Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Art Exhibition and Sale - Bodner Studio Building - Dec. 18, 2002 - 3 stars

Dec. 13-14 You honestly don't feel like you are in Indianapolis when you step into the solid and quiet Bodner Studio Building, a former pharmaceutical company at 1200 South Madison - now turned artists' studio facility. The raw industrial interior lent itself beautifully to the first group show of Bodner artist inhabitants. They are not to be judged by the first, forgettable and over-hyped art-party "Oranje" that the Bodner artists themselves had nothing to do with. The unfinished feel of the divided space and the lights clipped to pipes created a lighting concept and presentation that was warm, intimate and conducive to taking in the art. There is no other space like this in town. New work by new, as-of-yet mostly unknown artists is what you will discover at the Bodner, the newest and largest art community to pop up here. Its five stories are filled with studios inhabited by filmmakers, musicians, photographers and artists. Art anchors in the show included Barbara Zech and Munce director Amy Kindred. There was strength, new breath and new looks in the ceramic works of Jay Dougan, Casey Roberts' large inixed media works and just about everything else. Overall, a quality show from artists we have yet to familiarize ourselves with. There is a new trend in the young Indianapolis art scene that's less about ego and competition and more about making art for its own sake in the company of fellow artists on a journey. - Mary Lee Pappas

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Adam’s Children: The Art of Adam Emory Albright - Indiana State Museum, Wilbur E. and Florence Jeup Ford Gallery – Dec. 4, 2002 – 3 stars

A successful Chicago artist at the turn of the 20th century, Albright painted country children in rural settings that were quickly changing with the onslaught of industrialization. Dubbed the "James Whitcomb Riley of the Brush," some of Albright's idyllic plein air scenes were captured in Brown County. The Southwest, Wales, New England and Californian coasts provided other settings. Nearly all of the works share a sun-touched golden aura that permeates leafy green grasses and blue skies, as in "Children in a Field" from 1936. The name typifies the look. The paintings are all timelessly pretty and sweet, making them cross-generational ringers for high public appeal. Though not a profound exhibit, there is nothing wrong with a little sugary sweetness. The country children portrayed immediately reminded me of the snooty depictions of hillbilly folk from that same era made by the second, and effected, Mrs. TC. Steele, Selma, in the book The House of the Singing Winds. But with Albright, a long-gone, nearly mythical, isolated country way of life that existed here is romantically captured by a very American painter. Through Jan. 8, 2003; 317-232-1637. -Mary Lee Pappas