Saturday, February 7, 2009

February 7, 2009, Saturday Round Up

Out and About:

Went to the Memorial Art Gallery on Thursday with my Encounter with the Arts class and saw two new exhibits: "Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite" and Self-taught artist Gregory Van Maanen's "The Happy Survivor."

I enjoyed "Leaded" for its many ways of looking at the act of mark-making. The history of graphite and how it creates different textures with repetitive marks. There were 16 contemporary artists in this show. Leaded is an exhibit of the use of material and dimension. Some work was very ethereal; others were layer upon layer of graphite which made the paper warp and dimple like the surface of coal.

Gregory Van Maanen's show "The Happy Survivor" was powerful and haunting. He is a Vietnam Vet who has created spirit guides to help him heal from the sights of war. His paintings and sculpture have "mask" faces, many eyes, some he calls "blood" eyes, bright mouths with sharp teeth and bitten tongues exposed. You can see some of these images as "rebirth." The mask eyes are staring out of skeleton heads, staring straight ahead, unblinking. Thought the exhibit room was like an altar or Day of the Dead exhibit.

Our docent said something interesting about him. He paints every day for 6-8 hours, and uses every bit of paint up. Not a drop wasted. When the paint is gone, He's done for the day.


Last night, Peter and I went to an art opening at The Renaissance Art Gallery. My colleague Elizabeth King Durand's series of vibrant prints "Re-presenting Landscapes" was the show's
featured artist. I love how she uses color and "movement" in her landscapes. Some images are
clearly defined and others ride on the swept of color, creating the landscape. You can feel the weather. Freedom to dream.


Working on a new lyrical essay and looking over recent poems, I see that I'm wrestling with the conditional. Not sure if that's where I want to be, but that's where I am, at this moment.
Time for another cup of coffee.

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