SPELLBOUND : A WORLD IN FLUX
November 7 - December 12, 2015
Opening Reception with the artist Saturday, November 7, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
555 Gallery is pleased to present Spellbound: A World in Flux, an exhibition of video installations by internationally recognized artist, Madeleine Altmann.
The moving imagery of Madeleine Altmann taunts, tests and subverts the continuity of self amid a world in flux. As visual trickster, Altmann transports us from winter to summer above and below the waterline through a lens always just beneath the surface of reality, close to imagination, contorting our world through ripples and cracks.
Altmann’s partner, Andreas Uthoff devises installations that are purposefully made from recycled materials, using monitors discarded in the march of ever changing standards. Altmann infuses them with fresh life by creating imagery that is in itself timeless with the movement of waves on the beach, walking or the relentless pounding of a waterfall. Viewers are invited to immerse themselves in underwater videos on a pyramid of sixteen monitors or examine sets of single channel videos on multiple tiny screens housed together in sleek black contemporary wooden cases.
Madeleine Altmann is a Brazilian-American artist whose work centers around her interaction with natural environments. Altmann has earned two masters degrees, one from San Francisco Art Institute and the other from TISCH School of the Arts in New York.
Altmann’s new work “Diving” will premier as an installation at 555 Gallery in this exhibition and is included in the new round of Art on the Marquee beginning October 14 at the Boston Convention Center. The entire collection of art looping can be seen on Sundays from 8-10pm.
Additionally in the exhibition is new work in photography, painting and screen printing
Suzette Bross: Walks
Joe Caruso: Out of the Earth
Jim Nickelson: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Lia Rothstein: Subsurface Series : One through Six
Mike Sleeper: Maine Burr Reed Series
Dorothea Van Camp: Entagled
WHAT WILL YOU REMEMBER? - ELIN SPRING: Spellbound at 555 Gallery!
november 15, 2015
If you position yourself anywhere near the 80-foot tall, multi-screen marquee outside the Boston Convention Center in the Seaport “Innovation District”, you can experience the thrill and vertigo of Madeleine Altmann’s video “Crystal Lake”. Over 3,000 square feet of digital display on seven screens will envelope you in her underwater swirl of bubbles and spray, divers plunging and erupting (often upside down) from rolling surface swells, both forward and backward in time, in a multi-layered, flowing video loop. It is spellbinding.
But for a fully absorbing effect, go to 555 Gallery a few blocks away, where “Crystal Lake” and ten more of Altmann’s mesmerizing videos are on display through December 12, 2015. Most of Altmann’s pieces are single stream, but she takes an innovative approach to her presentations, with an imposing pyramid of (vintage recycled) video monitors in one work, and a series of vertical, horizontal and grid matrices in other installations around the gallery. Altmann’s inventive displays capitalize on her stunning, melodic imagery.
A recurring vantage point in Altmann’s work is a view from below the water’s surface, delivering a recognizable but brilliantly altered sense of space and time. Through a wavy pond surface or the cracked, bubbly ice of a frozen lake, we view mundane activities, such as a solitary hiker or wandering dog, anew. In others, the belvedere is from above, capturing the rhythmic lapping of waves at the water’s edge or the eternal flow of a waterfall (above), in multiples that are serenely hypnotic. We are swept into a world that offers unique interpretations of the comforting and familiar. Altmann’s layered narratives are magical, achieving a voice that is at once enthralling and calming.
Works of photography, painting and screen printing by six other artists are interspersed with Altmann’s videos, creating a mellifluous, multi-media exhibit. Mike Sleeper’s archival pigment prints from B&W film are luminous, meditative studies of the water’s edge (above). Jim Nickelson’s hushed, lunar-lit nighttime studies of earth and sky are lulling. His round-in-square format is suggestive of the moon or a telescopic view. Suzette Bross creates arrays of rectangular smartphone images, capturing her feet and the ground in stop-action, 1-3 minute “walks”. The staccato rhythm of individual shots meld into an overall flow of color and line, contrasting the technically driven segmentation of our daily lives with the fluidity of our life experiences.
Lia Rothstein presents “Subsurface” a series of six B&W archival pigment prints of underwater flora in combination with encaustic wax, handmade papers, and galvanized steel cut-outs, illuminated from behind with LED lights arranged in wavelike formation. The interplay of geometric and plant forms, tonalities and translucency, form complex but meditative pieces that can be appreciated separately or as a whole. The linear sectioning in Joe Caruso’s large, abstract, oil-based painting echo Altmann’s nearby pyramid video and incorporate textural elements such as sand and quartz into “The Silver Morning“. Dorothea Van Camp’s lyrical diptych “Entangled 7” utilizes oils and waxes on her screen-prints, to elegant effect.
Moving or still, all of the works in the gallery have harnessed the feeling of flow. Pulsing with the ebb and flux of the natural world, this creatively conceived and superbly integrated exhibit offers a well-timed escape from the building frenzy of the holiday season.