It's good to start the year peering into the unknown, turning away from the tired cycles of the past. This is a time to pioneer your own perspective and to come back surprised by what lies just around the corner.
To that end, Reynolds Gallery has brought together six eclectic artists; three new to the gallery — Katia Santibanez, Joan Snyder and William Wood — as well as three from past showings — Tara Donovan, Kazue Taguchi and Jack Wax. Gallery director Beverly Reynolds calls their collective vision “a great way to begin the year.” In this show, “New Year: New Work,” the artists have developed work new to themselves, new to the gallery and new for the year.
Combined, each piece has a connective thread as if pulled from a collective consciousness, in spite of the fact that there is no predetermined overarching theme for the show. Tara Donovan, an alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University's sculpture department and a past recipient of a MacArthur genius grant, offers a vision of organic shapes through prints and sculptures infused with a language of the present. Her work “Bluffs” is composed of clear buttons glued together resembling a crystal ant hill, a stalagmite or a rock worn by the sea. Elsewhere, Jack Wax, a master sculptor, has constructed complex glass units that connect kinetically. These free standing units combine in a pattern that seems to grow from the ground as if they were roots of an invisible tree.
Viewers may find themselves trying to kick the dirt off a memory that makes each work feel familiar, like you had seen it somewhere out there, but not like this. These half-remembered feelings continue with Joan Snyder's notions of home and healing shown through bright collages of papier-mA›chAc, twigs, and straw, Katia Santibanez's purified images of grass between pavement, and William Wood's paintings of monochromatic color, an experience not unlike driving straight into a bare tree in a snow storm at night.
Then there is Kazue Taguchi, a young artist originally from Japan who currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Her sculpture, “Eloquent Silence,” is composed of Mylar ribbon sewn together in cyclical patterns. The piece is suspended from the ceiling and it fills the room. Lights shine blue streams of brightness that cause reflections to dance onto the ceiling and surrounding walls. As you stand and notice the sculpture moving and the reflections changing like ripples in the universe, your gaze moves away from the physical piece itself and instead ventures off with trails of light that extend into the void.
It is off in that distance where you might find something else along the collective vein — something new.
“New Year: New Work” will continue through Feb. 20 at Reynolds Gallery, 1514 W. Main St. For information, go to reynoldsgallery.com or call 355-6553.