Aspiration/Inspiration, August 2009



Aspiration/Inspiration is a group show curated by Nicholas Cohn for Wassaic Project 2009, on view from Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16. Aspiration/Inspiration features five talented artists from throughout New York State. Working in a variety of mediums, these artists explore emotions we as humans encounter on our quest for fulfillment: fear, frustration, insecurity and the satisfaction that comes from perseverance.Though they work in very different mediums, Oscar Strodl and Jen P. Harris have chosen portraiture to capture feelings of courage, concern and celebration, “Four Horsemen” offers a sense of manifest destiny, that the world is ours for the taking, while “Waiting Room” and “Lida 227” offer more of a tempered mood, the joy of raising a family but the concern that accompanies that responsibility. While with “Patricio” and the diptych of “Two Boys” and “Two Girls” we see fear trumped by companionship.

In Sarah Kohn’s sculpture work we see opposing traits, with “Means to an End” we feel strength and longevity while “Static/Stasis” evinces a sense of fragility.

Boyce Cummings and Danny Miller return to painting as an art form to describe both a world of possibility, as well as impending disaster. Cummings has produced two images lending themselves to dualistic interpretation: In “Ring of Stars” one may see a beautiful country farm, quant white house and patriotic stars symbolizing American freedom. However as you dive deeper, the scene turns eerie, as though you have entered a ghost town; the trees have died and the only animal is a small bird eyeing you pensively. With “Lets Slip Away” Miller ushers the viewer into a world of fantasy: a cowboy excitedly lassoing a horse while abstract shapes and cartoon characters hypnotically fill the canvas. In “Finish Last” Miller asks us, in a more subtle way, to suspend reality, with three wolves devouring a birthday cake, as if to say: “Life is tough; enjoy the moment.”