Six Degrees of Separation
Relational Art from an Art Dining Salon
Esthéthique Relationnelle 1998
“A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.”
SIX “makers” from an Art based Dining Club founded in 2011 come together to project a Relational Art exhibition/experience between diverse individual aesthetics of Art production.
Curator Kristen Struebing-Beazley has envisaged “intersubjective encounters where meaning is elaborated collectively through the social context of a dinner conversation”.
Ceramic sculpture, perforated light works, wall riffs, body masks and “murmurations” on stamped surfaces project the diverse personal aesthetics of our makers, who range from internationally active artists to women with outstanding professional careers who have until now sheltered their private art production.
The common denominator of raising a glass and eating well in a contemporary art salon with other colleagues who collect and sell art propels the exhibition SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION into the realm of Relational Art as theorized by French Art critic Nicolas Bourriaud in the 1990s.
These works will be on exhibit until December 16, 2016.
This exhibition featured the work of Alan Colby.
Fourteen bronze sculptures of President Obama depict the trials and tribulations of the Obama era. Alan Colby employs historical symbolism, popular cultural references, idolatry and the magical powers of an object. Also on display in the “2016” exhibition was a selection of the “100 Heads” project completed in plein air twenty five years ago; which consists of painted portraits of residents of the South end, each one 48″ x 60″ and shown to wide acclaim at the Cyclorama in 1993. “A must see”, wrote Boston Globe critic, Christine Temin. The next big cycle of portraits was carved in limestone, “200 Heads from the Dorchester House”, an eight year project sponsored by a Visible Republic Grant and a Massachusetts Cultural fellowship for sculpture. It spotlights recent immigrants and urban poor of Boston, listening to their stories; absorbing and being absorbed. This series was exhibited, in part. at Saint Gaudens Museum in N.H. and at the Nielsen Gallery in Boston.
This exhibition featured the work of Caroline Fischer Siegfried.
Caroline stated her approach to these works as follows:
“I’ve used portraiture to solidify the passing states of my own life; thoughts, feelings, experience. Often the process of working out a visual image inspired by personal struggle helps bring me peace amidst difficulty. This occurs in two parts; it allows me to become a witness to my own experience as well as recreate it on my own terms. What I am left with is a painted history of my own life as I’ve known it so far.”
This exhibition featured the work of J. Rebecca Trueblood.
Ms. Trueblood explains her inspiration for these works as follows:
“These pieces are the continuation of a series begun over 10 years ago, when I was obliged to ride the MBTA Orange Line on a regular basis. Waiting, bored, I studied the metal grid on the wall (which is at most stations), and began to think about this plane above a plane, and whether I could make them drift with color. Each painting is a fresh experiment.”
Frances enjoys experimenting in a variety of media. Her monotype collages are inspired by vintage toy catalogues and childhood memories of always wishing for MORE TOYS. Dolls are imaginary characters made with self- taught construction techniques
Peter is an experienced master of furniture design and construction. He has collected random wooden toy and game parts and sometimes organizes them according to color. He also assembles them into functional and dimensional objects.
These works will be on exhibit until October 30, 2015.
This exhibition featured the work of photographer Karen Jerzyk.
Karen is a self-taught, internationally-published author from the greater Boston area. After graduating with a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, she commenced photographing live bands. In 2009, she started shooting portraits of people, which ultimately led to her focus on photographing models.
Karen is known for her trademark style of shooting elaboratley-constructed scenes in old, abandoned buildings. A self-described introvert, Karen prefers to free her emotions and tell her stories visually, rather than verbally.
Infusion Furniture’s work is rooted in traditional woodworking and furniture making techniques, with modern methods and tools applied as needed. The pieces are built one at a time, or in small batches, at their Boston area workshop. On exhibit were modern, minimalist pieces with natural wood tones contracted with bright color details. .
Complimenting the beautiful furniture were the works of Jesús Matheus. Matheus is a Venezuelan-Born painter living in Boston. His works can be defined as abstract representations, an independent abstraction, where geometry occupies a central place to construct abstractions of a more complex reality.
This three-person exhibition highlighted the work of Nina Earley, Stacey Piwinski and Brian Wilson. These three artists allow their artistic processes to be guided by memories and, each in their own way, depict people, places and things that trigger the return of these memories, transforming thoughts into forms of artistic expression.
Nina Earley combines alternative photographic processes and textiles, Stacey Piwinski uses unconventional hand-woven fabrics and painting, and Brian Wilson incorporates photography and sculpture creating a rich mix of material, process, and textures into one memorable exhibition.
