Copper in the Arts

June 2008

The Five Elements: Group Sculpture Exhibition Opens at Ch'i Contemporary Fine Art

Steven Dobbin, Airplane Steven Dobbin's Airplane

Photograph courtesy of Ch'i Contemporary Fine Art
Ch'i Contemporary Fine Art announced the opening of The Five Elements , a group exhibition representing each element of the Wu Xing (Five Phases), Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. The show opens on Friday, July 11, with a public reception with the artists from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This group show features the work of Alan Binstock, John Clement, Michel Demanche, Steven Dobbin, Oliver Doriss, Amanda Dow Thompson, Sonjie Solomon, Sy Gresser,Howard Gross Miwa Koizumi, Alexandra Limpert, Joe Mangrum, Arthur Mednick, Gene Michieli, Michael Winger, and Homer Yost.

In this collective, Metal and Fire breathe life into one another in the welded steel and bronze sculptures of Gene Michieli (bronze) and Arthur Mednick (steel). Michieli's forms convey a sense of nature through an abstract language, while Mednick's compact works reference the essence of objects not yet known. Exploring metal's property of creating exterior boundaries, Alexandra Limpert's mechanical android sculptures almost resemble cognizant human beings. While the twists and loops in John Clement's steel pipe formations convey how Fire is used to bring out metal's expansive energy.

Exploring metal as a cover, Steven Dobbin's sheathes sheets of lead, steel, and copper over wood to create pieces that are sociological statements of what society dictates as "normal". Referring to the mind and consciousness, Fire's ability to liquefy and transform Earth is visually captured in Oliver Dorris's colorful cast glass works recalling natural earthen caverns and fissures. Also referencing natural openings are the grotto-like sculptures of Howard Gross. While, Linda Casbon's ceramic sculptures and Sy Gresser's hand carved stone sculptures bring life to Earth, which controls the 'yi' (focus & intellect). Metal also houses the 'po' or animal nature as embodied in the bronze figurative sculptures of Homer Yost.

Alan Binstock's cosmic glass and steel sculptures express the symbiotic relationship between Earth and Metal. Using flexibility and judgment combined with strategy, Wood is ruled by the emotion of "Anger". Amanda Dow Thompson's three-dimensional sculptures embody the inherent inner tension found in Wood. While, Michael Winger's Dervish piece exemplifies this element's ability to twist with an unwavering stringency.

On the opposite spectrum, Sonjie Feliciano Solomon's installations capture the ethereal soul of Wood's derivative paper. Water, the fifth element, combines power with softness and calmness; it also represents vessels. Miwa Koizumi's sea creatures made of plastic bottles tap into Water's feng shui property of "conserving". Her aquatic "pets" made of vessels once used to hold water are visually pleasing examples of eco-friendly art. Michel Demanche's Rebus references water instruments used to predict tornadoes. Finally, Joe Mangrum's installation incorporates each element to form an amalgamation of the Wu Xing (Five Phases).

Resources:

Ch'i Contemporary Fine Art, 293 Grand St., Brooklyn, NY, (718) 218-8939

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