Apart from the curious art created by a sculptor with a curious name, Silas Finch’s “Cold Connections” exhibit at The Grove Studio Space for the Arts On9, First Friday event, was notable for the effort involved in staging the large “pop-up” opening if nothing else.
Finch said he saw the exhibit as an opportunity to feature some of his larger installation work. “It’s difficult to find a space for my larger pieces” he said, noting that approaching The Grove with his idea to hang the show concurrent with the First Friday On9 slate of events made sense. The show was somewhat of a retrospective, a sampling of his many series, but also included some new work.
The swirl of activity surrounding the show’s set up included hanging and installing freestanding and wall sculptures and the large floor installations, but also paying attention to the details of advertising and making sure that there were plenty of refreshments on hand for guests.
Finch’s work is nothing if not about attention to detail. Compelling narratives have emerged around the artist’s work going back six years, the amount of time he has been working as a sculptor in New Haven. A master of the assembled form who has been influenced by one of the great assemblage sculptors of our time, Ron Pippin, Finch’s appreciation for antiquity and the found object can also be traced to the legacy of the family business, an antiques shop owned by his parents for many years in Brewster, Mass.
While Finch’s work does involve some tinkering, that does not begin to describe the degree of design intention, vision and poignant social commentary that he brings to his found object creations. Resurrecting purpose from items of obsolescence; the discarded, the forgotten, the ephemeral stuff of our collective history, and even elements of forms once alive, Finch employs a deft craftsmanship elegantly fitting together disparate objects that create a new narrative and a new reason for existing.
One of many artful activities held throughout New Haven’s historic Ninth Square District last Friday, Finch’s exhibit drew a steady flow of visitors as one might expect from an artist with a growing reputation whose work is finding serious consideration by collectors. The Coen brothers, a famous film director-producer-writer team, working through an agent, recently bought a Finch sculpture for their collection. Another nexus with the film industry was Finch’s work and studio environs featured prominently in My Brother Jack, an independent movie filmed in New Haven last year by Director Stephen Dest.
Undaunted by his assessment that his body of work may not have a ready appeal for those seeking trendy, hipster art, Finch draws satisfaction from the realization that his artistic impulses create meaning, even at their most whimsical. “I realize that I cannot rely on this for financial stability, so I am free to create and create” said Finch, understanding that rewards, nevertheless, do redound to artists who remain true to their vision.
“Cold Connections” can continue to be viewed at Grove Studios as window installations, as it has for the last several weeks, with illumination until 10 p.m. Finch said he plans to “open the doors for a weekend viewing” with a date to be announced.