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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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