A pithy subject: Lauren Bristol’s coiled
sculpture “Pithos” is one of the many aesthetic objects of affections
included in the three-artist exhibition titled The Gathering at
Diane Menzies’ oil paintings both depict
nature settings and also explore the human condition. In “Autumn Pond,”
she mixes red, orange and green colors, emphasizing the fringe of
vegetation around the pond and reflections cast upon the water. In
“Follow The Road,” she leads the viewer’s eye down a road and toward a
large expense of sky. “Orange Sky, Water” pivots on Menzies’ bold use
of color, on decisive and eye-catching hues.
At the same time, she displays works
like “Mia’s Healing,” in which the artist again references nature but
also creates a scene within a scene, portraying a woman bounded by blue
borders and in a highly contemplative mood. Another piece, “When The
Birds Fly By,” presents a woman in a setting full of vines, vegetation
and trees. It’s easy to interpret her in various ways: as an Eve
archetype, as someone embodying human consciousness, as an individual
shielded from the world’s discord and wars. This is the best of
Menzies’ artworks at Edgewood.
Lauren Bristol creates sculptural forms,
using coiled basketry and stretching traditional notions of a basket.
Although she has a few pieces whose shape and depth recall everyday
baskets, there are plenty of variations: stand-up, vertical works like
“Chalice” and “Anu”; “Glory III,” featuring a horn-like insert within
the basket; even works that are almost flat in shape.
Similarly, the artist follows a flexible
agenda in decorating her works. She tops one basket with a handle,
referring directly to baskets’ carrying capacity. In “Omphalos in Situ
II,” she’s placed a small object, one suggesting a stone egg, inside
the basket. And it’s certainly worthwhile peering inside Bristol’s
sculpture “Pithos.” At the bottom, there’s a series of lines resembling
Patrice Downes Centore has a knack for
portraying everyday scenes and still generating good visual energy.
Sometimes she works off an object or objects depicted in one of her
watercolors: clothes hanging on a line in “Summer on Monhegan”; items
positioned near a window in “Weathered Windowsill”; the rake seen in
“Taking A Break,” in which the rake’s tines play a key role.
That eye for detail serves her well. In
“Garlic Study,” a still-life devoted to garlic bulbs hung for drying,
Downes Centore is focusing on the bulbs’ contours and on the sprouts
jutting out from them. Even though they’re destined to be cut out of
the bulbs, the sprouts appear thick, fuzzy and robust. In addition, the
artist does a nice job with shadows in “Pot of Gold,” another
still-life work, and in “Everything As They Left It.”
The Gathering, with its varied
artworks and range of artistic expression, succeeds by mixing and
blending instead of striving for a tightly organized show. The
exhibition is on display through June 13 at Edgewood, located at 216
Tecumseh Road, near the Nottingham Shopping Center. The gallery is open
Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m. For more information, call 445-8111.