Monday, November 9, 2009

New Weather

Today I had the opportunity to see the current exhibition at the USF CAM, entitled New Weather and featuring works by Diana Al-Hadid, Iva Gueorguieva, and Robyn O'Neil. I really enjoyed this show, particularly the works by Robyn O'Neil. Her works are predominantly large scale graphite on paper drawings and I was really intrigued by her technique of layering and working such a common medium to achieve such unusual effects. Even her small pieces are visually intriguing and emotionally evocative. There is very delicate line and eraser work involved that must be seen in person to fully appreciate.

Diana Al-Hadid's sculptures took me a little longer to respond to. Her sculpture Edge of Critical Density at first looked to me like it was comprised of the sausage casings my father uses during the holidays (if you're unaware, sausage casings are made from pig intestines). Upon further inspection I began to see other forms take shape until it looked more like a swirling ballgown. I liked it much better after that.

Iva Gueorguieva's huge abstract paintings are quite beautiful. I reacted to them less emotionally than the works by the other artists but I think I spent the most time examinging them. Looking at her pieces brought up a question that I've asked myself numberous times before: when I am seeing an object or idea in an abstract piece, does it say more about my own psychology or the artist's? My instructor, Ms. Baron-Robbins, buffered this with an example from her own experience. In an abstract piece, she used what she perceived as fingers. However, many viewers responded to these figures as phallic symbols, to the point of her frustration. She reassured me, though, that much of what I was seeing in Ms. Gueorguieva's work was actually what was intended.