Cut, Copy, Paste. It's Not What You Think
Last night was the opening of new works by artists Leah Guadagnoli and Alex Ebstein: two artists whose unconventional, '80's-'90s reminiscent structures gave you the feeling that you were back in a place that felt more like home. For that night, surrounded by the two artists' work; you were back in a time that made a lot more sense to you. Housing this experience of nostalgia was Baltimore's very own Terrault Gallery. Despite it being seemingly one of the coldest weeks in Baltimore, the good people at Terrault along with Guadagnoli and Ebstein found a way to make each spectator feel welcome and warm. I had the privilege of being one of those spectators.
The level of fun everyone was able to have at the opening was a great thing to see. It was all lively conversations and laughter. Which is so refreshing considering how intimidating a gallery showing can be. Not only for the artists showing their work, but for the individuals who come to see. The two perspectives: the artist, and the viewer. If you look in as an artist you could quickly understand. These are their babies, the product of their long nights and in this instance, constant discoveries and clashing of materials. It's probably something one wouldn't take lightly. And as a viewer you wouldn't want to either. As a lover of art; the last thing you'd want to do is inadvertently undermine the artist. There weren't any levels of concern like that last night. It was freeing. The two artists gave you the freedom to have fun; and even joined in on it.
The Last Eight Hours, 2017
Plexiglas, PVC, digital print on fabric, insulation board and polyurethane foam on aluminum panel
18 x 24 x 2 inches
There were a total of 12 pieces shown; 5 by Ebstein and 7 by Guadagnoli. All of which had so many different textures that would lure you in and make you do something you'd never want to do at a gallery: touch the work. But they were so inviting! Possibly because the materials used to make these works are things we see and touch everyday in our lives. Each piece felt like furniture, but at the same time they all felt like worlds you could get lost in. Ebstein's world being a constant flow of energy and movement on a soft sponge like surface. Guadagnoli's world being a little more fast paced and sharp in its turns around the corners. Possibly because of living and working in Brooklyn, New York, where just about everything moves a bit quicker.
Enter With or Without You, 2016
PVC yoga mats, acrylic, enamel, twine on wood panel
38 x 32 x 2 inches
In having the chance to speak with the artists of the night, they seemed to agree with my ideas on the pieces. Ebstein saying "You recognize the materials and sort of know that it's something you can approach and has warmth as opposed to the traditional rectangle, or like, paint on a surface that shuts you out. Or something that you're supposed to use the 'conventional viewer' pose and admire from afar." And Guadagnoli adding "Also the materials we use have to do more to do with bodies. And in doing that it makes people want to touch the work and feel it in a way they don't want to with regular paintings."
You'll be able to catch these works at Terrault until February 17th. I'd strongly advise paying a visit and allowing yourself to be drawn in to Ebstein and Guadagnoli's world.