audart - new york city                                                 

Shrines To Fantasy  (September 1996)

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The "Shrines to Fantasy" show was curated with minimal direction, allowing it to present as a large installation with surprising twists and turns.   The exhibition included a room installation by Karen Santry in which her “Golden Girls” and hand-painted glamour queens danced across three walls, while an elegant Soho man, carrying a fiddle, pranced across another with his three dalmations.

Diane Adzema paid homage to an Italian chapel that was destroyed in New York's Little Italy, to make way for a commercial building. The installation included artifacts and statuary from the chapel, some of which were suspended on wires from the ceiling. Adzema provided printed materials to visitors, which explained the story of the church's demise. Black and white photographs of the interior of the church, during the demolition, were provided by photographer, Ed Grazda. The installation was lit with candles that burned day and night.

A number of Ilene Astrahan's early works included her Heironymous Bosch-like painting “Sacred Bowl”, and a trompe l'oeil jigsaw puzzle of a woman's face.   Alexander Gofayzen lined the walls in a black gallery with photographs, many portraying the images of women camouflaged into medieval stone structures and onto railway tracks.  One of Gofayzen's women is seated, her entire body comprised of tree bark -- she is the tree.  Paintings by Stego included a portrait of Paloma (meaning dove) Picasso in a trompe l'oeil setting with three other interpretations of “dove”, including a bar of soap, an ice-cream bar and the actual bird. Another painting depicted Lorena Bobbitt with a knife over her head and anatomical illustrations of the male genitalia. Individual artworks included fish sporting feet and wings; seashells that stood up to six feet high; dolls with robot heads and women who appeared to be half human and half bird, preparing to take flight.  

(Audrey Regan, Creative Director - Audart Gallery)