LOCAL ART SCENE: The Warmth of “Winter White”

In the dead of winter, we seek warmth. Where is the light? Where is the growth? You will find all the warmth you need, and evidence of the rich interior lives of artists, once you have visited “Winter White: The Absence of Color,” which opens January 23 in the Rye Arts Center’s gallery.

Published January 21, 2016 10:09 PM
3 min read

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artthumbIn the dead of winter, we seek warmth. Where is the light? Where is the growth? You will find all the warmth you need, and evidence of the rich interior lives of artists, once you have visited “Winter White: The Absence of Color,” which opens January 23 in the Rye Arts Center’s gallery.

By Margot Clark-Junkins

Artscene-HarperIn the dead of winter, we seek warmth. Where is the light? Where is the growth? You will find all the warmth you need, and evidence of the rich interior lives of artists, once you have visited “Winter White: The Absence of Color,” which opens January 23 in the Rye Arts Center’s gallery.

Does art require color? We do jump to this conclusion, but curator Katharine Dufault looks at this question from a fresh angle. She has gathered works “based on a single color, or absence thereof, in this case, white. White is produced when all the color wavelengths of visible light are reflected without absorption (opposite to black, which absorbs all).”

Works by 15 artists in a range of media (paint, paper, encaustic wax, glass, fiber, textiles, and more) — though technically “colorless”—are rich in texture, pattern and the play of light over their surfaces. During a sneak peak at the exhibition, Dufault explained that the range of natural materials and earthy tones serve to unify the exhibition’s look, creating a sense of harmony and flow which “complement January’s winter palette of bleak skies and snow.”

Artscerne-KohlA lovely work in encaustic wax and paper by Rye’s Priya Tambe is on view; it was inspired by Irving Harper’s masterful paper sculptures, exhibited one year ago in this same gallery. Harper passed away in August but one of his pieces —an untitled and exquisitely delicate assemblage of slender paper “sticks” — is included in this show and was, in fact, the launching point for “Winter White.”

Alexandra Kohl, an emerging artist and recent graduate of Skidmore College, gathered horsehair of varying shades from the barn where she rides and wove them on a loom. Henry Mandell has created an intricate pattern of lines by manipulating text on his computer, which he then printed and mounted on an enormous aluminum sheet.

Artscene-MandellDufault, who is also an artist, has included her own work, a peaceful winter landscape in encaustic on two pieces of board. David Licata’s light-catching glass “chain mail” is featured, as is the work of his colleagues, B. Avery Syrig (a mixed media piece comprised of found objects, twigs, string, bark, and wool) and Patricia Miranda (who uses plaster of Paris and graphite). Kate Doyle’s abstract sculpture is comprised of interlocking pieces of bleached wood; it recalls organic shapes you might see in a forest.    

Dufault arranged the works with the singular goal of having the “viewer’s eye…move through the exhibition in a rhythm dictated by the interplay between the works.“ So, do come inside to soak up the warmth of “Winter White.”

The opening reception for “Winter White will be held January 30 from 3-5.

 

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