June 23, 2013

Art Review: Environmentally tuned-in artists pay their respects to 'Silent Spring'


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“Light and Steam” by Nina Jerome.

Images courtesy of George Marshall Store Gallery

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“Joy of Spring” by Vanessa Nesvig

Additional Photos Below



ARTISTS: Judith Allen-Efstathiou, Susan Amons, Todd Bezold, George Burk, Kate Cheney Chappell, Nancy Davison, Tim Gaudreau, Tom Glover, Susan Groce, Tom Hibschman, Nina Jerome, MaJo Keleshian, John Arden Knight, Vanessa Nesvig, Donald Saaf, Jane El Simpson, Michael Walek, Julia Zanes and Dudley Zopp

WHERE: George Marshall Store Gallery, 140 Lindsay Road, York

WHEN: Through July 14

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday or by appointment

INFO: 351-1083; georgemarshallstoregallery.com

Zopp usually allows her materials to assert their inherent mineral logic, but here she gives us jaunty, pulsing black rocks on a white ground that seems to breed human presence like a virus. Her surface intercessions become more and more violent until they seem razor-slashed in the center painting. Zopp's aggressive edge appeals to me.

Simpson's assemblage pictures are microscopic images writ large in paper, thread and bits of organic flora such as thorns or pine needles. They are elegantly minimal and beautifully presented.

The weirdest thing in the show -- by far -- is Tim Gaudreau's video documentation of a performance of what looks like a coven of bee-worshipping dancers. While the issue of bee deaths is genuinely important, this video made me want to text Hansel and Gretel to tell them to stay out of the orchard.

The most entertaining piece is Vanessa Nesvig's "Joy of Spring Desiring," a horizontal and fiddlehead-filled frieze of frogs performing nature's birds-and-bees ritual. Nesvig can paint (her tiny bee paintings are gems), and she clearly has a flair for jocular theatrics. Above an audience of his otherwise-engaged peers, an athletic bull frog revealingly leaps (think Baryshnikov) for his moth-y dinner. It's not just tongue-in-cheek, it's hilarious.

While the humor of Nesvig's froggie-went-a-courtin' painting is a welcome exception, appropriately, it is the exception to the serious theme of the show. Yet through what could be a tough subject, "Silent Spring" is appealingly elegant, respectful and dedicated. So, while it's smart, it is an easy show to enjoy.

"Silent Spring" may not be as handsome as other shows organized by Harding, but in some ways, it's even better.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:



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Additional Photos

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“Geologics XI” by Dudley Zopp

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“Grid II” by Nancy Davison.

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“Two-Headed Blue Bird” by Julia Zanes.

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