Tag Archives: Toys

Wonderland

Wonderland-corset-installation-Kirsten Lund
Installation by Kirsten Lund

Wonderland, a frisky selection of imaginative objects and inventive pictures by six of the region’s more talented art players, is on view now through December 2, 2017,  at the Walter E. Terhune Gallery in Perrysburg, Ohio.  The show’s curator is Brian Carpenter of Contemporary Art Toledo.  Wonderland is a kind of artist-created play space for adults who appreciate paradox, irony, humor and originality. Each artist  is a skilled practitioner  of his/her self-invented game and we are invited to play along.

Wonderland-Avatar-SRS
Avatar/Game Piece by Sarah Rose Sharp

The terms of engagement are established as we enter the gallery. A set of six small game pieces rests on a pedestal, each invented by one of Wonderland’s artists, for a game as yet to be invented. These diminutive avatars range from an intricately carved figure on horseback to a desultory lump of styrofoam.  Though there are, as yet, no rules, no board, no start and no finish, some serious play is clearly  about to commence.

Heather Accurso describes herself as “dedicated to the visual language of drawing,” and her draftsmanship is indeed a strong suit, but she has added assemblage to the mix. Handmade miniatures in  shadowbox settings now enrich and enlarge her drawn and recurring themes.

Wonderland-Accurso-Paramedic
Paramedic by Heather Accurso

In Paramedic, we find a dense composition that combines a narrative of catastrophe with angelic presence. Her masterfully drawn cherub provides the central image in a tiny diorama of disaster. Closer inspection reveals more depth and breadth, as the signs of injury and of medical intervention create a disturbing but intriguing hallucinatory tale of death and ascension.

Adrian Hatfield is an accomplished collagist, cutting and pasting his way to idiosyncratic personal meanings that are more than the sum of their parts. In the diptych Adaptive Radiation and The Morning After  he  samples and recombines images from art historical sources into baroque scenarios  that may suggest the lush before and melancholy after of a one-night stand, or an idyllic Edenic state followed by  imagery of environmental spoilage and degradation.

Andrew Kreiger’s small, meticulously constructed and toy-like artworks–or art-like toy works?– draw upon his skills as a maker, as well as his considerable talents as a painter. His opening box construction Van Dyke, Detroit, Facing North/South/East treats us to a miniature panorama of  Detroit’s lost pastoral history.

Wonderland-Kreigler-VanDyke-Detroit-Facing-N-S-E
Van Dyke, Detroit, Facing North/South/East by Andrew Kreiger

In Momento Mori #1, Sarah Rose Sharp takes us on a virtual walk through the woods, where we discover a blanket upon which a skeleton rests, partly obscured by leaves and  by intimations of surrounding trees.  The effect is both macabre and lyrical.

Michael McGillis’s contribution to Wonderland is a single, improbably cut-up and re-assembled combination easy chair and  chintz-patterned bulldozer. Phantom Limb is a comic yet poignant  stand-in for an amputee, gamely holding itself upright in spite of the insult to its structural integrity.

The most mysterious and intriguing contribution to Wonderland is an installation, by Kirsten Lund, of fabric constructs which defy categorization. Lund’s process uses salvaged fabrics and each piece is limited to one individual pattern shape that is then combined and recombined into a range of symmetrical configurations.  They pleat, loop, drape, sag and lope across the wall, fantasy costume pieces for an obscure period drama.  They clearly reference the human body, but what body–or body part–they relate to remains a mystery.

The artists in Wonderland present us with work that is both serious and playful.  It can be thoughtful or silly, but never descends into whimsy.  The self-invented games they play are limited only by the structured creative process of each artist. For more information about the Walter E. Terhune Gallery go here.

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