Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stuff Moves at Boston Sculptors Gallery

Completing work for my current exhibit Stuff Moves, at Boston Sculptors Gallery, has kept me quite busy for the last several months.  The work will be on exhibit through March 11, 2012.  

Cate McQuaid's Review in the Boston Globe 2/22...

 "Also at Boston Sculptors, Kim Bernard’s “Stuff Moves’’ show is filled with oversize toys. There are wheels you can turn, such as the “Tertium Quid’’ series, upon which the artist has painted vortexes that look three-dimensional when spun. There are balls on springs that you can poke and shake, as in “Chakra Shimmy,’’ a spine of balls representing the seven chakras, or “Readymade Color Wheel,’’ Bernard’s wink to Marcel Duchamp, with balls mounted on a bicycle wheel.
These are fun, but only one-stop works. Those that rely on more complicated mechanics are more absorbing. “Quantum Revival’’ features balls resting on a shelf. Each is strung to a wire attached progressively higher on the wall. Unhinge the shelf, release the balls, and they swing through captivating patterns - a wave gives way to the balls alternating, then swinging together. It feels magical, even if it is simply physics."

See a 2 minute video
Read Ed Beem's review in Yankee

Readymade Color Wheel explores perpetual motion, which of course doesn’t exist, and color mixing with a nod to Duchamp and the subversive, playfulness of his work.  

Quantum Revival, an installation of fifteen red balls swinging from cables of increasing length that when ‘let loose’ fall in and out of sync to a choreographed wave dance.  

Dance of Shive, also kinetic, consists of twelve feet of elastic stretched between two columns holding horizontal rods that when displaced by the viewer triggers a wave of 200 red bouncy balls. 

Tertuim Quid, a grouping of three 36” diameter disks, spinning at low rpm, create the illusion of three dimensionality and dizzying distortions.  

Chakra Shimmy makes visible the Hindu/Buddhist energy/force centers and externalizes them as vortices at the same level height as the viewer's chakras.  

Harmonograph, a kinetic wooden contraption that draws geometric lines, when rods weighted with bowling balls move long arms that hold a pen over a rotating surface.  

Complimentary Vibration plays with optical vibrations, contrasting colors and physical phenomena.  

My present projects investigate the intersection where the hard and fast science of physics collides with sublime spirituality, playfulness and a pinch of humor.  This quest for the magical moment where awe is directed at subjects more powerful than the objects and the ‘aha moment’ happens in the hands rather than the grey matter.  These recent kinetic works invite the viewer to engage the sculptures’ motion, as an extension one’s own energy, and break the no-touch rule of art.

Come see Stuff Moves, on view until March 11, 2012
First Friday Reception:  Friday, March 2, 5 - 8 pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12 pm – 6 pm

Thursday, February 2, 2012

NYC Trip - Numero Uno

My first trip to NYC of the year was not only a stimulating one, but a warm one, as the temps pushed 60 degrees – no exaggeration!  I guess that’s the silver lining to global warming. 

The Chelsea highlights were…

  • Ai Weiwei’s porcelain sunflower seeds at Mary Boone.  Fab!  Too bad you can’t roll around in them like you can at the Tate.  Love the idea of selling sculpture by the ton
  • Shirin Neshat at Gladstone Gallery  Powerful, black and white portraits of Iranian and Arab people with Persian poetry subtly super-imposed on their skin
  • Joel Sternfeld at Luhring Augustine  Captivating, dated, narrative, early photographs      
  • Bosco Sodi at Pace Gallery  Huge textured fuchsia wall works in a gallery space to die for
  •  Damien Hirst at Gagosian  Not truly a highlight but I was glad I saw the work, even though I left with this nagging desire for a game of twister
  •  Finished the day seeing the film Pina about Pina Bausch, directed my Win Wenders, which was a real treat in 3-D.  Anyone who appreciates dance should see it!

Museum Highlights on Day 2 included a visit to MOMA

And at the Whitney
  • Aleksandra Mir: The Seduction of Galileo Galilei (video of stacked tires ala Leaning Tower of Pisa and an insightful look at the relationship between faith and science) 
  • Real/Surreal (a look at just how influential Freud and the European surrealists were in American Art if the 20's, 30's and 40’s)
  •  Calder’s Circus I could see this every day and never grow tired of it, especially the video and Calder ‘performing’ his creations.  Truly a highlight!

