Sunday, August 5, 2007

Roots, Profiles Public Art Gallery, August 2 - September 1, 2007

Experiencing the essence of tree roots as represented by three very different artists working in a variety of media, the legacy of grand trunks and aged presence worked well together as a contrast and as an offering of multiplicity to the subject matter.
Sherri Chaba's black metal wiring toed the line between installation and sculpture; creating a surprisingly lush and ephemeral atmosphere with her moss-like cynlinders of wire, coming down from the ceiling and jutting out from the wall, Chaba's works channeled the calming presence and slightly menancing affront of being amongst trees.
The highlights of the exhibit were Erin Schwab's large sketches of tree roots, a progression from her previous show of the same name. Eliminated from any context and placed onto sterile white backgrounds, the roots in foreground casting a suspicious shadow, their twists and natural wonders are resembling bodies, faces, and hands in scrutinized and contorted positions. They are beautiful to gaze upon, much like the beauty of recognizing objects in clouds, and a stark contrast to the bone-white and brittle renderings of roots in her sculptural works, which convey the ghastliness of frailty, and would maybe work better as lifesize sculptures than pedestal ceramics.

Artists: Sherri Chaba, Brenda Kim Christiansen, Erin Schwab


Tam said...

I think their "ghastliness of frailty" is what makes them so appealing. You can hold them in your hand too frimly and they might crumble. I find that very metaphoric.

Anonymous said...

I took a class from Erin and the porcelain sculptures are made by coating actual roots with liquid porcelain and firing them so that the root burns off leaving a hollow shell. So the work is life size, any bigger and I don’t think they would survive the kiln. I find the fragility of the porcelain haunting, like finding remains.