The News Service
January 29 to March 6, 2005
Bell Gallery to present Long’s More Like a Dream Than a Scheme
The David Winton Bell Gallery will host a new exhibition, More Like a Dream Than a Scheme, featuring the sculptural works of Charles Long, beginning Jan. 29, 2005, and continuing through March 6, 2005. Long will speak at an opening reception that begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a new exhibition, More Like a Dream Than a Scheme, featuring the recent sculptural works of artist Charles Long, from Saturday, Jan. 29, through March 6, 2005.
Long will speak about his work Friday, Jan. 28, at 5:30 p.m. in the List Art Center Auditorium; his lecture will be followed by an opening reception in the Bell Gallery. The exhibit, reception and lecture are all free and open to the public.
Long, an artist in mid-career, is best known for his collaborative works with the British pop band Stereolab, which revived 1960s electronic music. From 1995 to 2000, he worked with the band to produce interactive, audio-sculptural installations. These included The Amorphous Body Study Center, in which viewers participated by wearing headphones connected to objects such as couches and cushions and listening to the dreamy, mantra-rock melodies of Stereolab. Since 2003, Long has returned to his early focus on immobile, abstracted sculptural objects and assemblages that combine found objects, debris and materials such as plaster, steel and papier-mâché.
“In his earlier work, amorphous and organic, blob-like shapes made of soft materials such as clay, rubber and plastic were evocative of skin and flesh,” said Bell Gallery curator Vesela Sretenovic. “In this recent body of work, the large and often bizarre skeletal structures are more reminiscent of magical, polymorphous creatures such as talismans or totem poles.
“His former focus was on the bodily awareness, sensorial pleasure and interactivity of subject-object. Now the focus is on the solitary object – suggestive of human solitude and vulnerability – and on the autonomous status of the artwork.”
More Like a Dream Than a Scheme features this recent body of work. The exhibition is comprised of some 25 free-standing assemblage sculptures and 10 lamp-like objects hung from the ceiling and walls, creating a play of light and shadows that fills the gallery.
“This densely installed show evokes the image of a fantastic, underwater world filled with unknown sea creatures,” Sretenovic observed. “The title of the exhibition only further underlines a dreamy and poetic quality of the works.”
Drawing upon both the tradition of modernist abstraction and the current trends in art and culture, Long’s recent work “can be considered at once retro and futuristic,” Sretenovic added. “It is this looking ‘back and forth’ in re-inventing sculpture, its concepts and materials, as well as his own creative process, that gives Long’s work a special significance in contemporary art.”
The artist currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California–Riverside. Born in Long Branch, N.J., in 1958, he holds a B.F.A. from Philadelphia College of Art and an M.F.A. from Yale University. Long has shown his work regularly with the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York and the Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Los Angeles. He recently had a solo show at California’s Orange County Museum of Art, and he has participated in group exhibitions in Japan, Australia, Sweden and various U.S. venues.
The artist’s lecture is sponsored by the Department of Visual Art. The 40- page catalogue, featuring 24 color illustrations and essays by Sretenovic and art critic Gregory Volkis, is being produced with the support of Creative Arts Council.
The David Winton Bell Gallery, located on the first floor of List Art Center, 64 College St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (401) 863-2932.