The shape and size of the first diptych determined the rest in this series in its reference to a tall yellow notepad with ruled lines. Lines of image sequences are the primary structural element. The process usually involves working from the top of the painting downward, then back and forth between the two panels with very little editing, resulting in a cumulative set of decisions. Each painting can take three months or more to complete. Michelle’s interest is in building a theme by elaborating on a subject through pattern and repetition; for example in the painting, Matisse Rooms, she began with a collection of black and white thumbnail photos from the bibliography section of a book on Matisse. The photos consisted of collectors’ rooms and gallery spaces displaying Matisses’s work in the 1920’s and 30’s. From this handful of images that looked categorical and austere she wanted to create something that expressed intrigue, rhythm and musicality.
There is a tension in these paintings between maintaining a tonality, color scheme and personality to each painting while building the more incremental, linear narrative juxtapositions. They also move freely across time, placing images from the past in the vicinity of those in the present and allowing for metaphorical and allegorical instances to blossom.
Loutrel constructs concise, evocative objects. By using lines that diverge slightly from true, or angles that are just off of right, she creates tense arrangements of irregular shapes and misleading depth cues, making it difﬁcult for viewers to resolve the forms into dimensional space. The pieces are unadorned and precise, but not without evidence of the artist’s hand.
The exhibition centered around the H Di. series. Supported by a grant from the Artists’ Resource Trust, the series consists of eight geometric, black and white wall-mounted constructions. They are each approximately 60″ x 12″ x 5″d and made from painted wood. Additionally, there are works on paper, smaller multimedia pieces, and models for the wall mounted sculptures.
Lara Loutrel holds a BFA in Printmaking from the Massachusetts College of Art. Her solo shows include exhibitions at the South End Branch Library (Boston) and the Sheetz Gallery (Penn State Altoona). Her works have appeared in numerous group shows, among them The Boston Printmakers Selects: A Distillation from the 2013 North American Print Biennial (California), New Art Center (Newton), Khaki Gallery (Boston), Carroll and Sons (Boston), MPG Contemporary (Boston), La Galería at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts (Boston), Mills Gallery (Boston), Printmaking Biennial of Douro (Portugal), Nachtundnebel 08 (Berlin), Gallery Aferro (New Jersey), Foundry Art Centre (Missouri), Hunterdon Museum of Art (New Jersey), Axis Gallery (California), and many others across the United States.
Loutrel was awarded an artist residency at the Bridge Guard (Slovakia), an Artist’s Resource Trust Grant (Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation), a Johnson & Johnson Purchase Prize (Hunterdon Museum of Art, New Jersey), a Gallery Award at MPG Contemporary (Boston), a Group 4 Award (Foundry Art Centre, Missouri), and a Juror’s Selection Honorable Mention in Printmaking (30th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Illinois). Her work is included in the Boston Public Library’s print collection.
reflection featured the work of Jean Nicolazzo and Jon Laustsen. Jean Nicolazzo’s paintings emphasize a focused, immersive attention toward stillness and how it can be captured in the fleeting moments of nature. Her subject matter – often water – becomes both a formal and abstract consideration as she marks in time the varying, layering and dissolving strokes of color continually in flux that simultaneously remain. Jon Laustsen’s work is of a long-term project built up primarily from scaled-down building materials, such as 2×4 lumber, cast concrete foundations and drywall. For this exhibition he is shifting both in scale and toward the interior to engage in both an appreciation and critique of art-worldliness, work trace-lines and home-fullness. While composing certain rhythms of shift-making in perspective and time, he’s interested in merging what seem contradictions into a fricative, off-balanced, and potentially transcendent whole.
Time Pieces featured the work of Quebec native Danielle Sauvé and Venezuelan-born Jesús Matheus. The sculptures presented by Sauvé in this exhibit manifest the material artifacts that result from, and represent, human behavior. Employed as fabric, clay is molded (or folded) by invisible hands in repetitive procedures. When this process is halted, midstream, an entirely new territory is opened up for speculation and revelation. The paintings by Matheus feature fresh and surprising uses of color applied to his experienced use of line and composition, resulting in a deep and sensitive geometry.
Richard Bertman is a registered architect and sculptor who has worked in the medium of welded steel and carved wood for 45 years. Through his sculptures, he explores the concept of change and how perspective is affected by change. Bertman frequently uses motors to create movement in his pieces, and even when the pieces are stationary, they express an implied movement. Humor and satire are hallmarks of his work.
The mission of the gallery @ ArtBlock is to provide high quality exhibitions of art and craft to the general public in order to contribute to the cultural vitality of the SOWA district and the City of Boston in general. With the exception of occasional special exhibits which may feature artists from other communities/geographic areas, preference shall be given to Boston-resident, BRA-certified artists.
In addition to hosting exhibits of art and craft, the gallery @ ArtBlock is available for rent for private events and gatherings.