June 4th-August 1, 2009
RADIANT brings together three artists whose work radiates light, color, and formal intensity while exploring our understanding of the environment, natural phenomena, and the subjective, often dual nature of what we call beautiful. Each artist’s process (flowing pigments on canvas, impressions cast in clay, or recyclables re-collected and reconfigured) achieves a transformation of materials into transcendent objects that concentrate our gaze while expanding our vision.
Shari Mendelson’s work is constructed from small modular pieces of industrial plastic that
are transformed through accumulation and repetition into glowing nebulae, faceted crystalline vessels, and sparkling screens of light and color that disperse and refract light. She recently began collecting recycled plastic bottles, attracted by the ornamental possibilities concealed in the ridges, textures and bases that give those bottles their practical functionality. This newest series of vessels defies its origins by creating connections to ancient glass and sparkling prisms.
Julia Kunin’s richly-glazed porcelain sculptures are exquisite piles of otherworldly life created from casts of sea creatures, insects, and animal forms. Kunin’s work addresses complex ideas about beauty and decay, sensuality, nature and death. Their forms reflect her interest in Asian scholars’ rocks used for meditation and contemplation of the natural world, and also allude to aspects of the grotesque by referencing the excesses and indulgences of the 19th century “Wunderkammer”, fashionable collections of natural specimens, accrued and sometimes altered for display to both amuse and enchant viewers.
Susan Rabinowitz’s work evolves from a process whereby transparent veils of paint flow across the expanse of canvas, reacting to gravity as they form layers of color and light. Their extreme horizontal format provides a horizon that locks the image into place, and speaks of the experience of infinite space. Her flowing colors generate perceptual phenomena and subtle atmospheric effects that are about the experience of nature: of seeing the light of the sun, the span of the sky, or the glimmering surface of the sea.