs thematically linked by Halloween hijinks, real and fictionalized fright and violence, and the catharsis provided by experiences with the grotesque. Though elements of the work may provide nausea or puzzlement through shaky camera and brushwork or delicate and childlike pen- and draftsmanship, the works will not frighten viewers. Instead, the works in “I’m not scared” serve to interrogate the institution and economy of the fright industry, refuting the possibilities and politics of fear, and pointing towards processes of jading and disillusionment as we move into adulthood. Continue reading “Alan Goodrich: i’m not scared”

Karsten Grumstrup: people make tings here

Melvile Library Gallery, Stony Brook University, October 18-31, 2006

Must art tell a story? Must there be a clear narrative in a work of art? K. Grumstrup’s exhibition, ‘people make tings here’ seems to answer these questions with a resounding ‘no’. Each of the works appears to be capable of telling a story, yet none of the works have a clear narrative. We must decide for ourselves how to read the pieces, and how to determine their meaning, if any such meaning exists. After viewing this exhibition for the first time, I found myself wanting more, as if I expected the work to give me an experience or tell me a story. This is not to say that Grumstrup’s exhibition did not provoke thought or encourage viewers to linger in front of the works; it’s only that he refuses to tell us what to think or how to look. Continue reading “Karsten Grumstrup: people make tings here”

Alton Falcone: “Corrosion: recent sculptures”

Melvile Library Gallery, Stony Brook University, September 21 – October 1, 2006

‘Corrosion’ is a great title for this show of recent sculpture by Alton Falcone. Filling the gallery are a dozen sculptures of various sizes, some rest on the floor, or on a pedestal or shelf, and others hang from the wall or ceiling. The pieces are rusted, corroded, and many appear to be decaying where they sit. However, appearances can be deceiving. Upon close examination, Falcone’s pieces are sturdy, able to withstand a great deal of time and exposure to the elements. Some works are suitable for outdoor presentation, while others are destined to remain indoors. In the case of the outdoor works, one wonders what the pieces would look like standing in a yard, bathed in sunlight, overgrown with moss, or covered with dew. In embracing rust as a medium, Falcone finds brilliant color and sensuous form: we want to touch, to feel the rough embrace, the crystalline growth of rust on time-ravaged metal. Unfortunately, many of the works have protruding nails and sharp edges that make us reconsider our tactile desires and force us to keep a safe distance. Continue reading “Alton Falcone: “Corrosion: recent sculptures””

Takafumi Ide: ‘Propagate’

Melvile Library Gallery, Stony Brook University, September 10 – 18, 2006

The gallery is completely dark. At first, the experience is purely auditory: an ambient chord progression, a fetal heart beat, and faint, scattered voices speaking intermittently in various languages. As eyes slowly adjust, we begin to discern the composition of the space. There are sixteen framed images, photographs mounted on transparency film, suspended from the ceiling and arranged in a ‘seventeen-gon’ construction, with one door-like opening allowing entry to the installation’s center. Above each image, a small white light pulses along with the sound elements, below hangs a slightly burnt canvas onto which the images are projected as the bulbs light up from above. We realize that the various sounds emanate from small speakers mounted underneath the burned canvases, bouncing off the floor and creating a rich aural environment that fills the gallery space. After several minutes spent exploring the exterior of the installation and adjusting to the almost complete darkness, we find the entryway and move into the circular, womb-like space. Continue reading “Takafumi Ide: ‘Propagate’”

The Mario Veda

The Mario Veda, a series of works executed between March of 2004 and May of 2006,  illustrates what I believe to be an evolution in my intellectual and emotional development, and may represent some of the self knowledge I gained  while living in Springfield, Illinois. Initially a reference to a set of characters from video games on the Nintendo platform, the characters quickly evolved, becoming stand-ins for particular situations and experiences. I’ll leave the particulars to your imagination.