"Indianapolis Art Center
Through Jan. 28
Certainly it’s a formidable task to put together more than one exhibition simultaneously, let alone four. Indeed, this is what the Indianapolis Art Center tackles regularly, making the most of its gallery spaces and corridors. Its current core offerings, a combination of two glasswork and two painting exhibitions, offer a variety of territories to explore, but not so much that the viewer is overwhelmed. Rather, visitors have the opportunity to hone in on what draws them in most compellingly. This is, after all, an institution devoted to its publics — students first — so this must be honored when choosing artwork that will enhance the student-viewer’s experience of his or her own artmaking.
Students of glass blowing will be particularly impressed with the virtuosity of Steven Sizelove’s Glass in the Flame: A Contemporary Exploration of Venetian Design, a gallery full of delicate stems of glass topped with curvaceous vessels often in the form of goblets, many of which are punctuated with nude figures in heroic poses. Certainly, these are lovely and brilliantly crafted (how many of these vulnerable forms perished in service of those that survive?). Sizelove has worked to hone his talent into a unique, if Venetian-inspired, perspective and sensibility, and his work will appeal to both traditional glass lovers and those with a more contemporary bent. That said, Sizelove’s series of seven “Artifact Vessels” are the most arresting: They follow the former pattern but without the figures; the bulbs of glass are almost impossibly large and rendered in more subtle tones, and are stunning for their simplicity and earthy elegance.
In the accompanying space, Ryan Gothrup’s Woven is an installation of glass rods woven together and suspended from the ceiling, resembling room dividers (albeit narrow ones). Gothrup combines his love of Italian glass techniques with his love of large-scale installations — and thus embraces opposites. The glass in this instance is anything but tender; the rods, tightly connected with linen and hemp fibers, are either solid and clear or spun like candy or sturdy swizzle sticks. Taken in as a whole, the work comprises an ironically indelicate space of hanging glass, and provides a compelling contrast to Sizelove’s delicacies.
Gothrup, it should be mentioned, is a glass instructor on the faculty at the Art Center, and was born in Hartford City, Ind. The aforementioned Steven Sizelove is also an Indiana resident, and resides in Richmond, Ind. Sizelove will offer a special class at the Art Center in tandem with the exhibition.
By way of further contrast, Tim Kennedy’s Inside/Outside paintings in the nearby corridor offer a more personal but disaffected sensibility. The Bloomington, Ind., artist’s somewhat static narratives largely take place in or around his bungalow in a working class neighborhood. And All My Relations, paintings by Chicago artist Eduardo De Soignie, explore the artist’s Cuban-American identity and sense of place in more layered, almost vibrating narratives.
All four exhibitions are on view at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St., through Jan. 28. Call 317-255-2464 or visit www.indplsartcenter.org for more information.