Written by Michael Goldstein for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Michael Goldstein
5 out of 5 stars
ARMORY ARTS WEEK: EFA OPEN HOUSE 2016
NEW YORK, NY (March 2, 2016) Going into the EFA Open House (as part of Armory Arts Week) last night for the first time, I was expecting a unique congregation of sculptures and paintings. What I wasn’t expecting was the sheer diversity and energy of the 60 foundation members showcasing their work. Under the roof of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts located at 323 West 39th Street, I found amazing displays of brilliance coming out of places I had no idea art could come from, thanks to this impressive community of peers.
Sculptor Katinka Mann experiments with the abstract and the geometric. The design of the sculptures may not exactly be that varied, and the shaping can make one easily mistake them for minimalist art, none of these flaws actually deteriorate the sculpture’s existence. Mann successfully opens a new world of visuals thanks to the dominant mixture of color, light, and depth perception. In some sculptures, what looks like a three-dimensional trapezoid is really part of the sculpture that’s been cut out, letting the shadows in the back create the image instead.
Tamiko Kawata explores the endless limitations of shape and size as she rearranges safety pins into an impressive show of sculptures. The safety pins are connected closely together in a display of intimacy. Also on display is a small collection of random objects frozen in individual Plexiglas shapes. Described personally as her “visual diaries,” the collection feels like a physical still life project.
Poet William Allen takes the visualization of language to the extreme by literally placing words on canvas for the entire world to see. Like the offspring of Fluxus art, Allen explores the categorical qualities of words through meditation and anti-narration. They are like fragments of a story that has been broken up and shattered into pieces. They look nothing like haiku, but somehow contain a contemplative quality to their diction.
The most intriguing artist of the night was Del Geist, who managed to ascend Earth’s natural history into an art form unlike any other. Natural science and geology become his palettes, while carefully-placed wooden sticks becomes his canvas, balancing geological shapes into fantastic displays befitting the Earth’s ever-shifting crust. His structures foster a spiritual experience, specifically the spirit of the origin of the stones.
This juicy selection of artistry will not leave you unimpressed for sure. In fact, you’ll probably love it more because the strong and magnificent creativity will bring you back.
For more information about The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, visit: efanyc.org