Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kincaid & Chihuly at Roger; Keller at Homespace

Suddenly it is December, and the art scene is brimming with photography at PhotoNOLA's month long multi- venue photo exhibitions, as well as architectural art at the local AIA's annual ten day (Dec. 2—11)  Descours event, in addition to the Prospect.2 Biennial. And it's all a bit much. Among the photography shows, Arthur Roger got a jump start with Ted Kincaid's archaic looking land, sea and sky scenes that resemble 19th century “wet- plate” photographs, a process prized for its poetic imperfections, but Kincaid's work is mostly digital. Here the landscapes are dramatically otherworldly, as if some 19th century romantic artist like Alfred Bierstadt had suffered many darkroom mishaps but still got some occasionally inspired results. Same goes for the maritime scenes with ghostly sailing ships traversing preternaturally foggy seas, some studded with random icebergs, and all somehow imbued with the patina of the ages. OPEN SEA 719 depicts a lost schooner in a pea soup fog, a ghost ship out of Coleridge only here the albatross has already fled as it drifts toward an iceberg. Even hints of dry ice don't mar its musty Victorian charm like something the ancient mariner himself might have dreamed up in a Laudanum trance. I especially liked the moon pictures. LUNAR 4321, top, and LUNAR 624 (upper left sidebar) suggest triumphs of Victorian science, futurist visions from a distant past like those 1902 Georges Milies moon travel movies.

Imbued with the elegant lucidity of a more romantic time, Kincaid's elemental otherworldliness complements Dale Chihuly's extravagant baroque glass concoctions in the adjacent gallery, decorative fantasies of impossible biological or marine life rendered vitreous as if by elfin magicians in faraway places. In an odd twist, Chihuly's twisted baroque confections were seemingly almost echoed in Kourtny Keller's kinetic, mirror- glass found object sculptures at the Home Space Gallery, left, only these glittering, rotating, science fiction structures—like mini-asteroids from a disco ball universe--may have originated in the far reaches of Bywater instead. ~Bookhardt
EVERY DOUBT THAT HOLDS YOU THERE: Mixed Media Photographs by Ted Kincaid
WHITE: Glass Sculpture by Dale Chihuly, Through Dec. 24, Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia St. 522-1999;