ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The KiMo Theatre Gallery is hosting “Feelers,” a mixed-media exhibition with work by Lea Anderson, Rachel Popowcer and Peter Voshefski. The show, curated by Augustine Romero, runs through June 27.
Despite its title, “Feelers” is not a touchy-feely show from the 1970s Kumbaya school of campfire psychology. There’s no prematurely balding guy playing a capo-dependent-slightly-offkey-rhythm-guitar who’s on his third reading of Carl Jung’s “Archetypes of the Unconscious” and is considering switching to Freudian ego-driven psychology.
Instead the gallery is filled with luscious mixed-media and layered paintings that are intended to connect viewers with the prodigiously creative natural world.
Anderson traded the surf and sun of San Diego for the high dry desert 15 years ago and has shown in numerous exhibitions nationally and locally. Not long ago she installed a well-received collaborative mural in the Albuquerque Museum lobby.
For this exhibit Anderson offers selections from her “R.O.E” (record of existence) and “Tenderness Shields” series. Both sets of work are organically based freeform compositions reminiscent of microscope revelations in biology lab as well as shots of star births taken by the Hubble Telescope. As above, so below is the basis for many artists’ imagery but Anderson and Leigh Anne Langwell are the top local practitioners who have very different approaches to the concept.
The most spectacular of Anderson’s expressions are the six pieces from her “Tenderness Shield” series that divide Popowcer’s mindscapes from her photomontages and mandalas running down the east wall of the gallery.
Anderson utilizes thick, finely layered plywood to create fluid shaped and multilayered environments in which apparently living amoebas and paramecia rove through the composition while defying the gravity that the viewer expects to draw them off their writhing puddles of protoplasm onto the floor.
Through some shear act of magical tenacity nothing oozes down the wall. There are many curators and conservators who wish Jackson Pollock’s drips and splashes were as adhesive to the late artist’s substrates. Janitors’ brooms have been sweeping Pollock’s expressive gestures from the floors of museums and galleries for more than 60 years. Anderson uses better materials.
Popowcer is an uber talented artist who rolls with life’s punches and keeps on creating. In works like “Ordinary Magic,” “You Know Where to Find Me” and “Method,” Popowcer combines wood-burning, conventional painting techniques and a wonderful imagination.
Popowcer’s “Ordinary Magic” is an extraordinarily beautiful painting with layers of translucent colors, a dragon fly and a dancing spiral that echoes the DNA double helix in the mind’s eye.
She also offers a series of grid-based photomontages that celebrate the natural world right down to the kitchen table. Popowcer is making mandalas out of hummingbirds, meditation practice and joy. It’s an impressive wall of art.
It’s been almost 20 years since Voshefski of Ohio began hanging his hat in New Mexico but the exhibition covers new work completed during the past two and a half years.
Several pieces have volcanic themes or compositional elements so I suspect Voshefski is blessed with prescience based upon current events on the Big Island of Hawaii.
But one of my favorites is “Generous Nighttime Beside the River,” an image-loaded composition brimming with enough dream content to fill a surrealist’s diary. Also worthy of note is “Hive Kiln in the Middle of Nowhere” with a wonderful palette and enough inherent energy to fire another load.
This is a great trio of artists who all have an informed feel of the abundance of our living universe. Their creative efforts are well worth a lingering visit.