March 30 - April 24, 2011
Departures/Arrivals, which opens at the Loading Dock Gallery on Wednesday March 30th, presents new work by long time friends Cornelia Jutta Forster and Maxine Farkas. Since 1998 Forster and Farkas have met weekly to share ideas and inspiration. The pair began discussing Departures/Arrivals over a year ago, each pushing the other to experiment and to pursue the unfamiliar. The exhibit offers the viewer insight into the paths taken when comfort levels are left behind.
Both Forster and Farkas come from fiber backgrounds, each has a deep appreciation and respect for traditional quilts, but little interest in making them. Instead, they used the tools and techniques of the needle arts to explore color, composition, line and other aspects of art. When they first started meeting, each was working with the figure and with landscape. Their sensibilities and tastes shared a wide overlap, yet the work they produce has always been highly individual. Over the years their interests expanded, diverging and recombining as each followed their separate muse, constantly challenging each other to improve and experiment. While still working with fiber, each experimented with surface design, Farkas concentrating on dyeing and painting and Forster on printing. Each has moved into more stylized and abstract imagery and composition. As their understanding of art and its media has grown more sophisticated, Forster has moved into printmaking and Farkas to painting and collage.
Farkas, who holds a deep affection for the work of Joseph Cornell and who has been known to exhibit a profound sense of the absurd, chose to move from painting to work with found objects in three dimensions. Drawing on the Victorian concept of a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ she has drawn from a collection of ephemera, vintage topographic maps and found objects to create boxes that reflect a slightly different take on the traditional landscape. Farkas, who lives in Lowell and was trained as a geographer, admits to a strong attachment to the Merrimack Valley and that attachment is evident in several of the boxes she created for this exhibit.
Forster chose to attempt to depict sounds, visualizing an aural landscape. To heighten the challenge, she decided not to rely on her preferred and highly textured medium of printmaking, but instead to limit herself to 3 colors and several simple shapes in compositions which focused on the line. Collage provided a ready framework for dialogue with Farkas' assemblage. The work that Pelham resident Forster has created for this exhibit is bold, graphic and visually robust.
Departures/Arrivals will run at The Loading Dock Gallery from March 30 to April 24, with a reception for the artists on Friday April 1st from 6 to 9pm. The Loading Dock Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the A Mill at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Avenue, Lowell. For more information visit www.theloadingdockgallery.com.