I figured this one to be a Work-the-Kinks-Out Trip and hope to improve on the details on the next go... 
  • Dodge rush hour at all cost
  • Plan my gallery/museum hit list before I go
  • Avoid Mondays and Tuesdays as many galleries and museums are closed
  • Avoid the very end of the month as galleries close to install the next show
  • Memorize museum free nights
  •  Pack light, wear good shoes, carry water and emergency almonds

One good thing I did was to become a member to both the MOMA and the Whitney allowing me unlimited admission for the year.  Of course no trip to NYC is complete without a hot pretzel with mustard and a slice of cheese pizza.  

Gary Haven Smith Interview

As part on my monthly blog updates, I'll be profiling one AAG past recipient per month.  Since Gary was the first to receive the AAG, at it's conception in 2002, I thought it fitting to start with him.  

What was your grant proposal?

I proposed a plan pursing a several pronged adjustment to my life and career.  These fell under the following categories: "emotional recharge;" "magnum opus;" and "studio construction." There are aspects of my career as a self supporting artist which are rewarding and very fulfilling, however there are other aspects of creating art that are completely unrelated to market place and having exhibitions.   I wanted to pursue a few activities that would not be directly geared toward making art for galleries or shows.  There were two specific endeavors that I wanted to pursue to renew my creativity. The first was  to renew my drawing.  I wanted to establish a daily plan to begin each day with an hour of drawing.  I wanted to approach these drawing sessions as a form of meditation where the process of drawing would create it's own trajectory and one work would lead to the next.  To rekindle my sense of observation through drawing I felt would be beneficial to me by expanding my visual vocabulary.  

The second part of my plan was to concentrate the majority of the money from the grant to create a major piece of sculpture in granite that was not dedicated to a gallery or commissioned  piece for a building space.  I wanted to create a piece of a scale and intricacy that was previously restrictive due to the cost of the material or more often the resource of time dedicated to accomplish a major piece. I had over the years created the necessary conditions in terms of studio space and equipment to work on a  large project like this in stone.

The last aspect to my plan was to plumb water from my house to my studio (seventy feet away) and insulate this studio space so I would be able to use a large diamond wire saw I use in creating my sculpture all year round.

Did you stick with your grant proposal or did you make adjustments to your plan?
Yes, for the most part.  I was able to bring water to my new studio and do the insulation making the studio functional year round.  I also completed  the large granite sculpture.  The drawing aspect of my plan started out as proposed, but after a few months I started to utilize my rekindled interest  in drawing by creating a new body of two dimensional work. I started this new body of work where I would draw/ carve directly onto slate panels with a high speed pencil grinder with small diamond cutting bits.  The speed and cutting ability was similar to as if I was drawing with any regular drawing medium.   The process was very gestural and energetic and I do not think I would have made this advancement if I had not committed the time and attention to this part of my plan.
What kind of impact did receiving the AAG have on you and your work?

I think receiving the AAG was very pivotal in the advancement of my career.  Perhaps it was serendipitous, but some major career adjustments seem to follow.  For example, I had hardly finished the large sculpture that was major part of my plan, when I received a phone call form a dealer who had previously had a very small gallery in NYC and had just moved into a 6,000 sq.' space and was looking for large scale sculpture. I had what she was looking for and ending having an exhibition and in a great place to show sculpture in New York.

How has your work developed in the years since receiving the AAG?

I think my work has developed by continuing to try to pursue the intangible edge of the limits of one's artistic vision.

Do you continue to apply for other grants and have you received any? 

Yes.  In 2007 I received a Pollock-Krasner Grant and also a grant from the George Sugarman Foundation.

What are you working on now?

My main focus at the moment in sculpture is continuing to create abstract sculptures in granite  that incorporates  compound curved surfaces.  It is a challenge.  I am continuing my wall work with digitally manipulated photographs of natural elements where the images are carved onto slate and combined with manipulated lead sheeting.

Do you have any exhibits coming up?

I have an exhibition of large sculptures at the Clark Gallery on "The Green" through May of this year.  I will be having an exhibition of outdoor sculptures at the Museum of Art at UNH for the academic year starting next September.  There is a one person exhibition scheduled at McGowan Fine Art Concord, NH  next fall and various group shows throughout the year.