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Summer Kitchen Cooks ... With Art
by Allan Appel | Aug 19, 2013 1:41 pm
Posted to: Arts & Culture, Visual Arts, Morris Cove
The summer kitchen at the Pardee-Morris House has been effectively transformed into the city’s newest gallery space.
A pop-up exhibition took place Sunday in the cozy space of the 1780-era home’s summer kitchen. Eight area artists including Gabriella Svenningsen (pictured) showed wide-ranging, evocative work.
The long rectangular room of the home (now operated by the New Haven Museum) was transformed for a day into the pop-up gallery.
Museum Director of Photo Archives Jason Bischoff-Wurstle, who curated the show, modestly named it Show. He added music and games on the spacious lawn for “a late-summer enjoyable event.”
In the process he has created, potentially, a new destination, simply by adding modern lighting to the original low-ceilinged beams of the house and by playing on its mullioned colonial windows and naturally amalgamating dimensions.
Result: The space more than accommodates works as diverse as Svennigsen’s delicate black ink drawings and Keven Derken’s Anthropogenesis Industries 2011, a digital print that practically crackles with color, here and there so loud you could imagine it rivaling Amos Morris’s 18th century fire below.
That’s why it’s happily placed above the mantle of the hearth.
“I think it works well, old setting, color-wise. Everyone is doing different things, and it works together. I didn’t know this was going to look so good,” said Svenninsgsen.
Another visitor called the space “agreeable,” pointing out the windows on the three sides of the room not occupied by the ancient fireplace and the beehive ovens.
Click here for a story about a another recent exhibition at Pardee-Morris, where the display, mostly on easels in the dark kitchen in the main house, did not work half as well.
Here in the summer kitchen the ceilings, so low a six-footer would have to stoop to avoid collision with a beam, also exert a kind of compression on the art objects, as if to say to them: Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a palace. You all better get along here.
And the pieces do.
They were selected by Bischoff-Wurstle working with sculptor Alison Walsh. For the two previous years’ annual exhibition Bischoff-Wurstle had asked artists to create works related to the Pardee-Morris house; this year he wanted to “mix it up.”
None of the works has anything to do with the Pardee-Morris House. It’s doubtful Amos Morris would have made sense out of most of them.
He surely would have wondered why Ryan Cyr would have planted a perfectly useful ladder on top of what looks like a giant robin’s nest and then placed on the rungs delicate glass boxes containing little treasures, including fishing lures, in the spirit of Joseph Cornell.
The entrepreneurial Morris would have been profoundly shocked with the title too of Cyr’s ladder sculpture: “The things we all do for money are far more embarrassing that it seems. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather go fishing.”
If you’d rather explore an old space with some very new work, in which the domestic architecture is the hidden star, there’s only one more day to do so: Next Sunday, which is the final day before the house begins to close up for the season.
Other artists showing not mentioned above include David Marshall, Andrew Maglathlin, Dylan Vitale, and Andrzej Dutkanicz.
One hopes this space, which celebrates both New Haven history and ongoing creativity, will grow from pop-up status to a longer season next year for “the summer kitchen.”
Post a Comment
posted by: ryancyr on August 21, 2013 5:51pm
Dear Allan Appel,
After reading the article you wrote about the show, I must admit, I was left feeling as though my work was misrepresented. I understand that news and media are relentlessly filled with quips but truthfully the ladder is not perfectly good. It has a broken leg. Also, a quick google search will show that robin’s nests are far more circular than the arranged throw rug used to create the terrain below the ladder. Lastly, despite the title of the installation, there are no fishing lures to be found on the sculpture. Unless of course you meant in reference to ‘luring’ people into actually going out an experiencing the joy that the contemplative recreation of fishing brings. Aside from all that, I very much appreciate the press. Thank you.
PS. I was not previously aware of artwork of Joseph Cornell.Though, in my opinion we display quite a different menagerie, it is indeed a compliment and honor to be compared to his work.
PSS. Have you seen my lost cat?