May 14, 2012
Gallery Hopping: May 2012
Where to guide your aesthetic eye this month
By Nancy Staab
May brings ultra-reflective mirrored paintings, x-ray photos of blooms, sculpture that addresses urban sprawl and place-making, luminous depictions of interiors, and more.
Jimmy O’Neal at Lowe Gallery
We’re mesmerized by these amazing, mirrored paintings by SCAD grad artist and North Carolina native Jimmy O’Neal. They look as if they are painted on mirror but, in fact, it’s the paint itself that is mirrored. O’Neal invented the paint recipe and technique when he was unable to find it in any art stores. And while his large, swirly paintings look like gorgeous abstracts, many of his works are inspired by cultural myths, metaphysics or hard-core science like brain waves measured by an electroencephalogram or sound waves translated into visual works via machinery that O’Neal invented. Something of a polymath, this young, hip artist has lived in a geodesic dome, entered a national competition to create a solar-assisted car and even floated a large-scale mirrored painting down an equally reflective river in order to film the effects. In other words, this is not your ordinary artist. However, you can also just dismiss the brainy side of his execution and just dwell on O’Neal’s, shimmering, entangled surfaces that represent beauty in complexity
The group show, entitled Paradisio, includes three other artists who also explore multi-dimensional awareness, through June 1, lowegallery.com. Also of note: atmospheric paintings (like Georgia O’Keefes abstracted) by artist Bassmi Ibrahim.
Bryan Whitney at Hagedorn Foundation Gallery
Just in time for May, Hagedorn Foundation Gallery launches a flora-filled show of photography from two cutting-edge artists, Margriet Smulders and Bryan Whitney. Dutch photographer Smulders draws upon Amsterdam’s Golden Age of floral still lifes for her dense, lush, “cinematic” bouquets. But it is Whitney’s works that prove most striking. New York-based Whitney takes a scientific but still poetic approach to blooms by subjecting their fragile beauty to x-rays. The resulting x-ray and stereoscopic images of tulips, roses and cherry blossoms are ghostly, ethereal and transcendent. The photos reference both nature and art, beauty and decay.
Botanicals Mirabilis runs May 17-July 3, with an artist reception May 17 from 6-8:30PM, www.hfgallery.org
Gregor Turk at MOCA-GA
Renowned Atlanta artist Gregor Turk is know for his public installations, ceramic sculptures, photography and mixed-media constructions that reference mapping, geology, mark-making and urban terrain. His new solo exhibit as a Working Artist Project winner at the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia (MOCA-GA) is no exception. Think: muscular, sculptural pieces of wood wrapped with rubber in X-marks–the-spot and obelisk shapes. There is also a poignant personal or human note to these explorations. In the artist’s own words, his latest works address “the shifting, contradicting and sometimes absurd sentiment of centeredness.” Several piece even focus on Atlanta’s own center points and the city’s spaghetti-like interstate interchanges--rendering even urban sprawl into something artistic!
“Gregor Turk: Terminal Velocity” is on show through July 14 at MOCA-GA with a special Artist Talk at 6:30 PM June 5, www.mocaga.org
Jean Arcelin at Besharat Gallery
Parisian painter Jean Arcelin enjoys a solo show at Besharat Gallery, featuring nearly 50 of his atmospheric paintings. Arcelin references 17th and 18th-century paintings as inspirations for his work and it shows in his refined pieces that master the feel of ambient light and space. There is also a painterly, gestural feel to his work, which hovers between the realistic and more abstract. His luminous depictions of interiors or landscapes absent of people are so charged that you can sense the personalities that inhabit the rooms or spaces, though they are absent. The seascapes summon up the emotive works of J. M Turner, while the interiors and an Italianate fountain scream John Singer Sargent.
You can view Jean Arcelin’s works through June 2 at Besharat Gallery by appointment only, 404.524.4781 or www.besharatgallery.com
Heidi Lender at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery
Fashion journalist and photo-stylist-turned-photographer Heidi Lender is the focus of a solo show at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery this month. Her wry, magazine-worthy images, which feature the artist as model, examine notions of feminine identity and the various roles women play, as well as how dress and surroundings betray personality. The somewhat autobiographical exhibit entitled “Self Time[d]” includes work from three of Lender’s series: “Once Upon,” “Green Dress,” and “She Can Leap Tall Buildings.”
From girlish and sly to sexy, see Lender’s works May 18-June 30 with an opening reception May 18th from 6-9PM at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, www.jenniferschwartzgallery.com Jennifer is also hosting one of her famed ArtFeast events May 17 at 7Pm featuring a 4-course dinner by Asha Gomez of Cardamon Hill and wine from Perrine's Wine Shop, surrounded by new works by photographer Heidi Lender and athe artist as guest of honor. Tickets are $65 per person and space is limited to ten guests. Contact email@example.com for tickets.
Bernd Haussmann at Emily Amy Gallery
A solo show of German-born and Massachusetts-based painter Bernd Haussmann launches at Emily Amy’s Westside gallery May 18. Entitled “Darwin’s Coral,” the show includes new works by the artist in a variety of media that reference the concept of evolution and the natural world. Haussmann’s latest works may appear purely abstract on the surface, but upon closer inspection they do bear traces of nature--whether the lacy pattern of fan coral, a riverbed or tree roots. Haussmann’s paintings have been featured in numerous public collections and exhibitions and this is his first solo show at Emily Amy.
See these dense, lovely and layered pieces for yourself May 18 - July 7, with an opening reception May 18 from 7-10PM, at Emily Amy Gallery, www.emilyamygallery.com