Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nice Review Of The Abington Show

Just found out that the show at Abington was reviewed by Victoria Donohoe for the Inquirer.
Here's the link to the article in, and the review follows.

Adventurous work from four soloists at Abington Art Center

May 27, 2011|By Victoria Donohoe, For The Inquirer

The increasing authority its curated "Solo Series" exhibitions of regional art have won for the Abington Art Center is reflected in their progressively more adventurous character.

Abington's current show by four soloists is an excellent example. It doesn't genuflect before tradition, yet in several instances takes as much notice of life as of art. And like its predecessors, it has a good long run of 2 1/2 months, a rarity for contemporary work in our region.

Front and center is Jedediah Morfit, who impresses because he possesses a genuine vision. He shrewdly downplays art as a vehicle for artistic self-expression, preferring to develop, in thought-provoking ways, panoramic scenes of fragmentation - of human figures, animals, and objects - portrayed in white sculptured ceramic reliefs, with achingly exact technique. Mundane aspects of everyday life mix with humor, fantasy, and the surreal. Shopping carts at the supermarket are pushed by an old woman, a gorilla, and a pig, amid mayhem.

In a less vociferous sculpture, Morfit more broadly patterns the image in a direct way, without losing the mood to decorative detail.

Significantly, in addressing directly some of the effects of our shopping-mall culture, Morfit manages to render the topical into the timeless, something very few socially aware artists are doing today. Somehow formats like his remind me of Dante's passage from Purgatory into Paradise, even though it's our 21st-century world that's being portrayed.

Another soloist, Thomas Vance, reanimates abstraction with his richly colorful, geometrically abstract paintings. Their inclusion of wood grain, tree forms, and architect's blueprints suggests a balance between nature and the built environment in paintings nuanced and easy on the eyes.

EJ Herczyk pulls out all the stops with two sets of multi-paneled works combining pixel-based and hand-painted imagery - "landscapes of data" that have a commanding presence. Viewing these glistening wall-size works - one 15-piece set dark and the other less so - we gradually realize that their true subject is the rigorous yet informal balance Herczyk creates with his big, broad paintbrush, even as it meets a certain amount of initial resistance from the pixels.

Eva Mantell, perturbed that people continue to be reckless about what they discard, presents a kind of modest tribute to used paper coffee cups. She associates each cup with the individual who held it, then put it to his or her lips. Individuality is stressed, as Mantell imaginatively recycled a trove of such cups to make her point. Take a look.

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