Terra Forme – Geomorphology, Deep Time, and Indigenous Beliefs

Curated by Dr. Kōan Jeff Baysa

Featured Artists: Halldór Ásgeirsson, Heimir Björgúlfsson, Solomon Enos, Leslie Gleim, Hamilton Kobayashi, Mucyo, Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Arngunnur Ýr. Dedicated to the memories of Hawai’i painter Hamilton Kobayashi and French geologist Jean Francheteau. Exhibition Venue: East Hawai’i Cultural Center, Hilo, Hawai’i Island, Hawai’i, USA. https://ehcc.org/content/terra-forme

Installations by Mucyo (Rwanda) and Ásgeirsson (Iceland) using lava sourced from their respective countries. In Hawai’i, lava is considered sacred property of the volcano goddess Pele, who delivers swift retribution to those who dare to remove pieces from Hawai'i
Installations by Mucyo (Rwanda) and Ásgeirsson (Iceland) using lava sourced from their respective countries. In Hawai’i, lava is considered sacred property of the volcano goddess Pele, who delivers swift retribution to those who dare to remove pieces from Hawai’i

Terra Forme regards the Earth as a vast, diverse, and dynamically evolving entity. Adapted from the science fiction term: terraforming, the exhibition title describes the long-term transformation of an alien environment to support human life. Kīlauea volcano has added nearly 900 acres of new landmass to Hawai’i Island, but it is only in deep time, geologic time of 25,000 years, that the area will develop into a full and viable ecosystem.

In 2021, the curator flew to view dramatic volcanic eruptions in two disparate global locations: Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula of Iceland and Kīlauea, the youngest and most active Hawaiian shield volcano located on Hawai’i Island, the largest in the island chain. He was further fascinated by volcanoes that lay beneath different forms of water: Öræfajökull in Iceland threatening massive floods and widespread destruction when its superheated magma violently meets its glacier cap; and the rising seamount, Kamaʻehuakanaloa, that is predicted to break the ocean surface in a conservative estimate of 50,000 more years to become Hawaii’s youngest island. 

Foreground: Schwengel-Regala (Hawai'i); Background: Mucyo (Rwanda)
Foreground: Schwengel-Regala (Hawai’i); Background: Mucyo (Rwanda)

A gathering of volcano-inspired artworks by artists from Iceland, Hawai’i, and Africa, Terra Forme embraces concepts of geomorphology, deep time, and indigenous beliefs. The paintings by Honolulu-based Hamilton Kobayashi capture the fiery energy and palpable heat of Kilauea’s eruptions. The spectacularly detailed photographic images by Honolulu-based photographer Leslie Gleim taken from a helicopter flying over active lava flows contrast with those of older lava fields rejuvenated by new growths of ferns and ‘ohi’a lehua trees. The paintings by LA-based Icelandic artist Heimir Björgúlfsson portray resilient winged inhabitants that return to and adapt to the new environs of   Kilauea’s post-eruption caldera: a koa’e kea (white-tailed tropicbird), pueo (owl), and pulelehua (Kamehameha butterfly). 

The concept of new land through terraforming is taken to fantastical heights with the work of Honolulu-based native Hawaiian Solomon Enos and Icelandic artist Arngunnur Ýr. Enos presents a strikingly different vision of new landscapes with flying islands suspended aloft and trailing clouds. Ýr’s triptychs, each linked by a continuous horizon line, are unified panoramic combinations of geographically disparate locations in Iceland, Oregon, and Hawai’i where she has visited or resided.

