Monday August 4, 2014
Artists use streetscapes, equine and mythology
images as paths to exploration
From vivid images taken from Greek mythology to richly colored thoroughbred horses to paintings of Louisville street scenes that capture the personality of the city, three artists use their creations as a gateway to exploring more complicated issues in a new exhibit at Louisville’s historic Metro Hall.
The exhibit, titled “Infinite Perspectives,” is part of the ongoing Rotunda Art Project and features work from Ann Stewart Anderson, Ashley Brossart and Dhamin Jassim. It will be on display through January 16, 2015.
The Rotunda Art Project series is produced by the Louisville Visual Art Association in partnership with the Mayor’s Office.
Visitors may see the exhibit anytime the building is open to the public, which is generally weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no charge to enter Metro Hall, but people are required to go through security and show a photo ID.
Frazier History Museum Exhibits at Metro Hall
Also currently at Metro Hall are two unique historical exhibits from the Frazier History Museum.
One exhibit features one of only 200 copies of the Declaration of Independence. What has come to be known as a “Stone Engraving,” based on early printer William J. Stone’s development of a copperplate negative, is the closest facsimile to the original document that could have been made in 1823. The document has recently undergone extensive restoration in Cincinnati and will ultimately be stored in a vault at the University of Louisville Archives.
Blending historical objects and artifacts from three different collections, the second exhibit will focus on Louisville men and woman in military service in the 1940s. “Louisville at War” shows how Bowman Field prepared men and women for the US Army Air Force during WWII, the wartime experience of Louisville resident Alma Meyer as one of a small number of female Marines, and the story of Donald Conrad, who served in the early years of the Cold War.
Description: Infinite Perspectives
The act of seeing art is highly personal and subjective, and the reason may lie in the ability of any given painting, print, or sculpture to illuminate the layers of human experience. This ability is perhaps infinite, defined only by the limits of our own persistence of vision: an individual frame of reference drawn from our own experience. Whatever we observe initially is only the first, most obvious layer. The longer we spend looking, the more we discover ideas and connections that, very often, the artist them selves may not have even imagined. Which images resonate most powerfully depends on what associations the viewer brings to the experience of seeing.
Ann Stewart Anderson’s paintings, from her Iphigenia series, are part of a larger body of work depicting stories from Greek mythology. The settings are by and large true to an ancient culture, but at various times the artist interjects anachronistic modern elements that point to her real intentions: the use of mythology to frame political and social commentary on women in a modern society. The conflicts of gender and power are both timeless and timely: one only needs to follow the headlines to understand the relevance of these observations to the world of today.
Dhamin Jassim’s equine imagery embraces the history and culture of his new home in Kentucky, but overlays Thuluth calligraphy (an ancient Persian script with origins in the Ottoman Empire) over the subject. The tension between the image and the letter patterns on the surface suggest an underlying subtext: a émigré’s struggle to establish a new identity while reinforcing connections to his heritage. It is a struggle being experienced by millions of people throughout the global village. Jassim’s work memorably expresses the universality of this theme through a specific and personal iconography.
Ashley Brossart captures images of the Louisville cityscape that capture the life and energy of the urban landscape. They can be seen as snapshots suitable for tourists except that Brossart largely avoids the more obvious landmarks in favor of the streets where we live. The vigorous gestures the artist imposes on the surface lead the viewer through doorways, if you will, and deeper into the personality of the city. As such, Brossart’s works capture the meeting of the modern and the past, development and preservation, and the sometimes uneasy but necessary conversation that takes place between the two.
Artist: Ann Stewart Anderson
Ann Stewart Anderson is a Louisville native who attended Wellesley College, American University and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She has been a distinguished leader in the local visual arts community for more than 40 years, teaching at St. Francis High School and has been recognized by the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Kentucky Arts Commission as one of the premiere visual artists in the region.
“For the past decade, I have concentrated on women’s stories from Greek Mythology—the sagas of Demeter and Persephone, Medea, Penelope and Arachne. Mythic in stature, these figures embody the essential attributes of all women; knowing their histories explains our own. Telling their stories visually enables me to discover archetypal sister, mother, daughter, wife—the roles women play in their daily life, regardless of when they live.
In the Mythic Women Juxtaposed diptychs I use symbolism and image to demonstrate the similarities between ancient mythic woman and their well-known contemporary counterparts. Thus Hestia, goddess of the hearth reflects Julia Child and Rosa Parks defies an unfair system of law, as did Antigone.
These paintings are not only about subject. They are also about the intricacies of pattern, juxtaposition of color which is often symbolic, contracts of light and shade, figure and gesture.
They are essential statements about the vicissitudes of human life.”
Gallery Representation: Galorie Hertz
Artist: Dhamin Jassim
Dhamin Jassim graduated at the top of his class from the Institute of Fine Art, and obtained his degree from the University of Baghdad in 1994. He relocated to Louisville from Iraq in 2012.
His visually striking paintings often blend naturalism and expressionism in a distinctive manner and have quickly gained attention in the Louisville art scene. Expressionism began in Germany in the early 20th century, and is often associated with angst. While Jassim’s work does convey a sense of dislocation and world-weariness, his lyrical style, saturation of rich colors and subject matter also expresses optimism about his relocation to America, and Kentucky in particular.
Like many artists, Jassim looks to the past to go forward. For example, Jassim says, “I paint from life and apply Thuluth calligraphy (an ancient Persian script with origins in the Ottoman Empire)”. However, he selects the letters not based on their linguistic value, but for their form.
Gallery Representation: Artebella/LVAA; Nature's Dialect (Amman, Jordan)
Artist: Ashley Brossart
Ashley Brossart is a native of Louisville and attended Sacred Heart Academy. She studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, but ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Louisville. Brossart’s work has appeared at the gallery at the Brown Hotel, Greenhaus, Revelry in Louisville and the Carnegie Center (New Albany, IN).
“The Sequence Series is an ongoing project intended to encompass many smaller sequences of drawings, paintings and digital montages. The Sequence Series Original Drawings, ‘The Fruit’, ‘Snapshots – Intersections’, ‘Intersections’.”