"Beast" Exhibition

Lyons Wier Gallery

poster for "Beast" Exhibition

This event has ended.

Building upon John Ruskin's notions of the "pathetic fallacy," BEAST takes the observer on a journey into an imagined world, unlocking new ideas about man's symbiotic yet hypocritical relationship with animals. Each artist utilizes the animal form by displaying the inherent beauty of the beast through embellishment, adornment or the mere placement or composition of the work onto itself.

Jeff Irwin
Jeff Irwin creates enigmatic white porcelain creatures that exist in a surreal space between men's hunting trophies and trees headed for the woodsman's chainsaw. These sculptures ask questions: Why don't we value the whole living creature? Why does an animal head proffer prestige when stuffed and hung on the wall? Why is a carved piece of wood indoors valued more than it is in the forest? By making his enigmatic creatures in ghostly white, they take on an abstract quality, ethereal and otherworldly, yet at the same time, they recall traditional marble sculpture. Ragged edges from the saw blade and wooden knots are left un-smoothed on the clay surface. Irwin delights in the clashes of imagery and materials within his menagerie of stuffed imaginary trophies.

Gitte Jungersen
Danish artist Gitte Jungersen's ceramic sculptures explore worlds where the elements are warped, on edge and somehow different. Her works are hallucinogenic landscape-like "sceneries" in which animals made of plastic and objet trouvé porcelain figures appear. Figures have been deliberately dismantled from their original purpose and introduced into a new scenographic context. Landscape and elements collide and the frames oflogic explode, exposing portals to an imaginary dreamscape. What unfurls are disquieting tales that circle around ambivalent psychic states of limbo situated between dream and reality, desire and repugnance, child-like innocence and adult sexuality. Jurgersen's sceneries are all at once humorous and threatening in their exposition of general existential questions and problems.

Joshua Levine
Joshua Levine's exploration into the possibilities of current genetic manipulations and scientific technologies do not involve any judgments. In this age where the cloning of animals makes daily headline news, Levine focuses on these new genetic possibilities and how they relate to the creation of new art forms. He leaves it up to viewers to determine whether these scientific advancements are for better or worse. Taking cues from scientific principles and techniques and blending them with a healthy dose of science fiction, Levine creates his animal hybrids. Inspired by discoveries achieved through scientific research and its contribution to our increasing knowledge of the inner-workings of the universe, Levine believes in the idea of "better living through science."

Adelaide Paul
Adelaide Paul's animal sculptures are sexy because they are wrapped in supple leather and meticulously hand sewn, the skin encasing each form. The leather itself presents an interesting yet disturbing effect. As the viewer is drawn into the sculpture predicated on the sheer beauty of the work, one begins to simultaneously realize that the luscious and desirous materials are also repulsive because the material is in fact animal skin; possibly flayed from the very form it adorns. Paul fully explores man's inhumanity to man (and animals), gender issues, our disposable society, breeding and selective breeding, gluttony and our need to create hierarchies. These pointed explorations are delivered in a masterful way, slowly being absorbed by the viewer as he/she experiences each piece.

David Rosado
Rats are dubious creatures that teeter between admiration and repugnance. On one hand, they represent the filth and grittiness of the city. On the other, their stature is raised in popular culture in cartoons and comics such as Mickey Mouse, Ratatouille, Topo Gigio, Tom & Jerry and Speedy Gonzalez. This duality appears to contain in it a mystery of the imaginary collective. The urban myth of the existence of monumental rats in the Palace-Convent of Mafra shows that society's dredge can cohabitate within the luxury of one of Portugal's largest national buildings. It is this dichotomy that David Rosado's work "Rats and Palaces" illustrates.

Terri Thomas
Terri Thomas' Swarovski crystal encrusted object-trophies investigate the ideas of wildness, freedom, excess, beauty and power. Her sculptures are crafted with glaring precision that often illuminates the irony of these ideas as much as it supports them in their role as things to be desired.Thomas' works are playful and seductive - laden with sexual implications and symbolism, combining ideas of frivolity, fantasy, privilege and pleasure with paradox, self-analysis, media-influence and artifice.

Martin Wittfooth
Martin Wittfooth's oil paintings explore disquieting themes that clash old ideologies with modern fears and subtly hint at the growing shadow of our collective footprint on the world. His paintings are a visceral response to the anxieties of our era: uneasy forecasts, both of an increasingly menacing climate as well as unpredictable social upheaval. Wittfooth's works draw inspiration from classical painters, yet addresses a broad range of contemporary issues in their subject matter.



from October 15, 2010 to November 07, 2010

Opening Reception on 2010-10-15 from 18:00 to 21:00

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