Tuesday, February 2, 2016

About Sculptures, St. Claude Arts District

Three sculptors showing in the St-Claude Art District ought to get mentioned before their exhibit is taken down next week: Jeffrey Rinehart, Aaron McNamee at the Good Children Gallery and Cynthia Scott at The Front.

Jeffrey Rinehart's four sculptures at Good Children are spread in the backroom, allowing a walk around them while the height of the pedestals facilitates a bird eye view. They are made of  gypsum and the pure white of the material is highlighted by the artificial grass-green they are laid on. One of them, Complex Napoleon, 2015, combines a Neoclassical portrait of the emperor crowned by the symbolic laurel wreath, resting on a pair of female limbs in a sensual pose, and a thin outstretched hand hiding his sexual organs. The idea of adding feminine features to the historical figure, questioning his gender, is provocative and fits in the Metamodernist movement which is about rewriting history, reconstructing, remixing and the creation of challenging works.

In the front room, Endless Schnoz, 2016 and Lips and Noses, 2016, from Aaron McNamee through repetition and accumulation are all about the symbolic protuberance. Organ of smell, the nose, we are told, defines character and from Cleopatra to Cyrano de Bergerac has made history. The totemic pieces are a celebration of the phallic emblem while Son/Father, 2016, a wall sculpture featuring a young hand holding a large finger/penis, rejuvenates the myth of Kronos and the Freudian father complex in this playful and irreverent version.

Across the street at the Front, Cynthia Scott's hanging sculpture takes over a large space with its shadow spread on the white walls. The intricate structure built with plastic, metal, and mesh, mainly white, has cage-like features resulting in an eerie feeling of entrapment offset by the dreamy shadow in the background. A short text from Macbeth provides the key to the work and its title Poor Players, Strutting and Fretting, 2016.

photographs by the author:

Jeffrey Rinehart, "Complex Napoleon", 2015
Aaron McNamee, "Endless Schnoz", 2016
Cynthia Scott "Poor Players, Strutting and Fretting", 2016

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