The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University was honored to participate in the Beyond/In Western New York 2010 Alternating Currents exhibition, featuring the work of artists Elizabeth Gemperlein, Batavia, New York; Adam Weekley, Buffalo, New York; Jennifer Lefort, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and David Mitchell, Buffalo, New York.
The works presented in this exhibition explore the fragility and triumphant temperament of nature and personal expression. Through their individual manner of depiction and their variety of extraordinary expressions, we can explore, and experience the artists’ unique connections to elements of the natural world, both internally and externally.
Elizabeth Gemperlein—Architectonic Space and Divine Intervention
There is a touch of melancholy in Elizabeth Gemperlein’s works that sing the praises of, and mourn for, what has been lost. Debris litters the landscape while animals roam through it. Within the rubble, we may recognize some references to the historical, political or personal. These landscapes become a staging ground for a tale that increasingly expresses its own vulnerability and fragility.
Adam Weekley-Artifice and the Hyper-Real
Adam Weekley creates folk-tales. His work addresses his memory and personal observations about the world. Issues of isolation and social vulnerability resonate in his installations. These concepts use the tropes of fairy–tales, incorporating ornate decorative elements and animal symbolism. Bodies of work often adopt a ritual and/or a social dynamic and transform it into a visual fable. Often the sculptures resemble stuffed toys populating a fantasy world—their cute and playful appearance disturbed by implications of matters more sinister. Weekley continues to develop installation work that comments on social and political concepts through creation of spaces and objects that play with artifice and the hyper-real.
Jennifer Lefort-The Drama of Whimsical Depiction
The works selected for Beyond/In Western New York 2010 present Jennifer Lefort’s continued exploration of the narrative value of color and gesture. Lefort’s creative process has revolved around her interest in exploring abstract painting and developing a personalized language within it. Lefort’s approach to abstract work contains a kind of fiction or make-believe scenario. Her interest includes the unresolved nature of this scenario—an ambiguous space where there is never a moment of complete knowing.
David Mitchell: Weird & Wonderful
A curiously mysterious artist of weird and wonderful means. In response to my request for information regarding his work, assertively and most directly indicated, “That’s correct. No information. Or, you can make up whatever you want. I would prefer, though, outright lies, but anything is fine.”