Elegant Solutions: Laura Battle, Harold Granucci, and Kysa Johnson at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
Exhibition Dates: September 5 – October 19, 2014, with the Opening Reception on Saturday, September 6, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Note: Due to the Woodstock Film Festival, which will have screenings/panels in the gallery from October 14 – 19, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild will keep the exhibition hanging for the duration of the event, available for viewing only by Film Festival ticket holders
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, or by appointment on Tuesday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
On view from September 5 to October 12, 2014 at the Kleinert/James in Woodstock, the exhibition Elegant Solutions seeks to illuminate the revelatory moments of Laura Battle, Harold Granucci, and Kysa Johnson by tracing their inclusive, labor-intensive work back to its roots, and by assembling them to compare and contrast. Their work has many visual similarities, but their concerns originate from very different pursuits. Like chemists, engineers, and mathematicians, these artists look for more than answers to their concerns. They look for elegant solutions which are characteristically direct, effective, beautiful and surprising. They often involve an unforeseen moment of discovery, when the dedicated work of many years comes to delightful fruition.
Harold Granucci, who died in 2007, inspired this exhibition. He was an army sergeant, accountant, and furniture dealer. When he retired, he began to work on questions of geometry every weekday from nine to five. He produced thousands of calculations, hundreds of drawings and dozens of mechanical devices for subdividing angles in theoretically impossible manners. His work became more expressive over the years. The body of work has been caringly held intact by his daughter, Alison, and his son, Tarn. To enter the archive in Alison’s house is to fall into a rabbit hole of fascination, dedication and wonder. The quantity of work seems infinite and its precision is awesome. This show gathers a range of his production that has not been seen previously.
Laura Battle‘s elaborate paintings and drawings originate from her study of the most rudimentary of gestures: the mark and the line. One of her most seminal moments came while she drew out the flight of starlings and saw the movement take shape as a spiral. She saw the spiral, then, as a recurrent shape in the orders of nature, and as a symbol with multiple meanings across different cultures. She is fascinated by how marks can become a shape, a diagram, a map, a symbol, or an image. Each of her artworks seems to crystalize unpredictably with varied amounts of all five aspects.
Kysa Johnson‘s work originates from physics and chemistry, and branches out into other worlds. She found a more solid beauty in these scientific explanations of reality than in the dogmatic explanations of her prior Mormon schooling. Scientific diagrams were the emblems of this beauty. They enabled her to see the link from infinitesimally small patterns of energy to the universe at large. In between, these patterns comprise the building blocks for our concrete reality. The loops and lines of physics symbols and the diagrams of molecules and bacteria become animated in Kysa’s paintings. They engender metaphysical, cultural and concrete worlds.
Elegant Solutions is based on the premise that Battle, Granucci, and Johnson, like mathematicians, answer ineffable questions in ways that are by necessity elegant, not just correct. The density, energy and build-up of their work may resemble the way our world and cultures coalesce from chaos to order.
Elegant Solutions: Laura Battle, Kysa Johnson, and Harold Granucci is curated by Ken Landauer, with assistance from Katharine Umsted. The opening reception is Saturday, September 6, 4:00 – 6:00 pm. The show will be on view to the public until Sunday, October 12; it will remain in the gallery throughout the following week, when ticket holders for the Woodstock Film Festival screenings and panels in the gallery will be able to see the exhibition.