L to R: Bjorgulfsson (Los Angeles), Yr (Iceland), Mucyo (Rwanda), Gleim (Hawai'i)
L to R: Bjorgulfsson (Los Angeles), Ýr (Iceland), Mucyo (Rwanda), Gleim (Hawai’i)

A lava lake is a rare characteristic of volcanoes and three artists including Hamilton Kobayashi depict it in their artworks. The Rwanda-based artist Mucyo presents a bleach process painting referencing the world’s largest permanent lava lake: Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda. The lava lake in the inner summit crater of Mount Erebus, the highest active volcano in Antarctica, has been present for the last fifty years. Based on her visit there, Honolulu-based artist Michelle Schwengel-Regala created a twisted sculptural abstraction made of multihued anodized aluminum evoking a crater and its rim above which are suspended dangerous lava bombs of the same material that are in real life violently ejected by volcanic eruptions. Iceland-based Halldor Ásgeirsson also presents abstracted works with an entire wall mounted with small colored works on paper that represent elves freed from the lava stones that held them captive until released by a torch wielded by the artist.

Images: Solomon Enos (Hawai'i)
Images: Solomon Enos (Hawai’i)

Volcanic activities act as potent agents of change not only of topography, but they shape thinking as well. Eruptions have often been interpreted by indigenous communities as the results of godly displeasures. In two separate paintings, the artist Mucyo depicts the Congo-Rwanda sibling volcano goddesses Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira from Africa’s Rift Valley. Eruptions occur when the younger sister Nyamuragira attempts to assuage her older sibling’s discontent. A world away, the artist Enos offers a monochromatic fractionated figure that incorporates the Polynesian volcano goddess Pele (Pere in Tahiti) whose vigorous arguments with her sister Nāmakaokaha’i, a powerful ocean deity, are manifested through active lava flows.

Images: Gleim (Hawai'i), Kobayashi (Hawai'i), Mucyo (Rwanda), Enos (Hawai'i)
Images: Gleim (Hawai’i), Kobayashi (Hawai’i), Mucyo (Rwanda), Enos (Hawai’i)

Both installations by Ásgeirsson and Mucyo incorporate volcanic material sourced from their countries, Iceland and Rwanda respectively. Ásgeirsson arranges volcanic glass droplets in a widening spiral that originates with a large lava piece brought from a recent Icelandic eruption. Mucyo’s installation begins with a wall-mounted painting of Nyiragongo that flows onto the floor with scattered pieces of Rwandan mica and feathering trails of black sand. Accompanying this is a live recording of female elders recounting volcano mythologies in Lingala, their native tongue.

The works created by the artists of Terra Forme help us to appreciate powerful natural phenomena that fall outside the boundaries of human lifetimes, experiences, and beliefs, prompting us to reflect about time on this planet, its care, and our place in the cosmos.

K8N Collective and the Geography of Scale

by Steve Rockwell

K8N Collective installation view
K8N Collective installation view at Gallery 1313, Toronto

The use of planes, trains, and automobiles are required to get to the place where this article might take us. The cultural product being shipped has triangulation points between New York, Toronto, and the town of Belleville, Ontario. Its cargo designation comes under late minimalism, set in motion here by the Bellville artist collective K8N, and arriving at their Gallery 1313 exhibition in Toronto last November, in all likelihood by automobile. Belleville exhibitors Steve Armstrong and Elizabeth Fearon were were joined by the third K8N member Toronto artist Rupen, to produce a thoughtful, cohesive show.

The divergent aesthetic concerns of Armstrong and Rupen, displayed on the walls of the gallery, knit nicely together into a “body of work” helped by Fearon’s six stone sculptures on plinths, which cleaved the show space like the vertebrae of a spinal column. A self-evident human scale gave primacy to the hand of the artist, the burden of meaning falling on the materials employed and their craft.

Richard Serra, Tilted Spheres, 2004, steel, 4.35 x 13.86 12.11 meters overall. Courtest Richard Serra and Pearson International Airport
Richard Serra, Tilted Spheres, 2004, steel, 4.35 x 13.86 12.11 meters overall. Courtesy of Richard Serra and Toronto Pearson International Airport

Some time after beginning my deliberations on the K8N exhibition, I boarded a jet for a winter holiday. To get to the gate at Toronto Pearson International Airport required me (or rather I chose) to walk through Richard Serra’s “Tilted Spheres.” Having previously looked “at” a work of art, I was compelled here to reconcile being a observer “within” a work. Serra’s massive steel forms were carted from New York, where Richard Serra is based. Toronto has a large art scene by Canadian standards, but New York’s is large globally. By this token, Belleville has no art scene to speak of. My own journey in art matches this hop from small to large, with the international ethos a shifting point of reference.

