Thursday, May 31, 2001

"The Human Form Divine" Antonio Criscimagna - John Domont Gallery - May 31, 2001 - 4 stars


Antonio Criscimagna's debut consists of figurative works. Criscimagna is a creator, rather than painter. Adrenalin and instinct make these unplanned paintings about basic human intimacy and companionship very effecitve, some more than others. He produces large, untitled paintings (most in the range of 60-inches-by-42-inches) in a hunter-gatherer vein, foraging for paint tubes in his boiler room studio cave. Thick layers of black acrylic paint frame stark grey and white nude human forms. The simple effect is eerie and calm. Criscimagna doesn't use models, adn so his figures are gutteral adn take on earthy forms. Soft lines, abstract proportions, and featureless oval heads all recall a rhythmic, organic, Old Stone Age sophistication, yet elegantly convey contemporary beauty and man/woman.earth unity. The 2000 A.D. angular bodies look chiseled from stone, vaguely reminiscent of Cycladic marble idols c. 2000 B.C. Tow biblically themed pieces push his human abstractions to obvious Picasso proportions. Overlapping shapes energetically engulf each other to perfectly portray Eve emerging from Adam's rib. Distorted lines create the readily recognizable story in an effective modern icon manner. Through June 30, 2001; 317-685-9634.

"Remembering the Ladies: The Early Years of the Indianapolis Retirement Home" - May 31, 2001 - 1 star

The Indianapolis Retirement Home is a very lovely facility that has played an important and unique historical role in our community. Founded in 1867 as the Home for Friendless Women by two Civil War nurses, the home rescued women destitute, widowed adn some "fallen" after the war. The hom's name has been modified many times in the last 134 years as the home's role distinctivly evolved from originally assisting the transient to its current function as a charming retirement community. "Remembering the Ladies," an exhibit by IUPUI museum methods students, unfortunately only weakly brushes (and chops) the surface of this altruistic and generous organization that has remained philanthrophically bighearted. regaredles, it is a viable history lesson about a remarkable institution. Rich with its own utilitarian antique finery - portraits of the founders, aged bronze plaques and gorgeous furnishings - the home is a natural, spontaneous history lesson in itself. The student work is a diminutive adn mildly interesting accent to the already significant space. For more information about he Indianapolis Retirement Home located at 17th adn Capitol, visit www.indianapolishistory.org, www.indyretirement.org. Through summer 2001; 317-924-5839. - Mary Lee Pappas