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Two new shows open up riveting new perspectives
As winter slides into spring, provocative new art shows stimulate imaginations with explorations of the frontiers of fine arts media. Brian Rasmussen presents an elegant show of sculptures and drawings at Graffiti Gallery on the Northshore, and Devon Kronenberg will open an army of stunning images at Comfort Skate Shop’s gallery space.
Rasmussen has titled his show “Lantana”, in which sculptures and drawings of decidedly industrial character paradoxically take on organic names. The links suggested by these works between the natural and the industrial primarily involve geometry and dynamism.
Since it’s been shown that logic derives from language, a reasonably parallel extension finds geometry abstracted from nature. For example, certain efficient shears resemble parrot beaks. Also, although some degree of motion may be attributed to all matter, both the natural and the industrial spheres are characterized by motion.
Traditionally, painting and sculpture are viewed as static media, but innovative artists have sought means to imbue their works with motion in order to invoke the sense of dynamism of real time. Rasmussen’s mad suspensions possess dynamic qualities in both two- and three-dimensional formats. One piece, titled “Prometheus Bound” features an iron semi-sphere and springs mounted to the wall under extreme tension.
We have seen dynamic sculptures here in Albert Paley’s “Moment” (West Main and Broad Street) and in certain of Isaac Duncan’s chrome steel works, but Rasmussen has not only committed to dynamic forms, he has enhanced their presentation with a nuanced use of color.
His standing work sits on steel bases, and four sculptures named for butterflies are upright, rectilinear forms that have been “split” with the segments apparently sliding apart. The different “Faces” of these forms may share a color or their colors may differ. For example, “Bridge Walker” has a turquoise color, but a red metallic face seems to change color with different angles of view.
Interestingly, Rasmussen has two sculptures named for important writers: “Cohen” and “Beckett.” These nuanced works suggest ways in which different kinds of art may inspire new art works.
Rasmussen’s drawings have a unique look. Mounted on Masonite and faced by Plexiglas, they take on the suggestion of display cases. These drawings are named for butterflies, and they possess a geometric, abstract character. Each has a central band, sometimes geometric colored, sometimes not. The sides of these drawings tend to be dark-toned abstractions with a paradoxically “airy” quality to them. It’s not that they resemble “dark clouds”—they don’t, but their textured darker and lighter spaces do suggest movement, as if they have been somehow caught for display, and they cannot be touched.
Rasmussen believes in the elegance of art. He aims “to show something as simply as possible.” Still, viewers will discover that deep perspectives emerge from his elegant presentations. Be inspired!
Devon Kronenberg will open his show “The Shadow, The Window, The Frame—Part 1” on Feb. 28 in the gallery space below The Comfort Skate Shop at Main and Market Streets. Kronenberg’s preferred art media include print, photography and collage. He is also deeply into music, and he plays as a DJ under the name “Deep South House Technician.”
Though Kronenberg has shown, and he continues to produce spectacular paintings, which may appear at this show, he has more lately developed a process of work that combines paint, photos, and collage into an utterly new presentation. These projects encase perspective itself, a new kind of vision.
Kronenberg explains that the “work suggests an expansion beyond the frame,” whether the subject may represent a kind of “zoom in” or a “system” that potentially expands beyond the frame. His show will feature collages and combinations of paint and collage into rhythmically visual effects.
One of the most significant art essays of the 20th century remains Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in which Benjamin explains how two simple facts—one being that photography can reproduce art works and the other being the juxtaposition of the images into montage—especially the art of film—produce cultural changes of widespread significance.
Kronenberg seeks to evolve painting itself, sometimes by unique approaches to painting techniques, but more specifically with respect to this upcoming show, by using collage to “paint” with images. So, for Kronenberg, the “infinite reprocibility” of the image, implied by Benjamin, transforms into collage effects. The elements of those collages “are sometimes the same, sometimes different.”
Consequently, the viewer “may be engaged by the wealth of variations inherent in these ‘collage’ presentations—some are rhythmic, some more complex.” They also provide “a sense of the digital.”
Kronenberg sees “composition arising from a process in which the system of this process creates a work that is different from ‘expectation’.” He finds, “this work has a transformative quality though these works are based on reposition.”
Perception is key to all artworks, but for Kronenberg aesthetic play involves perspective. He says, “perception is complex. A functional, paradoxical [method] removes ‘practicality’ from vision, but leaving the practical subject to promote really seeing something.” In other words, “the absence of perspective created in the context where there ought to be perspective has the effect of multiplying perspective.”
No doubt: We can expect breakout work at his show!
"Lantana" The Sculpture & Drawings of Bryan Rasmussen
Tue-Sat: 11 am - 6 pm, Sun: 12 pm-3 pm
505 Cherokee Boulevard
(423) 400-9797 hillcityart.com
"The Shadow, The Window, The Frame part 1" Devon Kronenberg
Mon-Sat: 12 pm-7 pm
Sun: 1 pm -6 pm
Below Comfort Skateshop,
1467 Market Street
(423) 305-0492 facebook.com/ComfortSkateshop