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Art review: 'The Unexplored'

A chance to investigate “The Unexplored” terrain of the imaginations and choice of media of six “emerging artists” is being offered at MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery
Oklahoman Modified: December 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm •  Published: December 21, 2012
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A chance to investigate “The Unexplored” terrain of the imaginations and choice of media of six “emerging artists” is being offered at MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery, 122 E Main, in Norman.

Showing work through Jan. 19 at the Norman Arts Council's gallery, with a reception planned from 6 to 10 p.m. Jan. 11, are Krystle Brewer, Tim Kowalczyk, Cindy Coleman, Amy Coldren, Christie Owen and Zach Burns.

A graduate student at Oklahoma State University, Brewer uses the expressive “body language” of white, ceramic, anonymous figures, most confined within black wooden wall boxes, in her thought-provoking work.

Contorted, open-mouthed figures, seemed to have succumbed to claustrophobia, unable to open their boxes as the viewer can, in Brewer's “Untitled (Box II), hung on the wall, and her “Untitled (Woman I),” displayed on the floor.

The very lack of a closed door makes the gesture of another wide-open mouthed figure, “Pushing Against Nothing,” seem even more ironic, in one of four more, black wall boxes by Brewer.

Brewer's small “figure with an outstretched arm” doesn't need either an open or closed box to make his or her gesture seem futile, while figures in a glass-enclosed collector's case, divided into nine compartments, seemed trapped by the rituals of “Apartment Life.”

A ceramics instructor at Illinois Community College, Kowalczyk said that he explores “the poetic possibilities of fabricated objects” that are “familiar, antiquated, and overlooked.”

Described as “Domestic Astronomy” by Kowalczyk are arrangements of what appear to be real, but are actually stoneware nails, protruding from a wall, and an assortment of old frames in a corner, that look wooden, but are ceramic.

Even more impressive in its “fool-the-eye” qualities is a Kowalczyk installation in which a bad carpenter seems to have stopped “In the Midst” of making frames on a small table that looks wooden, but isn't, leaving pseudo-sawdust and pieces of them on the floor.

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