At Bridgette’s, Part 2

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Well, now, where were we?

Bridgette Mayer has a good group sculpture show, as I told you here when I wrote about Scot Kaplan‘s surveillance installation.

The show’s three other participants use vastly different means from Kahn’s to achieve their ends. They’re object-makers, although as with all art today, the objects are conceptual. Interestingly, some of the best conceptual pieces are also functional.

Scott White, a musician among sculptors, produced a series of functional works — trumpets (top image) and an accordian (left) — using the most improbable materials. White’s copper tubing trumpets were scheduled to be played at the opening. I couldn’t stay to hear it but they held great promise. The artist’s “The Accordian,” a furniture-oid piece whose top ended in 8 tiny bellows, was the instrument in play when Libby and I were there.

Viewers were pulling up the tops and creating squeezebox harmony. White says in his artist’s statement that he is interested in the single note and not the composition, believing in that one note’s power to express the instrument/object’s voice. You could argue the point but White’s pieces, inventive, expressive and idiosyncratic, are individual voices in themselves — without having to play a note. I look forward to seeing more of them.

 

Mike Stifel, who curated the show, according to what Mayer told me, is the mechanic of the lot. His pieces use spigots and motors and feel very much from the hand and mind of the Home Depot afficionado. Plumbing problems were on Stifel’s mind in general. Two works, including “Where the F!** is the Landlord” (shown) used water — dripping, flowing through clear plastic tubes, as a kind of threat. That’s something we can all identify with after the recent floods from heavy rain.

I like mechanical sculpture in general and thought Stifel’s piece in the back utility closet which required the viewer to step on a foot pedal to activate the rush of water through surgical tubing, was the highpoint, evoking as it did, not only floods and sump pumps but the rush of blood through the human body and how we ourselves are but sophisticated machines of a sort — hydro-chemical-electrical power generators — that need constant maintaining and fall apart so easily.

Finally, Brant Ritter‘s light boxes (left above) are elegant reminders of the seduction of light. These boxes, which used fluorescent lights to draw lines in space had a spiritual quality (albeit a minimalist one) that evoked heavenly light beyond the closed door. They are the wallflowers in this show. However I found their square upon square ambiance a nice resting place in the crowd.

The exhibit’s up to Oct. 30.

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