Something exciting is happening in the arts. Something with substance has been growing and maybe if we are lucky, will become a prominent counter to the dry kitsch, Warhol clones obsessed with fashion and pure surface. I am talking about the Research Artists. I find an artist that tackles big subjects exceedingly more interesting; an artist like the photographer Dornith Doherty, who is diving deep into the seed diversity issues, or like the current show at the UHCL where artist Geraldine Ondrizek is displaying her show ‘Inner Space, Global Matters.’
Ondrizek is showing a body of work that displays the human chromosome as colorful visual images. Her work takes elements of minimalism, but then Ondrizek deepens the quiet simplicity with deep root meaning. The work is less about design and transcendence, which many of the minimalist was attempting to achieve, but rather Ondrizek allows the information to fall into place. Set scientific parameters have guided her aesthetic decisions. And although Ondrizek was bound by predetermined conditions, she skillfully displays her paintings to help you consider those individual strips of information. I enjoy the variety of colors and the optical effect she creates which makes the work slightly vibrate or blur. Each work hangs like a totem column of silk, with each dash having genetic history and biological function.
The video, ‘Cellular’ is of a cell dividing, and the video divides its display at two other venues. Ondrizek has taken what is normally restricted to scientific and educational communities, and elevated this process of dividing cells into an aesthetic experience. The beauty of growth and life are laid bare, without some drab narrator explaining every moment. The sound is a little too dramatic, but not really to the point of distraction.
I missed my chance to hear her talk about the work on November 19th, but I will be watching for her next show, because I really think she could answer more of my questions about the work. The University of Houston – Clear Lake gallery will also have a dance performance on January 23 among Ondrizek’s work. It seems fitting that dance interacting with the art and science all come together; a very interdisciplinary thing to do. Parking is a little tricky, but if you visit the website, at the end of the article are helpful hints on where to park. The show is up until February 1st, but winter break for universities are upon us, so make use to call first or email them if you want to visit.
ModernHouston.net for more images.