Art Show Profile: Coupling

C_Clausen2017Susan Clausen and Umberto Crenca have been creating art for decades and it’s quite evident they continue to grow and evolve as individual artists, as well as influences each other. I recently viewed Coupling in Providence and found it purely original.

Susan shares her installation of “Mr. Bones at Home in his Breakfast Nook.” Mr. Bones, a larger-than-life paper mache skeleton, sits with a tea cup, (English tea, I believe), in constant motion on an ornate wooden rocking chair.  He is surrounded by a dizzying array of mediums that will have you studying each piece contentedly.  Such an exciting dimension on all levels. A “Mousie” video (also created by Clausen) plays on a television atop of which a mini mouse character sits on an ornate, trophy-like rotating pedestal. Is he proud?!  I think so…

With movement, interactions and color I am in a world of my own, wandering around Clausen’s installation of wonderful bobble head wall hangings, which are animal creatures that you can interact with: by gently tugging on a cord, the creature’s hinged jaws and ears move. It is so refreshing to touch and explore. The bat head framed in gold is surrounded by a tactile black surface allowing you to pull the weight and see an interesting life-like happening occur!  Her hanging cabinet takes you back to fun things you may have collected at one time or kept safe in your pocket. It’s nice to see things familiar on display. The window video, complete with curtains, takes you on a ride in the country with sunny vast fields and warm summery visions. I am in awe of each piece.

C_FlowerPowerAs I move to study and appreciate Umberto (Bert) Crenca’s work, there is a transition of mood and subjects that pop. In his Enigma series, a blue dot with carved wooden shapes tell us a story, an emotion or an ‘in the moment’ the artist has experienced. Is he inviting you in? …or wanting the viewer to feel a moment in time which an encounter may have taken place and Bert is sharing the incident. There could be many interpretations, and that is the wonder of Bert’s creations. As I move to his new self-portrait series, four total, I see a Master framed with two contrasting colors, black and gold. With the artist’s tongue planted firmly in cheek, each work represents his growth as an artist, exploring and searching for understanding and meaning. Captured with these pieces is a 3-dimensional lug nut sculpture enhancing the many facets of Bert and an interesting play on common art-like forms. I am always intrigued.

The exhibition had me thinking on multiple levels on how artists can relate to each other and their creative works and how the interplay between them complements both bodies of work. This show does both and is well worth viewing. Bravo!

Coupling is on exhibit at 159 Sutton Street, Providence through November 30th.  Gallery hours are Saturday’s 2-4 pm through November 25th, closing reception November 30th, 5-8 pm. To obtain more information about the exhibit, visit: as220.org/clausen-crenca-coupling; Most Saturdays from 2-4 pm, through November 25th or by appointment: sjkopel@gmail.com; 401-419-7064

 

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