art morsel

I love Richard Heller's gallery. He always seems to share something that is part whimsy, part sour, part craft, and part just-plain-lovely. You get a different ratio of each, in any given show. I was able to see the current Amy Bennett show during the recent "breakfast receptions" at Bergamot Station. I was with a couple good artist friends, and if I remember correctly, this was the one show all three of us liked.

It was almost exclusively small-ish oil on panel works, save for a single sculpture. The very nice attendant informed me that it was created by the artist as a reference from which to paint, but it was a beautiful object in and of itself. (I could go off on a whole other tangent, talking about how wonderful it is that she paints from miniatures she builds herself. For the sake of my much needed night of sleep, I will not.)

The panels are each finished with a flawless, shellacked sheen, which gives the pictures' color and form an assertive presence. The palette is quietly idyllic and the rendering of light is ethereal. The materiality of the gloss also resonates with the theme of houses on lakes. From image to image, the lake surfaces change from rippling, to unnaturally, eerily, glass-like. The dominant aspect of the images are the rural landscapes and their reflections; yet dwelling within them are minutely rendered people. Their activity is familiar, yet peculiar. Think super-removed/aerial view of Gregory Crewdson at the lakehouse on a spring morning. The paintings are, for lack of a less-clich├ęd word, captivating. I will say no more. Go see this show. Take your valentine. (It's over after the 14th.)

Vacationland, 2008
22" x 48"

by Amy Bennett, at Richard Heller

1 comment:

Lynelle said...

This were my favorite part of that day. Except for the smuggling pastries in my purse part. That was also rad. But these paintings sucked me into an eerily silent world.