IBJOpinion

LOU'S VIEWS: Indianapolis Art Center turns the familiar into new art

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Lou Harry
This week, familiar objects take on new looks and meaning at the Indianapolis Art Center.

There is plenty to like — and plenty to be annoyed by — at the Indianapolis Art Center, which is featuring a trio of related exhibitions through April 19.

All deal in some way with existing or found objects. The most ambitious — and least focused — of the three shows is "Re-Use/Re-Order" which is diminished by being spread through the Churchman-Fehsenfeld Gallery (basically, the IAC lobby) and the Frank M. Basile Exhibition Hall (basically, the hallway).

The spaces would work if the show focused on a single artist — or single pieces of work from a variety of artists. But with nine artists featured, some with many pieces and others with only a few — some large and some tiny — you are likely to find yourself constantly cross-referencing. You have to skip around, for instance, if you want to see all of Pip Brant's embroidered and dyed found cloth pieces — which I suppose are meant to be wryly funny/sad ("Abu Ghraib, for instance, features a pattern of flowers and oil cans). Same with Jessica Bohus' Acrocat sculptures, which dance on the line between art and discount-table-at-the-Hallmark-Store, and Matthew Friday's been-there oil-on-canvas comments on Reagan, Bush, etc.

More interesting are pieces from Gerald Mead's "30 Square Inches" series of mini-mixed-media works, as well as four from his "Discarded Science" series of modified books. And I kept gravitating back to Pamela DeCoker's untitled works created from acrylic paint (and only acrylic paint).

The two connected solo shows, while less ambitious, proved more complete and satisfying. "Rock covers Paper" features a series of paper flags from Patrick Miceli, whose "Made in China" piece at McCormick Place in Chicago is the ultimate I-Spy game. Longtime IAC visitors might remember his remarkable piece, "Multiples," which was part of the Art Center's "Regional '99" exhibition and featured giant concentric circles of color made entirely from plastic fast-food-premium toys. It's nice to have his work back in town.

Renee Zettle-Sterling also gets a solo showcase with "Artifacts from Self-Making." It includes such whimsical/creepy/ evocative wordplay objects as a pair of scissors with the word "verb" taking the place of part of the blade, a cheese slicer that seems guarded by a row of paper-doll children, and a garlic press that pushes out the word "life." Literalists may come away confused. Others will find the dreamlike objects close enough to reality to be evocative while distant enough to fire the imagination.
ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT