Art Exhibition Receives Good Reviews

To view photos from the exhibit, click here.

Fascinating, emotional and brilliant are just a few words that could describe the Delicatessen art exhibition that opened Nov. 9 at the Schmidt Center Gallery on the Boca campus.

As I walked towards the entrance of the gallery, I couldn’t help but notice a spectacular mural that had recently been painted on the wall across from the gallery. This very large piece of art carried an imposing presence that caught the eye of every passing guest. The piece was developed by one of the exhibit’s visiting artists Thordis Adalsteinsdottir, a native of Iceland, and took her about a week to finish.

Pieces from 22 artists were spread across the gallery, offering various perspectives of complex themes through the use of “mundane” materials. Although all the artwork presented was exquisite in its own right, some key pieces stood out especially for me. The artists of these pieces also contributed their own personal interpretations in a panel discussion that was offered at the start of the opening. This panel included Jane Benson, Boyce Cummings, Luisa Caldwell, Andrew Scott Ross, Thordis Adalsteinsdottir, and the guest curator of the exhibit, Diana Shpungin.

The first piece that struck my attention was one entitled “Rocks and Rocks and Dreams and Caves II,” by Andrew Scott Ross. With his use of paper and finely cut images, he was able to create scenes that “came to life” depicting cavemen and their dwellings.

Next, Luisa Caldwell’s “Color Falls III” implemented the use of candy wrappers and thread to create a “column of color” that was suspended almost twelve feet. The piece depicted a whimsical scene and fascinated me.

Jane Benson, with her piece “Naked Swan,” used a taxidermy swan covered in silicon, surrounded by two-way mirrors to illustrate her vision of our popular culture and how we obsess over beauty. It was shocking, but the meaning behind the piece justified the method of the artist.

Then Boyce Cummings’ piece “Bridge,” gave a contrast between dark and light, while playing with the idea of life and death.

To elaborate a little more on the “true” meaning behind the Delicatessen exhibit, the piece “Untitled portrait of Dad” by Felix Gonzalez Torres – the artist that inspired curator Diana Spungin to create the exhibit – draws inspiration from the strict rules that are enforced by museums.

“Usually we are not allowed to eat or touch anything when visiting a museum” said Spungin. “But in this piece, the art literally applies to all the senses.”

The piece is actually a 175-pound mint candy mound, the weight of the artist’s deceased father, and allows for guests to touch and eat the candies on display.

I highly recommend this exhibit and feel that if one goes with an open mind, the essential beauty of the pieces will shine through.

Delicatessen will be on display in FAU’s Schmidt Center Gallery on the Boca campus now through Jan. 26, 2008.