Wednesday, May 17, 2017

SDVAN project SD Art Prize at the Athenaeum

by Patricia Frischer

The San Diego Visual Arts Network ipresents the artists recipients of the  San Diego Art Prize 2016 in an exhibition Displacement | Replacement.  The established artist Irma Sofia Poeter with emerging artist Shinpei Takedaand established artist Richard Keely with emerging artist William Feeney  will being showing at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library from May 13 to  June 10, 2017, Art Notes by Melinda Chiment, executive director, The AJA Project, Norma Iglesias-Prieto, Professor at San Diego State University and Researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Jim Ruland, writer, Neil Kendricks, artist and filmmaker are available in the 2016 SD Art Prize Catalog.
Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
 1008 Wall St. La Jolla, 92037
More 858.454.5872

The SD Art Prize is an award for excellence and for this particular prize, we choose two emerging artists and ask them to choose two established artists to join them in an exhibition. Sometimes the work relates, sometimes the artists even collaborate with each other. Walking into this exhibition was an extravagance of individual riches. 

This year William Feeney and Richard Keely clicked and although they did not show the products of that collaboration yet, we have been told it is forthcoming. Keely says that the combination of Feeney's expert skills intrigue him as his work has been more of the rough and ready type of construction. The three works of Keely's below utilize concrete as a medium as he is exploring an architecture's material on his way to a residency in Japan. The works are all about a contained space, an intriguing pocket of air that is imagined more than seen. In fact, you struggle to see inside these works at all. That creates a mystery. I particularly like these works as they let my imagination work overtime. 

Richard Keely

Richard Keely

Richard Keely
This series of Keely's works relates more to Shinpei Takeda's piece below. He describes it as the rib on the hull of a boat. The structure of thousands of strands does seem to contain a space, but it is high up and appears to be an enclosed work.  But this work also displaces the air in the room, like a boat displaces the water it occupies. The letters on the outside seem to need to be deciphered. They are perhaps a cry for help and a clue to further meaning.
Shinpei Takeda

Shinpei Takeda - a small metal model reminiscent  of some of some of his other large stranded works.
Shinpei choose Irma Sofia Poeter and these two artists both use soft fabric materials, but their themes are quite different. In this very large work below, Poeter started with a sort of ink blot fold to create a balanced duplicate side to side. She populated this with a rich embroidered menagerie and sequined patches. This creates a tree of life that is a delight and represents a positive ecology that is flourishing. You can see evidence of this in the smiling  picture of health of her family celebrating at the opening. This detailed art work needs to be seen to be appreciated. The works by the three men in the show use muted colors, but Poeter jolts us awake with this pop of color and joy. 
Irma Sofia Poeter

Irma Sofia Poeter
I was immediately drawn to what I thought was a hairy fish by William Feeney.  I am always attracted to his work and enriched by talking to him about it. This is a hand carved wooden female sperm whale. You can see the fearsome teeth of this predator but look more closely and from profile and then from underneath you see human female breasts. Then what you thought was some sort of hair, are actually harpoons scaled to size. Feeney was inspired by the Moby Dick tale. He titled this work 2016 and says it represents the political will of women, fiercely swimming forward no matter has much it is attacked. I take off my pink pussy hat to William Feeney. 
William Feeney

William Feeney

William Feeney -  the self amplified  voice of  a self serving speaker

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