Elif Soyer: Artifact
Paul Andrade: Underlying Harmony
At the Kingston Gallery
By Cole Tracy
Boston, MA- The current exhibitions at the Kingston Gallery are certain to catch some intrigued glances. Both artists have a strange, and fitting harmony between them.
Elif Soyer’s body of work, “Artifact,” is an intensely personal exploration of how the artist navigates through the everyday. By using cement, she calls to mind all sorts of commonplace objects, through her use of texture and items exploding out of masses of grey. A fist is the only recurrent image throughout the work, reminding us of the artist’s hand, and our relationship to a material that surrounds us through much of our life.
The viewer also questions preconceived notions about art; it’s not everyday that one sees hanging blocks of cement in a gallery space. They stand on their own successfully, and reward those who give the objects more time.
The pieces fascinate and astound, each one is a world of it’s own, reminiscent of a topographical map from another planet. The objects coming through bring to mind artifacts, of whom or what is impossible to say but the collision of textures, colors and fabrics creates odd juxtapositions.
Not many of these items are identifiable, a ceramic bulge, red shiny fabrics wrapped in oblong shapes covered by mesh. The confusion and uncertainty of what these things actually are, is an affirmation to Soyer’s underlying theme: anything can be anything. If this is a representation of her perception of the everyday world, we can only imagine the fascinating things we might glimpse taking a walk in her shoes.
Paul Andrande’s “Underlying Harmony” paintings similarly push the viewer towards unfamiliar territory in his abstract and formal line paintings. Andrande’s influence for these works comes primarily from music, dubbing the series ‘color chords’ after the notes of harmony he is creating through color selection and interrelation.
The colors are bold, and tend to be within a similar palette, to show his ‘scale’ in a given color zone. The dynamic paintings are easy to stare at, comparing the thickness of each drip of paint. The artist’s hand is still visible, and he walks a fine line between abstract formalism and expression by letting the lines go towards imperfection and letting the lines remain uneven it reminds us of the humanity behind the paintings.
In “Red Strings,” a square 12” x 12” image dominated by several tones of reds, pinks and oranges, is also interspersed with touches of black and blue. These darker colors serve the plane well, breaking it up at intervals and making sure the viewer doesn’t get lost within all the warm tones. Andrande has a keen sense of the spatial relationship of his canvas.
The show is nontraditional and invites the viewer to question preconceived notions about what is and is not art. Elif Soyer shows us the capability of all objects to be elevated to the high status of art. Paul Andrande also transforms his thoughts, musical and otherwise, into geometric abstract expressionist paintings. Both series draw on the mystifying beauty of a world many can only find banality within.
(“Elif Soyer: Artifact” and “Paul Andrade: Underlying Harmony” continue through October 27 at the Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston. For more information, call (617) 423-4113.)