Friday, June 30, 2017

Special Section: Depth Perception at Cape Cod Museum

Friday, June 30, 2017

An almost 360-degree panorama showing 22 artworks by 19 artists
Photos: Joanne Mattera

Depth Perception marks the second time that an exhibition of Conference participants took place at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.  At Conference 7 in 2013 the museum’s exhibition director, Michael Giaquinto, selected work for an exhibition we called Swept Away: Translucence, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary Encaustic. Luminosity was, literally and figuratively, the leitmotif. In Depth Perception, which ran from May 11 to June 4, the museum’s director, Edith Tonelli, invited Cherie Mittenthal and me to curate an exhibition in which dimension was preeminent. We selected 19 artists, including ourselves.

Cherie and I selected freestanding sculptures, wall sculptures, and reliefs that allowed a viewer to walk around, peer into, or look through the work. We also selected a number of two-dimensional works that challenged the idea of how we perceive depth on a flat plane. The work was installed in the museum's intimate Polhemas Savery DaSilva gallery. You can see a complete walk-through on my blog, and view the catalog here, so in this brief report let me share a few images to take you counterclockwise on a (co)curator's walk around the space.  --J.M.

Viewers to the exhibition were greeted by Lynda Ray's optical tour de force, Banded Iron, which looked folded but was flat. Continuing along the wall: Wayne Montecalvo, Say That Again, a print that seemed to provide its own shadow; Susan Lasch Krevitt, three-legged sculpture, Bound Trio;  Cherie Mittenthal, House with Chair

This is the longest wall in the gallery, so from Cherie Mittenthal's House with Chair we see Carol Pelletier, Burned Ground; Jane Guthridge double-sided print, Changing Light 3, on pedestal; Karen Freedman, Ruche 0352.127; Dietlind Vander Schaaf, Vatn 4

Pulling back to view the center of the gallery, we see that sculpture holds the floor. Foreground: Sandi Miot, Purple Biome; Laura Moriarty multipart sculpture on the low pedestal, Runaround; Jane Guthridge, right

With Moriarty (right) and Miot sculptures anchoring the image, we see three walls on the opposite side of the gallery. Since we're traveling counterclockwise, let's start from the right and move left: Steven J. Cabral, Ukiyo 6; Lisa Pressman, Stop It; Joanne Mattera, Chromatic Geometry 40  

Long wall: Nancy Natale assemblage, Passage; three mounted monotypes by Toby Sisson, grow inward like a root III, VI, and II;  Stephanie Roberts-Camello relief, Revision; Lorraine Glessner, Pink Snow; Pamela Blum's two sculptures, Limb #2-prototype and Limb #3-prototype. Left wall:  Janise Yntema painting, Hallwood

 With this and the other Conference-related exhibitions--juried, curated, and organized--we focused on themes. Yes, the work was encaustic, or wax and mixed media, but the ideas went beyond medium. It has been a generation since the first "encaustic show" took place ("Waxing Poetic" at the Montclair Art Museum). Now, finally, we are seeing concept assume primacy over material, even while material remains twined to the concept.

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