Elias Friedensohn “Hat Blocks Crows”

Luise Ross Gallery

poster for Elias Friedensohn “Hat Blocks Crows”

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“Does the release of feeling, any feeling, mean disorder, disarray, anarchy? Or does each feeling have a form and flow for which we can create a visual embodiment? What is the order and flow of violence?” -Elias Friedensohn 1975

The artist contemplated this question through the sculptures he created using vintage hat blocks. Reminiscent of the human form, but gone terribly awry, eyes are replaced by ears, mouths are filled with fangs, and an enticing pucker is held at bay by the lance-like nails surrounding it. These sculptures embody an order and flow of violence that repulses, yet feels familiar to our human nature. Despite the overwhelming grotesqueness, one can’t help but feel that Friedensohn is poking fun at the viewer’s squeamishness. The nails piercing the eyes, the paint that feels so much like dried blood, doesn’t serve to push us away, but to invite us to meditate on these questions along with the artist.

In Friedensohn’s words, ‘Nobody likes to eat crow. It has a bad taste.’ Yet crows also proved to be deeply fascinating to him. The second part of the exhibition takes flight with watercolor studies of these birds that lurk on gallows, and devour the old and weak of its own family. A mixture of violence and humor, Friedensohn’s paintings speak for themselves.



from March 08, 2016 to April 09, 2016

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