Monday, March 26, 2012

Derivatives: Origins in Geometry

Orna Feinstein - Arboriform #2 - 29 x 25 x 10” -3D Monoprint on Plexiglass - 2011
My critical review repost from a show in September 2011

When I first moved to Dallas, I noticed a strange building with colorful geometric shapes jetting off the surface. I soon learned this was the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art. Artist, Carmelo Arden Quin envisions an art that focuses on the playful use of geometric shapes. Over fifty years later, this art movement is still making an impact and especially right here in Dallas, because of the art collect.

The MADI Museum also taps local talent to feature artists still working in the ideas of MADI. Their current exhibition, Derivatives: Origins in Geometry juried show brought together twenty-nine artists that work in the spirit of playful use of geometric shapes. The juror, Vincent Falsetta, was perfect for the job, because of his own innovative use of structurally vibrating shapes and lines.

Adela Andea received first place, which was no surprise to me. I have seen Andea’s work at Cris Worley Fine Art, here in Dallas and at the Anya Tish Gallery in Houston. Each experience was like seeing a light show, with seemingly random elements thrown at you visually. Sometimes electric fans were added to give the piece a little more movement. Andea is sometimes a kinetic, always tech, and a truly 21st century artist.

Charlotte Smith received second place, another no brainer. Smith currently has a show titled “Push” up at Cris Worley. Over the years, I have seen her work continue to evolve and change at a steady, but very unpredictable rate. I love those trademark little bumps and notches that seem to grow off her work. This signature style still continues to fascinate me. Each nodule is so delicate and with a forest of them, they almost come alive.

Third place went to Orna Feinstein, who had a piece that played some interesting visual tricks. And to me, Rebecca Howdeshell is a good honorable mention, because the work is so calming. White, subtle, geometric in nature, likely soft to the touch, and elegantly minimal; I found Howdelshell work charming and beautiful. She presses into the surface patterns and shapes that enticed me to move in closer and follow along the lines with my finger. I, of course, didn’t touch the work, but I wanted to.

Any number of these artists in the show is worth mentioning. The complete list: Paul Abbott, Shafaq Ahmad, Adela Andea, Lane Banks, Roger Bensasson, Tim Bolt, Diedrick Brackens, Beti Bricelj, Marc Cheetham, Andrew Decaen, Jeanet Dreskin-Haig, David A. Dreyer, Sarah E. Duncan, Eric Dyer, Peggy Epner, Orna Feinstein, Garland Fielder, Steve Garfield, Larry Graeber, Jeanne Heifetz, Julie Holleman, Rebecca Howdeshell, Laura Jennings, Bernard Klevickas, Dan Lam, Antonio Lechuga, Susan Lecky, Charlotte Smith, Tore Terrasi.
For more images of the show go to

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