Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Take an adventure in art at Ochi

‘In Search of the Miraculous’ to feature five artists

Express Staff Writer

“Ozymandias Weeps” by Chad Person. Vinyl, mixed media and electronics at Ochi. "Discovery Planet" by Lothar Osterburg. Video Still at Ochi.

The Ochi gallery in Ketchum's Light Industrial District will open its doors for a unique and exciting new show, "In Search of the Miraculous," Saturday, July 4, through Monday, Aug. 31, with an opening reception Saturday, July 4, from 3-6 p.m.

The spacious Ochi environs are filled by the works of five artists—Erin Rachel Hudak, Lothar Osterburg, Chad Person, Alyssa Pheobus and Gordon Stevenson. Each artist will present a sampling of his or her dedication and spirit to the art-making process through several media, from photography to inflatable figures.

The title of the show is taken from Bas Jan Ader's sea voyage "In Search of the Miraculous," a trip across the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Cod in a 12-and-a-half-foot sailboat. The trip was scheduled for 90 days, but nine months after Ader's departure his boat was found off the coast of Ireland.

Hudak will present paintings that are striking in composition and color, but also have darker and deeper meaning. Osterburg's photogravure and sculpted prints are dreamlike and imaginative, revealing his intensity as an artist, which is comparable to that of an eccentric scientist. With the spirit of an explorer, Osterburg brings to life times and places long ago or far away using century-old techniques and processes.

Person's whimsical inflatable art has an underlying serious tone to it, epitomized by his work "Ozymandies Weeps." He presents a large Big Boy who shifts slowly, sighing in his sadness or anger, which is concealed by his impressive appearance. Person is exposing the loss of value in culture through recognizable icons.

Pheobus creates large-scale drawings by extracting lyrics of love songs and other texts. Her laborious methods are impressive. Stevenson's images are an experiment in several media, including photography and graphic arts. He is playful and dramatic with color and light and his subject matter tends to be striking.

All five artists create work through processes that instill a belief that art is capable of upholding higher truths, whether it is in the cathartic creation, a clever outcome or a beautiful ending. Embodying the spirit of Ader's journey, they are all earnest in their excitement, sincere in their mischief and rigorous in their pursuit to create art that leaves a lasting impression in its wake.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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