Bennington Center for the Arts
left: The Girl and the Ring, by Barbara Babcock, oil
"There are both two and three dimensional works in the show - some sculpture, mostly painting - oil, acrylic and watercolor, as well as some black and white work, including a very fine charcoal pencil drawing of a young girl by Wyoming artist Sandra Burton. Some of the art is 'drawn' very realistically, but most is more 'painterly,' to the point of Impressionism.
"Intellectually, there is a problem in art today having to do with the idea of representation, the artist producing an image of something identifiable, and a movement that since Impressionism has been increasingly moving in the direction of non-representation. Which, stated in its most modern terms is: is it necessary, does art have to be representative of anything? can art be truly non-representational? and, at the extreme - of even a concept or idea?
"I think the point is that all art is to some degree 'abstract', if only in its design, even if it is an attempt at exact duplication two dimensionally of a real form. In 'Woman...' the most abstracted piece is 'Conversations', a papier mache' sculpture of a group of women by Ruth Waldman. But even with this piece it doesn't take too long a stretch of the imagination to see the figures represented.
Right: Dream Key, by Ezshwan, mixed media, 23 x 32 inches
"Woman - the Artists' View' is an exhibition of art that fits a category of more representational, rather than less representational, art. In fact both our annual shows, the other is 'Art of the Animal Kingdom', are that way. So, I guess to some degree we are not politically correct. But we are accessible. And one only has to look at the fantastic response the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown enjoys to know that probably the majority of people who visit art museums and galleries prefer art that is more, rather than less identifiable, more true to life, or of an historical era.
Text and photos courtesy of Bennington Center for the Arts
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