Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Anthony Sonnenberg & Daria Souvarova: Works In Progress @ Sculpture Space, Inc. Utica NY December 5 - 22, 2014

Left: Anthony Sonnenberg
Right: Daria Souvarova

Sculpture Space, Inc.
12 Gates St. 
Utica NY 13502

So Friday December 5th marked my first official return to Sculpture Space in Utica to see their Works In Progress open studios event for December. But even more to see what has happened to my dear SS over the months since the infamous June fire which pretty much gutted the interior, consumed the roof, and put one of Utica's most reliable input sources for contemporary arts of the highest caliber into chaos. I nosed down one day in August to get keys from someone and was shocked at seeing just how much had been lost.

As you can tell from the looks of things here it may have been for the better. One level which I'd connected with Sculpture Space (SS for short) on was the glorious worked-in level of Art Grunge Chic one would be immersed in just by walking through the door. Took me right back to my undergraduate years at Syracuse working in their fantastic sculpture department at the Comart Facility. The esthetic even defined my graduate school years as Comart sculpture tech Roger Bisbing had moved on to SUNY Albany, and I specifically chose the sculpture studios building as the location for my own work space. It was home.

So any excuse to visit Sculpture Space was jumped on, it took me back to an earlier time when I was less hesitant about my expression and good things came from the influence. Plus tons of great ideas to latch onto every month in their revolving door of world-class artists. And imagine my confusion at seeing the new post-fire SS, all gleaming white and gorgeously sterile, as much a presentation/exhibition venue now as a fabrication facility. New studios director George Hendrickson has devised a marvelous system of rolling moveable fixtures, walls, and tool stands so it can all be wheeled out of the way for a show. Here's what I saw.

Anthony Sonnenberg discussing his beguiling cloth bag creation with my chaperone for the evening, artist Julie Angerosa. Anthony is a sculptor, performance artist, photographer, designer, painter, ceramist, plastics artist, filmmaker, you name it, and his subject matter is consumer culture. With any/all consumption up for grabs as sources of commentary including the use of psychedelic drugs. We got right along famously.

Anthony Sonnenberg

Anthony Sonnenberg

Anthony Sonnenberg's piece de resistance, and all I can say is that it is NOT what it appears to be, yet is derived from Carivaggio. Superb, cryptic, and quite the performance piece.

Anthony Sonnenberg

With the artist! a Texan through & through, hope he made it out of here before the snow started in for real. He had no clue what the stuff was, didn't want to find out and I don't blame him.

Next up Daria Souvarova, a formidably talented artist whom I believe taught drawing for MWPI/Pratt in Utica. A familiar face from the Utica posse! some of the work shown here graced the walls at Upstate Flux for a period, and to my shame I missed getting pix of some of it after being completely distracted by Sculpture Space's new lights. Which drove my poor little pocket cam crazy! most of the pix turned out washed in sepia browns and it took a while to correct them to what I remember. Gorgeous, overized hyper-rendered drawings using faces of people I know, and exploring the Seven Deadly Sins concept -- Or rather six of them, as one had just been purchased by MWPI. And that is a score!!

Daria Souvarova

Daria Souvarova

Daria Souvarova, with her subject Beth Post marvelously performing "Greed".

Daria Souvarova

Winning!  ;]

Oh yeah, these lights. Flat panel LEDs, suspended by gorgeous bracketed wires. Almost Japanese in their simplistic purity of form, perfectly illuminating the space & what filled it with zero glare.


Anthony discussing his work over the snazzy new PA with Sculpture Space director Monika Burczyk.

With Utica crew artists Julie Angerosa, Kayla Cady Vaughn and Jonathan Vaughn! Looking forward to bringing their work to Syracuse this spring for an exhibit at The Tech Garden, more on that soon.

With our photographer! Owe you a dozen roses my dear!

"No, really. Forty eight."

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