Abington: Inside and Out
Roberta sees the exhibition, Handmaking, at Abington Art Center and marvels at the new works inside and out that are not afraid of everyday materials bought from Home Depot or AC Moore.

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Detail of Annette Monnier's piece (foreground) in Handmaking at Abington Art Center.
Detail of Annette Monnier’s piece (foreground) in Handmaking at Abington Art Center.

 

Just a very quick note to alert you to the last few days of The HandMaking at Abington Art Center. The show, up through July 28, is devoted to art that breaks of the barrier between high and low and gleefully embraces JoAnne Fabrics and AC Moore as well as Pearl Paint’s finest. Great show.

And while I was out there I got to walk through the sculpture garden and woods with Curator Amy Lipton who showed me the new works in Inside/Outside: Habitat, up now through November 21.

Knox Cummin, Habitation suite, Cabin Van Gogh, 2007 wood
Knox Cummin, Habitation suite, Cabin Van Gogh, 2007 wood

Knox Cummins’ little house on the prairie with its upthrust roof and sloping floor (and sloping furniture–catch that bed!!) is a delight. Lipton pointed out how visitors love it so much they have been decorating it with little twigs and rocks and other natural materials placed on the window sills and elsewhere inside. The view through the house is quiet and lovely and the whole thing is gentle and Thoreauvian, a contemplative space for quiet ruminations.

Cummins' Habitation space, detail of inside
Cummins’ Habitation space, detail of inside

And if you’re reminded of Van Gogh when looking at the bed you’re right. The skewed perspective of the building (intentional on the part of the artist) calls to mind the Dutch master’s skewing of his little bedroom in that famous work.

Austin Thomas
Austin Thomas

Looking like a crop of toadstools, this sweet piece by Austin Thomas uses scavenged white Corian (they’re cutouts from kitchen countertops where a sink would be placed) perched on top of logs. The little encirclement feels like a plein air classroom waiting for its chipmunk or raccoon students to arrive.

Brandon Ballengee
Brandon Ballengee

Another animal-friendly piece, this one by by Brandon Ballengee, is a big nest with logs at the bottom and twigs at the top. Like a high rise condo building for animal owners, the piece could accomodate many types and sizes of families. And Lipton says the animals have already started moving in.

Steven Siegel
Steven Siegel

One of the older works in the woods is Steven Siegel’s mammoth newspaper boulder, now after four years in a state of collapse. The work will eventually be removed to make way for something else. I was surprised to see that the piece, which before this looked like a solid pile of newspapers, had a considerable armature inside it. Here’s my post from 2005 that shows the Siegel piece intact.

Meanwhile, Ursula von Rydingsvard’s piece looks solid as rock and as magnificent as the day it arrived. (It’s wood.) I guess that says something about the mightiness of wood and the fragility of paper. Or it says something about the mightiness of gravity applied to all things tall (the Siegel piece is a towering work and the von Rydingsvard is low to the ground). Whatever it says, I lay it at your feet to contemplate on this sleepy summer day.

Tags

Abington Art Center, annette monnier, austin thomas, brandon ballengee, knox cummin, steven siegel

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