Camille Obering’s pop-up gallery, in operation through September 30th, is a compact, clean and charming space for the relatively small number of items on exhibit there. That’s a good thing. The number of objects is correct in order for the space to hold both visitors and artwork, for both to interact as they should.
Two bronze wall pieces appearing to be self-portraits by renowned artist Kiki Smith, created in 2004, are mounted on the gallery’s north wall. Girl with Stars, above, is mounted an inch or two off the wall, allowing Smith’s star patterns to cast their shadows against the wall’s white surface.
“Kiki Smith’s work explores the idea of our bodies as recepticles,” says curator Obering. “She is a storyteller. Her art is about mysticism, knowledge and belief. In these two works (the second Smith work, “Dreaming with Bear,” also carries an astrological theme), express our fascination and connection to the cosmos, to constellations of stars. The stars and planets have enchanted us always.”
Entering the gallery, one is immediately in contact with artist-philosopher Lee Ufan’s conceptual, minimalistic, highly “Zen” floor sculpture, “Relatum – expansion place.” To see the work is to feel its grace, and realize its size. Ufan’s biography describes the art movement Mono-ha, “the school of things.” It emphasized ideas of system, structure and process, arising “amid the collapse of colonial world orders, antiauthoritarian protests and the rise of critiques of modernity.”
“The occasion of the site-specific work and the network of dynamics it triggers is more important than the object per se, and we the viewer enter the scene as an equal part of the whole,” says Ufan.
“Lee Ufan is disciplined about not using many things to say something big,” notes Obering. “It’s about engaging space, and conception, how the objects are placed.”
The gallery is located on the corner of Pearl and King Streets, in the old “Paper and Grace” shop space. Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am – 4pm. http://www.camilleobering.com/
Traveling artist Natalie Clark’s exhibition of new colored steel crystalline spires is on display at Diehl Gallery through September 12th. Clark’s bright, sharp works range from two to twenty cubic feet, and function in interior and exterior spaces.
“The scale of natural spaces and a fascination in the geometric simplicity of crystalline polyhedron forms have manifested themselves into an evolving body of work, including the current exhibition of colored steel crystalline spires,” says the artist. Her influences derive from such disparate locations as the Tetons and South Africa’s diamond mines. These towering, hot-colored pieces, grouped together, are an irresistable, fun kick to explore.
Heather James Fine Art hosts a public reception for Gerry Spence, on Wednesday, August 29, 5-7:00 pm. The famed ex-attorney’s show includes paintings he’s done in his new life as an artist. The exhibition runs through September 3rd.
“These paintings were in my portfolio for admission to San Franciso State’s master of fine arts program,” says Spence. “When I left the small town of Riverton, Wyoming, and the law, to become a painter, some of the original works were sold for as little as fifty cents. By whim of fate my portfolio was preserved via Kodachrome film. Almost a half century later these images were discovered by James Carona and Chip Tom of the Heather James Gallery. With their encouragement I began a new adventure.” All proceeds from this event will benefit the Jackson Hole Community School. www.heatherjames.com
A quick note that Meg Daly’s Culture Front’s next presentation, “Terrible Beauty: Content and Aesthetics,” a discussion with Kathryn Mapes Turner, Pamela Gibson, Alissa Davies and Kelly Halpin (The Coffeeweirds.com) takes place August 30th, 5:30 pm, at The Rose cocktail lounge.
“What is the initial inspiration for an artist? ” asks Daly. “What propels her forward in making an artwork? During the evening’s discussion, we will address the tension between the content of an artwork and making it beautiful or aesthetically pleasing.” Culture Front evenings are free; you can purchase cocktails at the bar! For information, contact Meg Daly at 307.699.7933.