Rupen, Rebounding Energy, 2020, architectural paint on primed MDF, 45” X 45’
Rupen, Rebounding Energy, 2020, architectural paint on primed MDF, 45” X 45’

This fabric of geographic connectivity is the soil out of which much of the art which is presented to us grows. In 2004 Rupen exhibited a series of wall works in wood, beige panels with networks of red lines inspired by railway tracks leading in and out of “the great art cities,” such as New York and Paris. My first exposure to the K8N collective was at Rupen’s show space and home in the Junction district of Toronto in 2019, very nearly where its four lines of track intersect. The K8N name itself is the postal code designation for Belleville. The environment and how the body situates itself within it, has a part in the making of Rupen’s art, who employs a process of distillation that includes a subtle playback loop with each creative adjustment. Rupen views the body as the recipient of life-affirming energy, that is released in the making of each work.

Elizabeth Fearon, Untitled 1, alabaster, 8” x 6 ¼”v x 6 ¼”
Elizabeth Fearon, Untitled 1, alabaster, 8” x 6 ¼”v x 6 ¼”

Fearon’s 1997-03 photo-booth work explored the movement of face and body, having led the artist to considerations of the framed capture of an individual in “official” uses such as passport photos and other licensing protocols. Isolated frame demarcations that form grids apply not only to our immediate urban environment but engulfs the entire globe ultimately. Information networks structure the flow our personal data electronically much the same as air, sea, and land transport does physical counterparts, both synched to their respective red and green lights. These considerations situate the patiently filed facets of Fearon’s stone sculptures within a dynamically alive environment, while the objects themselves evoke a stillness. Each surface performs a sublimation, condensing and purifying all that it absorbs as the work progresses.

Steve Armstrong, untitled, acrylic on plywood, 13.5″ x 15.5″

Surface ambiguity has been an abiding interest to Armstrong, much of his work designed to read as second and third dimensions simultaneously. This playfulness is welcomed in art, but not so much on subway platforms, elevator shafts, and edges of cliffs. Getting the gestalt of what we see around us is obviously important to our survival. Distinguishing the illusionary in our art may serve as helpful training wheels for the real world. We also accept Armstrong’s sly sophistry that drilling a hole in an object doesn’t yield an interior, only more surface. Worms, on the other hand, understand that boring through the skin of an apple doesn’t yield yet more skin, but pulp, something materially different from the apple’s surface. This focus of Armstrong’s art on the nuances of visual perception and the language that we employ to describe it, packs our daily “spectacles” into the retinal arena of our eye – a kind of microscopic Roman coliseum.

The funnel of all fabrication from the hand-manipulated to the mandibles of an industrial-sized forge, channel our compressed experiences through the wires of a common neural network. Viewer and artist tap into the same channels. The twelve meter steel walls of Serra’s “Tilted Spheres” at Pearson Airport close in over heads, and we experience its potential crush in our gut. It makes palpable the cabin pressure in the hull of the jet that we don’t feel, but know is there. The congestion of an urban grid, and its electronic counterpart carries its own crush, which Feoron somehow eases with the honing of her alabaster facets. The filing of the stone subtracts to reveal its material beauty. In the ordering and reordering of the folding ribbon of planes in his “Rebounding Energy” Rupen plays the scales of line and plane to elicit “sound” from a mute form. The fundamental question that Armstrong raises is, “What can I come to know about the object that I see, if what I sense from it is a contradiction?” Whatever the scale and scope of the object in our vista, the neural bandwidth that equips us all is essentially the same.

A Matter of Perspective

by Steve Rockwell

A Matter of Perspective exhibition installation view
A Matter of Perspective exhibition installation view

A way to describe the exhibition of work at the Lonsdale Gallery in Toronto featuring Andrew Ooi and Tyler Matheson might be a study in two-point perspective. The viewer will tend to structure the gallery’s “A matter of Perspective” show around a common focal point. If Matheson speaks to the individual and their private journey of discovery, then Ooi addresses society in a holistic sense. Nevertheless, both artists in their own way arrive at a cosmology. 

