David Richard Gallery is pleased to inaugurate its new DR Projects Space with an exhibition of three impressively talented Santa Feans: Chris Collins, Tim Cox and Jack R. Slentz. Each evinces a fascination and deep understanding of materials, natural and man-made, and an ability to transform them into something fresh and unexpected. These artists and their resultant works are like the original materials and objects – ready to emerge into the light.
The exhibition “Industrial Strength Santa Fe” will be presented January 15 through February 20, 2016 with an artist reception on Friday, January 15 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM. There will be artist presentations on Saturday, January 16, from 3:45 to 5:00 PM moderated by Kathryn M. Davis of “ArtBeat Radio” and New York-based curator Howard Rutkowski. The artists will also participate in a Salon event from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, a collaboration between the gallery and Jordan Eddy and Kyle Farrell of Strangers Collective. The theme for the Salon, “Emerge”, will coincide with the #EmergeSantaFe Instameet on Saturday, January 16 from 12 noon to 9 PM and #DRProjects Pop Up Photography Exhibition February 5 and 6 in collaboration with @SimplySantaFeNM. Find all the details on social media. The gallery’s new location is at 1570 Pacheco Street, Suite A1, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505, phone 505-983-9555 in the midtown neighborhood art and design district.
Chris Collins finds inspiration in the expansive desert wastes surrounding Santa Fe. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Well, as they say in New York, ‘fuhgeddaboutit.’ Collins scours the landscape for the detritus that people donate to the environment: tin cans, cartridge boxes, oil drums, signs, automobile parts, and other flotsam and jetsam. Burnished by the elements and ‘transformed’ by the desire to shoot at things, Collins rescues these cast-off objects for a higher purpose. With a sculptor’s eye he identifies an underlying aesthetic and while respecting nature’s patination, begins to introduce his own hand through the application of gold, silver and copper leaf. The resultant works possess a glow that appears to shine from within – a sardine tin becomes a gold ingot and a discarded sheet of iron roofing is transformed into a free-floating abstract composition. Barrel hoops, cast loose from the staves that have long since disappeared into the desert soil, turn into gestural arabesques suspended in space. There is quite a bit of alchemy in the process.
Industrial strength in miniature springs forth in Tim Cox’ accurate, but raw, aluminum casts of dumpsters, laundry carts and construction containers. The reduction in scale permits an appreciation of the abstract geometry of everyday things one tends to give little thought to. As the Bauhaus long ago demonstrated there is beauty and purity to be found in utilitarian objects. Unlike the polish required by these early modernist designers, Cox leaves all of the casting flaws, core material and rough edges. This moves these works away from being maquettes or toy models to sculptural objects that have a real weight and power belying their small scale.
A similar interest and respect for ‘heavy metal’ is seen in the paintings. Rolled aluminum panels have a thin wash of pigment, thus allowing the support material to remain visible. The machinery and tool imagery imposed upon these surfaces reinforces both the industrial look and geometry.
Skill and serendipity are the hallmarks of Jack R. Slentz. Perhaps best known for his wooden sculpture, where single green hardwood blocks are chosen for their color, grain and imperfections. A violent tool like a chainsaw is used with scalpel precision and as the green wood dries, unplanned, but hoped for, changes occur as the grain shifts and cracks appear. A new and visually different body of work, the fetish-like forms of rubber, steel and occasionally wood, continues the combination of the expected and unexpected. Rubber inner tubes are introduced into the hand-forged steel armatures, manacles and wooden sculptural supports and then inflated. The resultant shapes suggest the exaggerated biomorphic human form constrained and straining against the bondage of metal and wood. Slentz’ curiousity of how materials perform and transform when put to other purposes are evidenced by his use of ‘virgin’ reflective sign material, cut and reshaped into three-dimensional forms bound with hog rings. The deep penetrating colors literally radiate into space.