EXPLORING THAT HARD-TO-DEFINE PLACE
Three very different artists bring artwork of great power and strangeness to the three exhibition spaces at AVA Gallery as they explore questions of the body, narrative and that hard-to-define place between realism and abstrac- tion. I was drawn to this group of shows because of that hard-to-define place, through which I travel in my own work.
AVA Gallery and Art Center is a non-profit space offering exhibitions, classes and artists’ studios. AVA’s physical structure, with three separate galleries inside one large exhibition space, is ideal for thematically juxtaposing artists like this.
“Slow Transformations through Matter,” in the combined Rebecca Lawrence Gallery Entry and Clifford B. West Gallery, includes both paintings and three-dimensional mixed media work by Louise Glass of Piermont, New Hampshire. Her imagery references the forms of the human body in a slow-moving, visceral, deeply internal way. Color is incidental — the neutral tones of an interior that does not see the light of day.
Glass refers to “matter” and “the hand,” essentially inviting viewers to touch the pieces not with their actual hands, but with the hands of the mind. She said her work refers “directly to the opposition I see between dominance of vision in the culture and the relegation, therefore, to an inferior place, of touch and knowing by means of the hand and by extension, the body.” She wants, she said, “its impact to be felt, physically, viscerally as a communication from the body to the body, and a seduction to and by means of that beauty.”