|todd camplin weekly...
at Craighead Green Gallery
by Todd Camplin
When visiting art galleries and looking at a new body of artworks first time, I like to keep my starry
eyed wonder about me. Don’t get me wrong, I take a critical look at art and sometimes a little
cynicism comes through but not in my writing. I want to reflect upon what works and what excites
me. Take Craighead Green Gallery as an example. The gallery had three artists showing and only
Orna Feinstein’s art gave me goosebumps. I have been following her work for sometime, but with
each new exhibition of her art comes new surprises.
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|When I first came into Craighead Green, I was confronted by Orna Feinstein’s installation of small
works displayed on the middle gallery wall. Because I know she uses printmaking as a method of
producing her work, I thought some of the patterns might be repeated. Upon closer inspection,
I discovered each individual work was unique. Each little image played with your eyes and I
enjoyed looking for variations in her pattern play. I was happy to find that another artist was using
claybord as a surface. I find claybord is great for ink drawing. Feinstein’s “Seeds and Seductions”
install may have hooked me, but I wasn’t prepared for the optical treat just around the corner.
|The center gallery of Craighead Green is a space that closes you in an intimate space surrounded
by one of their featured artists. As in her wall installation, Feinstein plays tricks with your eyes
through line and pattern. In several pieces she aids in your experience through a half bubble
plexi-glass. This bubble distorts the image while also entering your space a little. Feinstein fearlessly
prints on most any surface including plexi-glass that is part of the frame. Printing on the plexi is
similar to when an actor breaks the fourth wall. The functional protective surface of the frame
is now activated and becomes part of the art.
|Her piece titled Tree Dynamics #147 buzzes with activity. The illusion of everything moving as you
walk closer to the work is caused by her use of pattern and color. Close lines interact and feel
alive, yet remain physically still. Illusions and movement might be part of her mode of operation,
but she is inspired by the tree as a subject. I think back to Feinstein’s early work where she was
influenced by tree rings. Now the forms are idealized into formalist lines, color, and shapes. I am
reminded of the evolution of Piet Mondrian art. He was influenced by the tree as well. His work
moved through Impressionism, Cubism, to non-representational art. Unlike Mondrian, Feinstein
layers her work rather than flattening the image. Therefore, she makes her move to further
abstraction a far more complex and interesting journey.
The optical wonders of Orna Feinstein will be up through May 6th. While you are there, take
a look at Carlos Ramirez and Daniel Angeles. They will also be showing at Craighead Green
Gallery through May 6th.