Tyler Matheson, Oblivion 8, 2022, mixed media on canvas,, 12 x 10 inches. Image courtesy of Matthew Zse
Tyler Matheson, Oblivion 8, 2022, mixed media on canvas,, 12 x 10 inches. Image courtesy of Matthew Zse

The “Oblivion” half of Matheson’s contribution grapples with image and identity of the self in a game of hide-and-seek. There is a sense that the thickly troweled grout elements are engaged in a chase with the reflective looking glass portions of the canvas, motivated somehow by a wish to bury any fugitive reflection, thereby extinguishing or annihilating them. These iridescent islands themselves are effectively a pulverization of the familiar seven colours of the rainbow. Is it this threat of entombment to which the “Oblivion” titles refer?

The tiling grout in Matheson’s “Parallax” series is devoid of reflective properties, but possesses an iridescence that appears to have transitioned or migrated from the “Oblivion” works. The formerly lifeless grey concrete breathes iridescence, a beneficiary of the now departed reflected self. I read this dynamic of pitching one medium against another as a measured psycho drama, not different in kind to the musings of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the soliloquy, “To be, or not to be,” apprehensive as the prince was about “the sleep of death” and “what dreams may come” in its wake.

Left: Tyler Matheson, Oblivion 8, 2022, mixed media on canvas,, 12 x 10 inches. Right: Tyler Matheson, Parallax (Red, Blue, Geen), 2020, tiling grout and spray paint on board, 12 x 10 inches
Left: Tyler Matheson, Oblivion 8, 2022, mixed media on canvas,, 12 x 10 inches. Right: Tyler Matheson, Parallax (Red, Blue, Geen), 2020, tiling grout and spray paint on board, 12 x 10 inches

Playing one line of sight against another is the optical law described by “parallax,” the everyday feature of vision that allows for depth-perception. Astronomers use its principles to measure relative distances between planets and stars. “Parallax” brings us to the doorstep of cosmology, the signifier through which our convergent lines of perspective must necessarily pass. Grinding out the etymological derivatives of cosmology furnishes us with enough links to deliver the universe and its order down to the level of the individual self with the words: cosmic, cosmos, cosmopolitan, and cosmetics.

Left: Andrew Ooi, Scale Study, 2022, ink, paper, cord, 15.75 x 15.75 x 2.5 inches. Right: Andrew Ooi, Scale 1, 2022, ink, paper, cord, 21 x 21 x 2 inches

Ooi’s meticulously obsessive art is a blueprint for something much larger than the less than two by two-foot paper constructions in the “A  Matter of Perspective” exhibition. The artist introduces the notion of scale with his titles without delivering their literal specifications as architects might do in their plans. Each Gampi paper cube, one of 49 in “Scale 2” for instance, is a unit of time and space within which the artist has, in some respects, inhabited quite literally. “Scale 2” is a compressed set of ordered forms that viewers may magnify to an indeterminate size through their imagination, much like the film projection to a screen of a film strip.

Andrew Ooi, Scale 1, 2022, ink, paper, cord, 21 x 21 x 2 inches (unframed). Image courtesy of Matthew Zse
Andrew Ooi, Scale 1, 2022, ink, paper, cord, 21 x 21 x 2 inches (unframed). Image courtesy of Matthew Zse

Similarly, the seven by seven cube composition stands in for the 49 days that a wall calendar of seven weeks might represent – a way of storing time spent, and now made visible in the intricacy of its fabrication. As Gampi paper is used in paper screens, windows, and lanterns, its particular sheen and lustre, the 49 cubes serve to sift and reflect their light energy, the ambient illumination displaying the inherent beauty of a Japanese paper perfected over the centuries. 

