Figuratively Speaking explores the aesthetics and meaning of the human form in contemporary art. Five transplanted North Adams-based artists will display a range of work, from assemblages and dolls to paintings and etchings. The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, September 1 at 6pm. Participating artists include:
Participating artists, authors, and co-curators Linda and Opie O’Brien of Burnt Offerings Studio made a point to juxtapose artists who work in a variety of styles and media. “It’s a very eclectic show,” explained Linda O’Brien. “The figure is so often taken for granted or portrayed in a safe, traditional way. We wanted to explode the form.”
Each artist depicts the figure, although the approaches vary. Some pieces, including Joanna Klain’s finely detailed prints, are beautifully refined images that employ the figure to tell complex stories. Others, such as Opie O’Brien’s rustic reliquary made with recycled and found materials, hint at a deeper meaning about politics, society, and humanity while his iPadography life drawings, printed on metal, open a portal into the surreal. William Archer expresses the figure in energetic and whimsical soft pastels, and Wilma Rifkin’s figures portray innocence and edginess in a seamless combination of drawing, watercolor, and mixed media. Linda O’Brien’s charcoals, iPadography figurescapes, and assemblages reflect both the primitive and feminine aesthetic that has influenced her throughout her career. The dolls are results of the O’Brien’s combined efforts.
Eclipse Mill Gallery
243 Union Street #102, North Adams, Mass.
September 1-24, 2017
Friday-Sunday 12-5pm and by appointment