ENID, Generations of Women Sculptors
Review by Kaylyn Taylor
Entire contents copyright © 2017 Kaylyn Taylor. All rights reserved.
Filling a smaller wall of the guest exhibit area of Pyro Gallery is an installation piece by Paula (French) Keppie entitled Surface Review. It is composed of sheets of white, taupe, and soft peach colored archival paper which have been embossed with a poem. The paper is arranged evenly, in a grid, with the colors of the paper creating a subtle yet dominate horizontal energy. At a distance, the piece relies on the color and size of the loosely hung pages to generate an impact. Upon closer inspection, the impact comes from the embossed texture upon the paper and from the meaning of the words that form the texture. This work is simultaneously large and small.
Linda Erzinger’s All American evokes the powerful, significance-laden image of the American Flag. It is composed of found objects and unexpected colors, to suggest that there is more than one dimension to the American experience. Looking at this piece slightly from the side, though, gives a flicker of a holographic overlay that obscures the flag via a Fresnell Lens. The pattern on the holographic image is simply stars. This simple symbol combined with the elusive colors of refracted light, reminds us that there are more than just countries in this existence.
Joyce Ogden’s China Earth: Guilin 5.18.16 is a straightforward image of a dark brown circle with diffused edges on a piece of white paper. The center of the circle is specked with white and the overall effect is textural and warm. The detail of the material used: Soil from the base of the Guilin Mountains along the Li River, Guilin, China, immediately ups the ante. Suddenly, this piece has an exotic, foreign, yet universal dimension. It is compelling to see earth from a place so elusive geographically, culturally, and politically. However, it is still soil, upon which all things are built and in which all food grows, and so forth. The circle is now a simple, continuous shape with a complex subtext.
The fiber art compositions of Gloria Haury Watchel, Rich and Beautiful, and Grace, are hung in such a manner that a sunrise or sunset is evoked. Rich and Beautiful is composed of three pieces made from wood, nails, red velvet fabric, thread, Tibetan silk and paper labels. The horizontal pieces are evenly stacked from largest on the bottom to smallest on the top, implying an equilateral triangle. Resting atop this is Grace, a mandala-like piece of red velvet, thread and fabric. The colors are predominately rich reds and browns, which from afar seem opaque, but are in fact composed of fine thread, paper, wire and fabric. The materials give the pieces a warm, complex, tactile quality.
The pieces of the Enid exhibit all share this complex quality. The initial visual impacts are clear and compelling, yet with closer examination, the pieces are a sum of delicate, thoughtful parts that add an unexpected complexity of meaning. These are only a few of the pieces in this exhibit, which features Leticia Bajuyo, Gayle Cerlan, Caren Cunningham, Jeanne Dueber, Linda Erzinger, Ewing Fahey, Sarah Frederick, Fran Kratzok, Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, Mary Dennis, Kannapell, Paula Keppie, Shawn Marshall, Suzanne Mitchell, Joyce Ogden, Jacque, Parsley, Emily Schuhmann, Gloria, Wachtel, and Melinda Walters. Together these artist form ENID, a collective of women artists supporting each other’s creativity. This exhibit showcases their success.
The name of the group is from Enid Yandell (1869-1924), and the Pyro website explains that Yandell, ” represents a timeless tale of strength and persistence against the odds. Her success as a professional sculptor at the turn of the twentieth century is particularly impressive on many levels. Despite her gender, Yandell achieved great recognition through major projects and commissions in cities like Chicago and Paris and ultimately was accepted into the National Sculpture Society. Her brazen attitude and bold professional approach is perhaps best captured in her creation of Pallas Athena, a 30-foot-tall plaster sculpture of the Greek goddess that was presented in the Parthenon reconstruction for the Nashville Biennial in 1897. Although this piece has since been destroyed, her legacy lives on locally through two iconic Louisville sculptures: Hogan’s Fountain and the portrait of Daniel Boone. Her story, both interesting and inspiring, should be a staple of art and local history.”
ENID, Generations of Women Sculptors
April 13 – May 27, 2017
Thursday – Saturday
909 East Market Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Kaylyn Taylor is an artist and writer living in Louisville with her husband and two children. She holds a BA in English & Humanities with a minor in Art from the University of Louisville. She was formerly the General Manager for Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company.