It is in the making of Ooi’s “Scale” series of art that the finer tissues of meaning are revealed. Ooi’s “anthropology” is holistic in the purest sense – the parts of a whole are intimately interconnected, to the extent that the cubes of its composition are knotted together with cords. In that respect each “Scale” work is a living skeleton held back from potential fragmentation by its sinews, no single cube being independent from the next. This perspective applies broadly to the human condition in that the individual within society interpenetrate their environment, each playing an essential role towards a harmony within the whole. Whether we like or not, each of us are mountaineers roped together.  

Matheson and Ooi, as it might be said of artists generally, address life energy, and how we choose to expend it. Steppenwolf in their “Born to Be Wild” song saw it as “Fire all your guns at once and explode into space.” The boosters of many of our life rockets may already have been spent. As capsules begin their descent, as it did at the launch, their countdown is meted out in seconds. Light years may, of course, separate the landing at a point, somewhere between Oblivion and Kingdom Come.

A Matter of Perspective continues through August 13, 2022. Lonsdale Gallery, 410 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5P 2W2. info@lonsdalegallery.com www.lonsdalegallery.com

Yul Vazquez

by D. Dominick Lombardi

Yul Vazquez and Gwen, Photo: Parker Burr
Yul Vazquez and Gwen, Photo: Parker Burr

There are some of us, who can move from one art form to another and always find footing. Those individuals have a natural ability to respond to the challenges, find those inner voices they trust, and overcome every bump and detour in their journey. One of those genuine, passionate and dedicated individuals is Yul Vazquez, who credits much of his success to his mother, and a childhood filled with spiritual, social, and supportive experiences. Vazquez recalls with fondness those “ mystics and spiritualists” who were his mother’s friends, and he sees Cuba as a most significant part of his being.

At the age of three, Vazquez traveled with his mother, sister and grandmother to America from Cuba, which at the time, would have been an incredibly dangerous journey (this was 1969, after the Cuban Missile Crisis in ‘63, and the Bay of Pigs in ‘61). By the time his family fled Cuba, the Cold War was raging, travel to and from Cuba was forbidden, and the US placed an embargo of all goods flowing back and forth, virtually isolating the island. Growing up, Vazquez was exposed to a rich history of Afro-Caribbean Religions and Deities, an exposure to the occult that would follow him throughout his life, and one that would eventually appear as cryptic signs, mysterious symbols and bold sentences in his visual art. 

Student protest against the Fidel Castro government in Havana's central park. January 8, 1960, Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Student protest against the Fidel Castro government in Havana’s central park. January 8, 1960, Photo: Wikimedia Commons

His creative journey began when his mother noticed his interest in music, especially the drums. Since it was the four of them living in a small efficiency apartment in Miami Beach, it was not the easiest commitment to make, but the drum set was there, in the corner of their all-purpose room by the time Vazquez was eight years old. His musical tipping point came when he was twelve, when he heard Whole Lotta Love for the first time. By then he had switched to guitar, and when he heard Led Zeppelin’s iconic song it shook him to his core, “I was stunned, stopped in my tracks thinking ‘What is This?’”. Instantly, the die was cast for Vazquez and soon, with a lot of hard work and ingenuity, the self taught musician was earning upwards of $90 per gig! 

Even though music will always play a key role in Vazquez’s life, his fate would change when he got his first acting role as Flaco in The Mambo Kings. Since then, he has appeared in countless movies and television series that most recently includes Severance, Promised Land and the soon to be released The White House Plumbers

Yul Vazquez, Fingers Freddy (2021), mixed media on printed canvas, 37 x 37 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc
Yul Vazquez, Fingers Freddy (2021), mixed media on printed canvas, 37 x 37 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc

Most recently, Vazquez has added a career in the visual arts, creating striking images that shifts between arresting black & white photography, fantastical mixed media paintings and stream of consciousness drawings. Opening July 16th at Red Fox Contemporary Art in Pound Ridge, NY, Vazquez will offer a variety of his works in a solo exhibition titled Bruce, which promises to add quite a substantial amount of heat to mid-summer. Among his wizardry of works will be Fingers Freddy, a work prompted by an x-ray of a six-fingered hand he spotted on the internet. Blown up and placed in a field of black, the image becomes haunting and mystical as Vazquez adds a frenzy of words, symbols and small sympathetic characters. His keen eye, especially when observing social behavior, helps Vazquez to elucidate both his observations and his emotions, which can stem from anywhere in his personal history to his current experiences.

