Sunday, July 12, 1998
Relief and fresco sculptures reflect artist's spiritualism.
MELISSA POLITES MYERS
What a rare experience to have the images from an exhibition haunt you for days. The shapes, textures and color combinations reappear in random thoughts, almost as if you created them with your own hand.
Such is the case with the calm and meditative relief and-fresco sculptures by Adele Myers at the Piermont Flywheel Gallery.
Myers deals mostly with the spiritual unification of industrial materials and radiant imagery in abstract forms.
She begins with a foundation of sculpted foam or insulation, which she primes and covers with cement. Areas of the cement are then brushed with lime, and Myers applies acrylic paint or glaze to the still-wet surface, creating the fresco.
Whether a piece draws inspiration from nature or human interaction, each produces an overwhelming sense of prayer and contemplation. Myers, a Dominican sister, has interwoven her spiritual self and her artistic self.
"(Spirituality) is not separated for me," she says. "That doesn't happen if you are a member of a community, it is part of what you are."
The treatment of color is the most stunning feature of Myers' work, often reminiscent of the American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko.
This is especially evident in "Stratum," a piece of four layered, horizontal, cement panels with acrylic glaze.
Each layer is. of a different size and dimension and washed with heavenly tones of yellow and green. The color melds with the sculpture's lime surface, and the mixing is so subtle that it becomes a radiant sea of slight differences.
Myers says she always works in solitude at her studio at the Dominican Convent in Sparkill. It gives her time to think, she says, and "puzzle things out."
In fact, her sculptures are akin to puzzles. Every work is made up of shapes that mimic, oppose and respond to each other.
The final pieces remain open and, in a sense, unfinished. Portions of the white lime are untouched, and the compositions allow for pockets of air and empty wall space, adding yet another physical dimension to the many recessed and elevated layers.
The resulting expansiveness allows viewers to interject their own spiritual pulse to the art, and by leaving the work “unfinished,” Myers offers viewers the luxury of responding to her art in their own manner and time.
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