Heller Gallery: Three solo exhibitions on view through September 7
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Heller Gallery: Three solo exhibitions on view through September 7
Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Three not to miss solo exhibitions are simultaneously on view at Heller Gallery this summer. Matter Composition, work by ceramic artist Bobby Silverman, opened last week joining Articulated Atmospheres, work by Scottish artist and architect Karlyn Sutherland, and The Inner Light, work by legendary Czech Modernist duo, Stanislav Libenský & Jaroslava Brychtová, which have both been extended through September 7, 2022.

Simple shapes and explosive colorful glazes and paint are the visual touchstones of Bobby Silverman’s work in Matter Composition. “The work develops from the outside in,” says the artist. “The surface quality is paramount, and the form is chosen to highlight that surface.” Seeking more than just the emotional communication imparted by color, luminosity, translucency, and reflection, some of Silverman’s works incorporate texts, poetry, and quotations, all in support of his goal of achieving a heightened reality. Sappho, an 11-panel glazed ceramic tile wall piece with a poem by Silverman, is a highlight of the exhibition. The poem was created from text from If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, a book by Anne Carson. This piece reflects Silverman’s interest in text and the visual representation of information. With ceramic studies in the United States and Japan, Silverman earned his MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics Alfred University, Alfred, NY. His practice has spanned four decades, and Silverman’s works are held in numerous public collections.

Karlyn Sutherland’s practice focuses on her long-standing interest in the connection between memory and place and a response to the atmosphere created by the play of light and shadow within architectural forms. She explores this dialogue through glass and architecture and uses perspective drawing as a tool to contemplate and communicate feelings of detachment from place and making those experiences material. Currently on a one-year Fulbright research grant in Corning, New York, Sutherland is developing and exploring an experimental creative strategy capable of aiding the appreciation, understanding and creation of atmospheres of place within architecture.

The exhibition Articulated Atmospheres features ten new works by Sutherland made over the past three years. The works are site-specific and place-responsive and fall into two main categories, which track the disruptions imposed on the artist by the pandemic.

Also on view is The Inner Light featuring seven historical works by the Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová representing four full decades of their artistic practice from 1962 to 2002. The most significant sculpture in this collection is the 600 lbs. casting of Cube in a Sphere, one of the very last pieces made before Prof. Libensky died in February of 2002. This massive sculpture pushed their technical abilities to the very limits of what was possible. It was created specifically for the inaugural exhibition of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, which opened in the summer of 2002.

As the politically tumultuous 1960s drew to a close in then Communist Czechoslovakia, the August 21, 1968 Soviet-led invasion of the country, opened a repressive period into which many artists were swept. The Libenskys, too, became the target of the politically motivated curtailing of freedom. During this time, starting in 1970, they turned some of their attention from large public commissions to smaller individual sculptures, working in their own studio.

The couple’s geometric crystal objects were initially made as studies exploring their ideas about geometry and the optical qualities of glass. Everything they learned through the casting of these pieces, formed the basis for all the work that followed in colored glass from the 1980’s until the end of their career. To them the newer and larger castings of the initial studies re-affirmed the primacy of optics and geometry as the foundational organizing principles in their work. And so, fittingly, this 2002 Cube in a Sphere is among the crowning achievements of their nearly half century career.

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