If anyone has ever spent time on a movie set, it would be crystal clear how grueling the lives of actors and filmmakers are, where the 12-16 hour days waffle between endless waiting and pressure packed performing. Knowing this little detail would give you a better picture of what a wonderful, cleansing and fulfilling time Vazquez has in the solitude of his studio. In a recent conversation, he mentioned the alarm on his phone set for 3pm, which reminds him to take a “moment of gratitude” for his good life and the great people he has to share it with. I believe that gratification, his acknowledgement of his circumstance clearly comes through in his art.

Yul Vazquez, Mother (2022), mixed media on printed canvas, 52 x 52 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc
Yul Vazquez, Mother (2022), mixed media on printed canvas, 52 x 52 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc

Vazquez often references his mother in his art, focusing on her light, love and strength. One example is Mother, where Vazquez uses a B-movie photograph of an obscure actress in a playful pose, with lightning bolts coming out of her fingers and costume. This combination of power and poise captured his attention, just like it did with the six-fingered x-ray, only this time, a weirdly iconic image of a female space alien became the center of his attention. Tags of “Where r u mother when I am so lost?” and “Your heart was always so full” crosses the upper portion of the picture plane, while on the bottom left appears a kid with a guitar who is clearly loving and cherishing her presence.

The exhibition, which is titled Bruce, refers to an omnipresent ‘being’ that symbolizes all, the entire universe, including the most important human traits in the artist’s mind: “kindness, never malevolence, and always having a heart of gold.” Bruce appears in a painting of the same name, as a buoyant bunny who sports a huge grin and hopeful eyes. The figure eight seen here, which surfaces from time to time in Vazquez’s work, signifies infinity, or no end to Bruce’s positive and all encompassing positive energy.

Yul Vazquez, Joker (2022), mixed media on printed canvas, 75 x 52 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc
Yul Vazquez, Joker (2022), mixed media on printed canvas, 75 x 52 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc

The multimedia work Joker began as a collage of bits and pieces of playing cards that happened to have the compelling distinction of a skull and crossbones on the back. Vazquez tags the blown up version of that collage with animated hearts, stars, squiggles and sprays, which are partnered with various phrasings like “Memento Mori,” “Love is the Law,” “Traveler” and “Mi Reina” (My Queen). Taken in all at once, a voodoo vibe breaks through the layers of iconic images, passionate declarations and whirlwinds of emotion that leave us with a potent and mesmerizing visual.

The formidable photography of Vazquez, which is the basis of many of his multimedia paintings, can be overtly cinematic at times, especially when his night scenes shift unmistakably toward the Noir. Conversely, his more ‘candid’ images taken in Miami and New York, where pretty much anything goes, capture everything from bold decadence and pure self indulgence to desolation and despair. That feeling of hopelessness, which at times can reach surreal heights, can best be seen and felt in his photographs taken in Cuba, where time has virtually stood still, as only the strength and ingenuity of the Cuban people can offer light and life.

Yul Vazquez, Untitled (2011),digital photograph printed on paper, 13 x 31 inches, edition ⅔, courtesy of the artist
Yul Vazquez, Untitled (2011),digital photograph printed on paper, 13 x 31 inches, edition ⅔, courtesy of the artist

Vazquez, the visual artist,  is like a diarist, except his tale is told through impactful phrases and images, brilliant color and iconic symbols. Fueled by an innate ability to see through the haze of the mundane, Vazquez continually takes us to a place where life can truly be enlightening.

