Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gallery 10 Sculpture Invitational

Dec 30-Jan 30 1519 Connecticut Ave. NW

Gallery 10 is hosting a sculpture invitational this month and like any group show, you wonder and look for common themes or a cohesive message which is not always the intent. The artists showing are a very disparate group, and no text is given to explain any of the works so it is up to the viewer to infer the message or intent of the artists.

Some of the standouts in the show for me were Jessica Braiterman, Sam Noto (whom I am acquainted with), Mary McCoy and Elizabeth Crisman. Jessica Braiterman's installation piece Mutation is composed of broken umbrellas and yarn, and she very cleverly uses each broken umbrella to imbue it with anthropomorphic qualities, specifically spiders. I immediately thought of Louise Bougeois and her recent show at the Hirshhorn museum. The umbrellas are set across the walls in the first room, and Braiterman very cleverly and beautifully varies the use of yellow yarn that she wraps around various parts of the umbrella. Each piece is unique but a wonderful part of the whole installation.

Sam Noto's two sculptures, Radio Days and Crisis of Faith, use very different materials: the former painted steel and the latter steel and stone. There is a simple elegance to the two pieces and a wonderful balance in each piece. I know Noto often places his sculptures in gardens, and both his pieces would be wonderful in a natural setting.

Mary McCoy has a beautiful and somewhat haunting piece, Flora and Fauna in the show. The piece is made of wood and bone, and the effect she achieves in placing the bone within the driftwood is quite elegant as the bone seems to flow from the wood. You get the feeling of some ancient human artifact or relic, and yet it feels quite modern as well.

Elizabeth Crisman works with wood and inkjet transparencies to create simple wood boxes that seem to be using dental xrays in a three dimensional layering that is particularly interesting and creates a little world within the box. In her piece Nightmare in my Dreams I too got an uncomfortable feeling when looking at the piece (I am quite squeamish at the Dentist) but really liked her layering of the images and use of materials.

There are many other works in the show and I invite anyone interested in seeing sculptors use a variety of materials to visit the show.

Adah Rose is the Director of The Studio Gallery, located in Dupont Circle.

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