Sunday, October 25, 2015

Local Art Seen: Sharon Louden's Windows

Thursday, October 22, the Tweed Museum hosted its opening reception for two totally disparate shows, Robert Miniciello's Spontaneous Acts and Sharon Louden's Windows. Louden, who has participated in group exhibitions since 1985 and has been featured in solo exhibitions since 1997, is known internationally for her drawings, paintings, prints and installations.

The current exhibit assembled sculpture and paintings, plus two performances of music with a small ensemble and theater lighting. The Star-Trekkish musical component was composed by Washington D.C.-based pianist and organist Andrew Simpson, who is the classical composer who produced this special score that was performed live by UMD students. By means of Arden Weaver's lighting, a measure of drama was added to the two performances.

The installation itself has that space age feel, with rolls of reflective mylar-like material draped all about the Sax Gallery as if a futuristic tapestry. The mirror-like sheets of aluminum had been draped from the ceiling, over the banisters and fastened to walls. The effect on the sensations was such that a visitor might fail to notice that there are a number of small paintings adorning the walls in various locations.

The paintings themselves were small in contrast to the expansive installation, and unremarkable -- shapes of color on white backgrounds. The use of primary colors as such gave reminders of Joan Miro at a certain phase, or Mondrian's later period.

Louden's Windows installation will be on display through May 26. If you're near the campus, take a little time to check it out.


Karen said...

I actually found the small paintings quite remarkable. The gestures and colors in them act like 2 dimensional "captures" of the various views from the installation. The photos in your essay reinforce that notion when you think of the silver of the sculpture as the white of the paintings and the colored "squiggles" serve the same function as the reflections of the colored rectangles. I believe the paintings provide wonderful visual equivalents of the elements in the installation.

Ed Newman said...

It may be that the context did a disservice to the paintings. Perhaps there is subtlety there that gets missed in the visual noise of the exhibit space. It may be too that the crowds that were there for the event were oblivious because of the manner in which the event was conducted. That is, they were held back and waiting for the doors to let them (us) in and there was a hurried march into the larger space. Couldn't stop and notice the paintings in the entrance corridor because the larger Sax Gallery was a destination.

I myself would not have noticed the paintings had they not been pointed out to me as something that was to be part of the exhibit. This happened both down below and up above where I went to see the "orchestra pit." In reflecting upon your comments, it strikes me that it was like poetry alongside a Transformers Hollywood SFX scene. The juxtaposition was to disparate. Under different circumstances, without the performance, it might produce a different effect were on to re-visit.