Bruce, a solo exhibition of the works of Yul Vazquez, opens July 16 at Red Fox gallery, 55 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge NY 10576. For more information, please refer to https://www.redfoxartgallery.com/

Dream within a Dream

by Jen Dragon

A Dream Within a Dream is a group exhibition that mines the unconscious. Each artist derives inspiration from the painting/sculpting process as well as the immersive of a projected installation. Curated by Alan Goolman of the Lockwood Gallery, the painters and sculptors: Farrell Brickhouse, William Gary, Joel Longenecker, David Pollack, Claudia Renfro together with the installation artist and filmmaker Beverly Peterson, explore the expressive edge of the mindful eye. Curator Alan Goolman’s vision echoes the current oneiric theme of the 59th Venice Biennale’s, The Milk of Dreams. Goolman was inspired by the Edgar Allen Poe quote: “…all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”. With this quote as a guiding theme, Goolman draws together artists whose artworks are united by ambiguity, a distinct commitment to form and a certain exuberant gestural expressionism.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles © William Gary 2019, 48” x 108” inches
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles © William Gary 2019, 48” x 108” inches

Starting with the stark, shocked paintings of William Gary, this dreamscape becomes panicked with anguished brushwork. The panic-stricken mark-making sets off alarms startling in their explosive energy. Gary’s fractured, painted planes are ultimately seized in an instant of emergency – and emergence – in a world at once commanding and terrifying.

Three Trees AKA Blue Moon © Farrell Brickhouse 2020, 16” x 16”
Three Trees AKA Blue Moon © Farrell Brickhouse 2020, 16” x 16”

In the next room, the oil paintings of Farryl Brickhouse reel with archetypal narratives worked densely onto canvas. With insistent gestural energy, Brickhouse carves mythic figures with sweeping gestures then deftly knits them back together in a sparkling night world. Brickhouse searches for the color of dusk at the edge of consciousness where the deepest tones meet and match together with the shimmering glitter of stardust.

Dear March - Come in #2 © Joel Longenecker 2022, 24” x 36” inches
Dear March – Come in #2 © Joel Longenecker 2022, 24” x 36” inches

Across the gallery from Farryl Brickhouse, Joel Longenecker creates dense artwork that hovers at the cusp of painting and sculpture. The volumes of churning paint and the harmonics of color dynamics give Longenecker paintings a geologic and climatic power that summons a mighty topography of seething color and form.

Got a Light? © Claudia Renfro 18” x 24” inches
Got a Light? © Claudia Renfro 18” x 24” inches

In the center room, Claudia Renfro’s paintings on paper and cast bronze sculptures propose a whimsical world of carnivals, masks and above all, shoes! The electric atmosphere between her figures and their eccentric environments is consistently whimsical.  In Renfro watercolors, clowns ask for a light, a dancing cactus entertains a tall dandy and a woman in curlers, and a ghost rises from the dead tol tell silent stories of a world where little makes sense. Renfro’s cast bronze sculptures of cartoonish shoes are not only stories of shape and form but also a twisted sense of strange fashion.

Winter Warm I © David Pollack 11” x 15” watercolor on paper
Winter Warm I © David Pollack 11” x 15” watercolor on paper

Nearby, In the abstracted luminous worlds of David Pollack’s watercolors, light shimmers and refracts. The thinnest veils of pigment glow through one another leading the viewer deeper into their hidden hues. The gently percussive brushwork allows for the emergence of a calm glow that promises a better day.

Shaky’s Meadow © Beverly Peterson installed at the Longwood Gallery, 2022 Kingston N.Y.
Shaky’s Meadow © Beverly Peterson installed at the Longwood Gallery, 2022 Kingston N.Y.

A pleasant surprise in the exhibition Dream Within A Dream is the creation of Shakey’s Meadow, an installation by the light artist and filmmaker, Beverly Peterson. This dedicated environment has an all encompassing, almost Virtual Reality space. With projected digitized stars in a recreated night forest, Peterson plumbs the depths of mystery with her illuminated space. This immersive experience envelopes the visitor and invites participation as the outline of a house becomes a vehicle for transformation from one dimension to the next. 

The exhibition Dream Within a Dream is on view at the Lockwood Gallery, Kingston NY through May 8, 2022