Motion Capture 

Reynolds Gallery combines three artists in one movement.

click to enlarge Flowers that never would share a garden bed are intertwined in Nancy Blum’s “Morning.”
  • Flowers that never would share a garden bed are intertwined in Nancy Blum’s “Morning.”

It’s amazing how inanimate material still can impress the immediacy of movement and life. Even a mark in stone can imply the presence of kinetic energy: poised, paused or completed. The drawing and sculpture exhibition at Reynolds Gallery shows three distinctly different artists, each a master of implied movement in static form.

Nancy Blum, a Philadelphia-based artist, makes large-scale drawings of wild, sensual botanicals. She layers paper with ink, colored pencil, gouache and pencil in the form of spirographs, freehand drawings, repetitive patterns and plant physiology. The compositions teem with movement hardly contained on the page. The juxtaposition of non-native flora in one space, in exaggerated sizes and gouging color, results in a sort of botanical surrealism. But for all the crowding of forms and jostling energy, the work still draws viewers in, leaving them feeling as if the trumpet flower could be inhabited or the stamen climbed.

click to enlarge Though more than 5 feet across, Ross Caudill’s “Accelerator” appears to hover weightlessly on the wall.
  • Though more than 5 feet across, Ross Caudill’s “Accelerator” appears to hover weightlessly on the wall.

Three stainless-steel sculptures represent the intricate, painstaking craft of Ross Caudill, who holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. “Accelerator,” though measuring more than 5 feet by 5 feet, floats weightlessly on the wall. The movement is fluid and the circle mythic as it contorts around and around eternally. The structure is reminiscent of roller-coaster scaffolding or a toy train track, but slick in shining metal. The basis for the structure exists in the minute welded points, each one tended by the artist, all creating a life-infused yet industrially spawned form.

click to enlarge Stephen Talasnik created two sculptures for the Reynolds Gallery, including this detail from “Boulder Field 1.”
  • Stephen Talasnik created two sculptures for the Reynolds Gallery, including this detail from “Boulder Field 1.”

Stephen Talasnik, exhibiting in Richmond for the first time, created a site-specific installation for Reynolds Gallery’s upstairs. His two large-scale sculptures have an angular basswood infrastructure netted with flat bamboo that dips, snakes and turns every which way. The structures summon the salt-air memory of nautical construction, like the skeletons of boats waiting quietly for their skin, ready for a job at sea.

Talasnik’s drawings lack the satisfying simplicity of his sculptures but offer the same sense of movement and dimensionality. His collage work manages the best of both, with a hint of color to seduce.

Artists like these, who choose to work in multiple dimensions, perhaps betray an obsession with the seemingly impossible: the animation of inanimate objects. Like the sculptor Pygmalion of Greek myth, who falls in love with his creation and so begs Venus to grant her action, movement and life.

Nancy Blum’s “New Drawings,” Ross Caudill’s “Accelerator” and Stephen Talasnik’s “Boulder Field” are on view at Reynolds Gallery through Oct. 27. For details visit reynoldsgallery.com or call 355-6553.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: A Letter to Sony Pictures from Todd Schall-Vess

    • Good lord. This whining about the Byrd seats is as tired and boring as Richmond…

    • on December 26, 2014
  • Re: A Letter to Sony Pictures from Todd Schall-Vess

    • I can't believe that asshole manager still has a job. Really? Seriously.

    • on December 26, 2014
  • Re: A Letter to Sony Pictures from Todd Schall-Vess

    • The Byrd is a venerable Richmond institution. Its management ought to be congratulated for its…

    • on December 26, 2014
  • More »
  • Facebook Recommendations

    Latest in Arts and Culture

    • Bright Lights, Big City

      Architecture Review: The VCU Medical Center’s light display beams a new energy from Richmond.
      • Dec 23, 2014
    • Radio Active

      Exploring moral codes, the “Love and Radio” podcast offers some of the most emotionally complicated stories anywhere.
      • Dec 23, 2014
    • Word & Image

      Kelli Lemon: General Manager at Mama J’s, Radio DJ, Host and Promoter.
      • Dec 16, 2014
    • More »

    More by Amy Ritchie

    • At Close Range

      VMFA highlights midcentury abstract photography.
      • Nov 27, 2012
    • Glass Menagerie

      Reynolds Gallery makes homage to glass, but painting prevails.
      • Nov 13, 2012
    • Party On, Dane

      With neon and palm trees, Sören Hüttel celebrates kitsch without irony.
      • Oct 30, 2012
    • More »

    Copyright © 2014 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation