Rosenfeld’s summer adventure

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Travis Townsend
Travis Townsend, Frump’s Rebuilt Processor

Summer is the time for galleries to try out some new faces. At Rosenfeld Gallery, there are several worth a mention, but the star of the show, for me, is Travis Townsend, whose wacky wood and mixed-media sculptures of rickety fantasy tools and machines suggest the human condition. Townsend sews wood, ties it together, glues it, and sketches technical plans and numbers on it. He paints parts in ways that defy logic, suggesting the revealed walls of adjacent torn-down old buildings.

Trevor Townsend
Travis Townsend, Renovated Oxo Toy

The sculptures suggest they might have been jerry-built from imaginary old gizmos, in dire need of retooling and re-imagining. They are held together with a little spit and a touch of humor to create a sense of vulnerability and the need for repair. Every time I see Townsend’s work, I like it better (three sightings so far, the first one in Lexington, Ky.)

I an even put some kind of Earth Day message into these pieces, but a better fit might be in Tom Gaines’ work.

Tom Gaines
Tom Gaines, Rock 13: Ice, oil on wood

Tom Gaines’ stacked rocks are not really rocks. The colors and layers of paint are soothing and lovely, the shapes iconic rather than realistic. They suggest that rocks are less tough, less solid, less permanent than we normally think of rocks being. Again, there is something anthropomorphic here–a vulnerability of either man or nature.

Peter Kephart
Peter Kephart, Blue Moon …, smoke drawing

The fire and smoke drawings of Peter Kephart do nothing of the sort. Kephart is totally about his process, and lets you know but putting up an explanation on the gallery wall, not once, but twice. The end results suggest there’s more than just process going on at least in Kephart’s selection process. It’s sort of like raku. You don’t know exactly what you’re going to get as you manipulate the liquid, the colors, the fire, but you’re going for something, and then, if you don’t like it, I guess you throw it away. The ones that made the cut here are quite beautiful, the burnt blacks, the smoked browns, the flashes of color and light all add up to something I could feast my eyes on for a while.

Jessie Morgan
Jessie Morgan, Lyric, mixed on canvas

And while we’re discussing process, some pieces by Jessie Morgan caught my eye. I’m not sure what I think about them. They’re a little cool and corporate, maybe, but they invited me to take a little time to look. I wondered about how she got the texture, and I liked the colors and the layers.

Tom Werner
Tom Werner, Night Windows

And at the other extreme–all narrative and emotion–some paintings by Tom Werner had nice narratives and ideas, nice to look at, with the texture of folk tales and book illustrations–but the views are of the big city, transforming the chilly high rises into Our Town.

Others showing at Rosenfeld are Michael DeLuca, Sandi Neiman Lovitz, and Sterling Shaw.

Tags

jessie morgan, rosenfeld gallery, tom gaines, tom werner, travis townsend

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