Four artists reflect on gender, culture, politics and the environment with acrylic paintings by Chuck Trotsky, illustrated books by Anna Weisenfeld, sculptural installations by Gampo Wickenheiser and mixed media collages by Vanessa Compton.
Charles Trotsky is an alter-ego painter. While his creator Ben Barnes paints the first person experience of living in Vermont, Trotsky has no boundaries, no rules, no reputation to spoil. His first body of work was painted in secret and after over a year was installed and exhibited anonymously.
This new collection of paintings can loosely be referred to as "gender studies." Using pop-culture images as a language, Trotsky presents the viewer with painted "studies of gender." Society's stereotypes are blurred, often by a shifted context or anachronism. A subtext of feminism, commercialization, and body image finds a voice in bright colors, familiar yet enigmatic imagery, typography, and geometric composition. The paintings are all acrylic on panel, often utilizing angled panel edges or other three dimensional "art as object" construction.
Artist Anna Weisenfeld makes delicate, one-of-a-kind handmade accordion books that, at first glance, appear quite whimsical but upon closer inspection the viewer discovers something is most definitely off. These “almost worlds” question the world we all live in and are made using a variety of paper, gouache, pastel, pen and ink.
Sculptor Gampo Wickenheiser looks to light, shadow, form and space to communicate his findings as a witness to the world. Wickenheiser says “My efforts can be literal, with little room for interpretation. Or they can vague, with openness for emotion and perspective to take hold. Hopefully they will have fire of heart and cool of mind to be honest in my interpretations.”
Artist Vanessa Compton finds the images that inspire her collages wherever she goes: plane, train, automobile, trading post, mountain top. Countless pieces of hand-cut paper, culled from a decade’s worth of hunting through books and magazines, create a kaleidoscopic effect that is released onto the canvas by hands, scissors, gel medium, acrylic and oil.
Compton is moved by the ways the planet has been worshipped and defiled and the ability for it to come back again with its Eastern cathedrals of forest and panoramic horizons of the West. Her work has a specific lens on the First Nations people of North America but she follows a trail of broken promises the world over.
All four exhibiting artists are members of generation X/Y and live and work in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
This exhibit is on dispaly from Oct. 1 through Nov. 26 at the Highland Center for the Arts, 2875 Hardwick St. Greensboro.
Free and open to the public. For more information, please call (802) 533-9075 or visit www.HighlandArtsVT.org.