Monday, February 21, 2011
First Thursday #2
This is a pair of pieces by Carol Benson that were on display at Black Fish Gallery this month. I chose to include both in my review, as the level of contrast from one another is so extreme it becomes complimentary.
On the left is "Styx", a free-standing additive sculpture constructed from wood an acrylic. It's many intersecting branches divides the considerable volume of the overall composition, creating geometric forms from the resulting negative space. It's dark and chaotic appearance imbues it with an allegorical quality, conjuring up thoughts of a dense and menacing forest.
To it's right is "Icara", another freestanding additive work constructed from acrylic on canvas and buckram (a stiff cloth made from cotton or linen). The materials are arranged in a semi-figurative manner, though the figure never fully emerges, leaving the appearance of a tattered dress having become suddenly animated. Where "Styx" employs a mess of geometric forms to produce a larger abstract form, "Icara" is made up of organic shapes, compiled to create a much more direct allegorical effect. "Styx" also embraces negative space, while "Icara" is a solid form. "Styx" is made from organic materials, "Icara" is constructed from woven fabrics.
The two monochromatic pieces are perfectly contrasting. Together though, they produce a sense of uneasiness. Their forms are off-putting. Viewing "Icara" through the branches of "Styx" gives the sense of stumbling into something haunted.