Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Cheryl Paswater – The Bungalow – Jan. 30, 2002 – 3 stars

Non-narrative, non-Pop, found image paintings are the stuff of pure aesthetics, here void of Rauschenberg hidden meanings, or influence, and with no revolting against anything going on. They are familiar, mundane, cultural paper images collaged into ambiguous landscaped colorscapes, suitably matted and framed. Bubble wrap, graph paper and some interestingly scribbled poetry get doused with slaps of pure bright mauve and hill green cakey paint to form easily attractive and well-composed pieces with no meaning necessary. Through Feb. 14, 2002; 317-253-5028. – Mary Lee Pappas

“Behold” Sandy Day and Sara Vanderkleed – Hoosier Salon – Jan. 30, 2002 – 2 1/2 stars

Day's strength is with oils. Her stronger, bolder brushstrokes in oil paint befit her sometimes heavy-handed style, creating a maze of yellows, greens and pinks in representational, painterly spots of color, like in the foreground of "Thistle Down," one of many pleasant, tranquil, easy-breezy landscapes. Her true-to-life-color pastel people and landscapes are on the traditionally illustrative side. Vanderkleed's abstracted fields of deep and warm-toned watercolors undulate into dreamy wave landscapes (that turn out to be not that abstract at all after all), made possible by her carefree handling, risk and fate-trusting strokes. One artist's work compliments the other and both are successfully shown together. Through Feb. 15, 2002; 317-253-5340. -Mary Lee Pappas

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Annual Herron School of Art/IUPUI Senior Photography Exhibit - Eye Blink Gallery - Jan. 16, 2002 - 2 1/2 stars

Uninhibited spice of life variety is the usual fare at student shows, whether it be Herron or high school, because exploring all media is still available, creativity is encouraged and competitive and the inevitability of a non-art day job has yet to kick in. This body of senior Herron photo work, as a whole, doesn't quite hit the experimentation or risk-taking level that an art school education should allow. An animal rights interactive installation of fur coats and photos does effectively force viewers to participate voluntarily and react/think involuntarily, howver. Overall, the artists' work didn't look challenged from a subject/content perspective - their talents not pushed beyond technically commendable work. But the black and white farm animal images were well-composed and had a personality all their own. Through Feb. 28, 2003; 317-636-6363. -Mary Lee Pappas

Scott Westphal - Munce Art Center - Jan. 16, 2002 - 3 1/2 stars

Five minimalist bronze sculptures make for a mighty art statement when seen corralled together as a body of work. Too often, Westphal's ever so gently wavering steel beam-fabricaw forms have gotten lost in multiperson shows by being stuck against walls as if they were curatorial second thoughts. This small sampling of oxidized bronze work, set into a small, unassuming gallery space void of colorful abstractions, is really perfect for allowing the blocky work to trust the space and create a striking visual experience - you'll forget that the evolving Munce Art Cerrter's floors are brick patterned linoleum. These five, truly minimalist, sculptures softly quiver and stretch out of their industrial facade irtto organic geometrical forms recalling the sensibilities of Indiana's own niega-minimalist David Smith. "Vaas," a piece contorted irvto a domestic vase form, tinkers with the illusionism of space and traditional aesthetics. Through Feb. 23, 2002; 317-873-6862. -Mary Lee Pappas

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Lyanne Musselman – Out Word Bound – Jan. 9, 2002 – 2 stars

Closed Dec. 29. Out Word Bound is a most excellent bookstore worth visiting regardless of whatever art may be hanging on its walls, and in this case, it's a smattering of forgettable black and white charcoal pet portraits. The face-forward, straight-on doggy likenesses were definite renderings of individual, distinctive pups that made this artist's work look commission worthy and cheerfully admirable, yet mundane and dull from a 10-foot distance. It looked like practice work when creative juices were indisposed or dormant. Close inspection revealed sloppy technical understanding of a pooch package and hesitation with drawing materials. A mere two stars doesn't mean that this artist's work stinks altogether, it means that Miss Musselman has the potential faculty to do work that could garner more stars with patience and practice. Cheers! – Mary Lee Pappas

The Photography of Ben Winans of Brookville, Ind., 1902-1926 - Indiana Historical Society – Jan. 9, 2002 – 3 1/2 stars

Rita Kohn gave a thumbs up review of the Winans photo collection book in the Oct. 11, 2001, issue, but after revisiting the exhibit four times, I thought that a review of the 34 (of nearly 3,000 shot by Winans) exhibited images themselves were worthy of accolades again. History is dictated by and large by authors with opinions and enduring images like those that Winans chose to shoot of modest, everyday Brookville, Ind., life where he spent his entire existence. Nestled in the rolling hills of Eastern Indiana, a stone's throw from Cincinnati and casket Mecca Batesville, Brookville was in its unassuming glory days when Winans snapped it up in its very ordinary grandeur without spectacle or staging. This is no-frills, turn of the century small-town Indiana life at its purest. With journalistic artistry and straight-forward distinguishing style, scenes of the 1913 flood and antiquated hard time rural lifestyles are captured in his crisp glass plate images thankfully accompanied with historical data about the captured event. It gave me quite a thrill to see my own great-grandfather's pharmacy (a stepping stone resident after leaving Kentucky and before moving to the Old Northside) in the backdrop of a most somber and humble Brookville funeral procession. Through Feb. 3, 2002; 317-232-1862, - Mary Lee Pappas