Sunday, August 23, 2015

ORNA FEINSTEIN at the Museum of Geometric and Madi Art thru July 05 by Todd Camplin

Dimensions: 12.25" x 15" x 7" repost by Todd Camplin

After several trips to Dallas in the last few months, I was finally able to visit the Museum of Geometric and Madi Art. I do love the place, and I think it is one of the best little museums that I have seen out there featuring a specific style of art. However, since almost all the art venues have moved out of uptown, I do have to go a little out of the way to see the museum’s offerings. Even so, my visits usually yield something incredible and I think to myself, “Why don’t I come here more often?”

Orna Feinstein is reason enough to go out of your way, because her work engages the eye like no other artist. Well, I say that, but she comes out of a rich tradition of artists that have played with the eye. Op artists Yaacov Agam and Victor Vasarely have great influence on her work, but I think Feinstein takes this mode of visual experimentation and furthers the conversation by layering, cutting, sewing, and working on Plexiglas. When I first encountered her work at Craighead Green, I was impressed even though I only saw a few pieces. Later I saw her work in Houston at Anya Tish Gallery as part of a two person show, and then I was completely stunned by her sculptures which captivated me. I couldn’t stop waking around the work and peering down to see all the angles. This show at the Madi covers a wide range of her work and I was impressed with the variety of approaches she has tried.

Before you enter the show of Orna Feinstein, you will see three new museum acquisitions by Victor Vasarely. I am not sure if this was a coincidence, but it helped set an interesting context to Feinstein’s work. The art pieces are packed in tight, with just enough room for you to enjoy them individually. The museum tends to be on the salon style of exhibiting work, so this was not completely unexpected. Feinstein’s piece titled Translucentrees is an installation that fills a room with monoprints on Plexiglas. As I walked from left to right and back again, my eyes popped as her circles made of black lines seemed to move and blur. Her piece, Morel House looks like two tornados spiraling smaller circles in descending circles. You can get lost in her detail and layers of Plexiglas.

One innovation Feinstein uses, which completely took me by surprise, is her use of Plexiglas as a protective material and as a surface to interact as an art piece. Most works on paper are placed behind glass or Plexiglas as a protective layer. Feinstein has broken the pure utility of the Plexiglas and now makes it part of the art piece. This blurs the line between utility and art quite nicely.

You have a few more weeks before Orna Feinstein’s show is down. July 5 to be exact, so don’t miss this eye catching show. I am going to try to make the opening of the Madi’s Biennial show on July 10. It is a good preview of talented artists working in the style or subject of geometry.

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