"At Arms Length" at NURTUREart

Cody Trepte This is how I cope with my neuroses 2004 cross-stitch 6.5" x 6.5"

Guy Ambrosino Abu Ghraib #1 2006 watercolor 14" x 10"

[detail showing artist's text]

NURTUREart has been mounting some great shows lately, and "At Arm's Length", which closes next Sunday, is one of the best.

This creative non-profit institution is as stimulating as it is, well . . . , yes, nurturing to artists, curators, and the public beyond. Its directors have assembled a remarkable curatorial program mechanism which was described to us only yesterday afternoon. Judging from what Barry and I have been seeing in their gallery space lately, it's really working.

The current show, curated by Lauren Schell Dickens and Julie McKim, was assembled around the idea of the reintroduction of the hand in creative work, in opposition to its increasing displacement within the arts as in most of contemporary life. The exhibition's excellent small brochure describes it further:

With laborious and time-consuming manual processses perfprmed over and over, [the seven artists included in the show] obsessively attempt to bring experience back within arms reach.
Each of these works included is as beautiful as it is intellectually engaging.

Cody Trepte's last show was inspired by the mathematical genius Alan Turing, which helps explain why I can't describe what he's doing here in a few words. No, it's about much more than needlepoint.

There isn't a weak spot in the roster of seven artists, which includes Molly Springfield, David A Faust, Christina Christina Gundersen, Helen Dennis, Jessica Mein and Guy Ambrosino.

They're all very good, but Ambrosino's contribution introduces a "political" element into this excellent company (can we survive a world in which we have reduced torture to merely a political topic?) and his treatment, in elegant watercolors, of four monstrous, excruciatingly-familiar photo images with a rare balance of grace and rage serves both the art and the show particularly well.

[image of Ambrosino's piece from NurtureART]

Yes, Guy Ambrosino's work was wonderful as was much in the show. I would also add how refreshing it was to see quality works on an intimate scale. Art does not have to be monumental to be monumental.

Guy Ambrosino's work promises to be up there with the stars soon.
If it were not designated as political, it's lush desolateness would still have the same somber effect.

Gundersen's work is always striking.

David M. Raddock

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Published on February 4, 2008 11:08 PM.

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