Friday, December 3, 2010

Art criticism

My first piece of art criticism on Pamela Winegard’s opening at Winthrop University. November 8, 2010.

In all actuality the atmosphere created by the lighting, and intense effort to hang the work in the best way possible create a powerful sense of… reverence. I use this word because of the weightlessness of the works on paper and even the two more recent triptychs in the room on the left. Each piece glows with a halo of light, symbolic of a formerly religious reference. This presentation style contributes to the work, empowering spiritual undertones, more than they would have if hung in a less dramatic way.

“Ash Pit”, 2010 – Encoustic and Mixed Media on Panel. Ash Pit speaks volumes to my imagination because of the choice of blue and cream relief sculpture behind the window of a hard wire grid cut open. The faces are anonymous yet different, they are downcast as though they are indwelt by the spirits of some of the victims passed over a half a century ago – sleeping, waking, and then moving on to another resting place leaving the faces soulless once again.

The cumulative work as a whole evolves into a more serene and masked version of itself. The two triptychs entitled “Gornisht”, 2010 encaustic on panel and “Memory”, 2010 encaustic on panel, differ in execution of line work, but remain consistent in concept. In my opinion, “Gornisht” is the more successful of the two because the color and shape of the line work cut into the purity and serenity of the white negative space unlike “Memory”. The blade-like shapes created in “Gornisht” sharply cut, speaking as a metaphor for the process, wherein the artist carves away the top layers of white wax to reveal the under layers of cool blue and green. The color choice of the blade shapes contrasts the white background not only in value, but in temperature and creates a cold and mysterious mood.
The work is serious. It is not playful; it does not make light of the issues of the holocaust or the generational witnessing of it.

Her work is now down. She has since installed “Gornisht” in the MFA show entitled Line at the Loading Dock Gallery in Rock Hill, SC. Line had its opening last night were myself and others in the program presented our work.

If you are interested in seeing or reading more about Pamela’s art you can visit her website: http://www.pamelawinegard.com/index.html