1999 Juried Exhibit

to benefit The Jamaica Plain Artists Association


Selected Artists:

Kimberly Becker, Erin O'Brien, Frank Campagna, Juliann Cydylo, Audry Goldstein, John Guthrie, Sue Kriofsky, Paul Meneses


August 25 - September 11

Opening Reception: Friday, August 27 @ 8pm

The 1999 Juried Exhibition at the Gallery @ Green Street continues to illustrate the gallery's focus on the expanding range of media and stylistic approaches found in contemporary art today. In contrast to the last exhibit "Retinal Fetish" that referenced the dizzying optical effects of mostly non-representational painting this exhibit investigates formal techniques and media used in representational works and expands from painting to include sculpture and printmaking. The exhibit, curated by Megan Goltermann, features work selected from a pool of almost fifty applicants from our immediate community (all are members of the Jamaica Plain Artists Association ) who innovate and redefine figuration and representation. The curator intentionally places work by well established artists along side that of recent college graduates to create a forum for the interaction of processes and ideas.

Erin O'Brien's paintings combine legs and hands with purely linear elements and closely valued "sherbet" hues to create an intricate circus of awkward events. The color relationships become compositional elements, bringing areas forward and blurring boundaries between areas that are otherwise clearly separate. In O'Brien's sculptural wall installation, linear becomes three dimensional, challenging the flat plane of the white gallery wall by inserting into it and using shadows as effectively as the wire "lines" that cast them.

Juliann Cydylo focuses on the rhythmic nature of writing, sewing and drawing with the intent of illuminating the restorative quality of each activity. Like O'Brien, Cydylo's line work, often painted on glass floating in front of a sewing pattern, cast shadows that mingle with the writing or drawing behind them. The forms of corsets, dresses and swimsuits are also simplified and repeated in paint on paper to create lyrical animated groups of similar forms that take on a life of their own.

Distanced and aloof, the anthropomorphic characters of Frank Campagna's paintings partake in various domestic activities.They dwell on the familiar and the mundane. As allegories to social discontent, they reiterate unwillingness and longing with a distracted gaze and subtle humor. To different ends Campagna, like O'Brien, uses fields of unarticulated color to create a stillness and mood which are unsettling.

Balancing American period imagery of the 1950's and vivid expressionistic backgrounds or foregrounds, John Guthrie's paintings examine the transitions young men make from boyhood to manhood. Through often diagrammatic, linear imagery borrowed from various manuals of the period, he reflects upon the awkward dynamics surrounding sports and other male bonding activities and calls into question traditionally acceptable male camaraderie.

In the most geometric work in the exhibit, Sue Kriofsky also alludes to questions of order and camaraderie through the use of "spliced" imagery. Rows of soldiers, as a preexisting order, are reordered and translated into resin and plexi coated planes that deceive perception. Through systematic manipulation of boundaries, the ordered male imagery becomes blurred, as does the distinction between convex and concave, near and far.

Contrasting Kriofsky's geometric ordering are the immediate expressionistic prints of Kimberly Becker. Relaying a raw honesty, her scrawling text and coarse imagery reveal the truth-to-self consciousness of the subjective artist. Becker updates classical techniques of intaglio, drypoint and collage by transforming them into a fresh, direct language of simplified forms and line drawings.

Resembling pillows in the process of metamorphosis, Audrey Goldstein's Countercambiates #14 battle with and defy both gravity and the dark consuming weight of cement, with airy puffs of cotton. These animated, truncated forms hover in precarious silence, twisting what is personal and familiar inside out in a visceral combination of what would otherwise be ordinary materials.

Paul Meneses also uses traditional materials to create unconventional, evocative sculptures. But his perfectly forged copper vessels imply a strange, almost scientific function that is contradicted by the rich surface patinas that color them. Using his study of alchemy and alchemical apparatus as a point of departure these finely crafted works become symbols for the artists own spiritual progression, testaments to a process that turns a material of little worth into an object of great value.


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