Multiples, mechanicals and the magic of the uncanny will animate the Kolman & Pryor Gallery when assemblage and installation artists Danny Saathoff and Kelly Connole populate the gallery with new work. Their exhibition, More Than One: Excursions Into the Uncanny, runs June 6 through July 18, 2015, with an artist reception on Saturday, June 20, from 7-10 p.m.
“What surprises people about my work is that it moves and that some pieces are interactive,” Saathoff says of his sculptures, which include found objects assembled into enticing mechanisms. “My work is kinetic, often driven by motors but sometimes the viewer is asked to participate by turning a crank or handle or doing something else to manipulate the piece,” he adds. “That interaction creates a bit of wonder. Even though we’re beyond the mechanized age, people remain in awe of simple mechanisms and their impacts.”
Connole, recipient of a 2014 McKnight Ceramic Artist Fellowship, explains, “My work is approachable because it includes creatures that are recognizable, rabbits, mice, crows. Perhaps one of these creatures is cute. But put a herd together and the work takes on an ominous quality. Add in characteristics that make them more human or other seemingly unrelated materials that, through visual language, make sense, and you’re in an exciting, if uncomfortable place between the familiar and the familiar re-contextualized into a thing that’s uncanny.”
“Danny and Kelly have a similar aesthetic that they manifest in ways at once familiar and distinct from each other,” says Patrick Kemal Pryor, gallery co-owner. “They’re choreographing the gallery space so that there’s a beautiful play between their works that engages visitors and creates a sense of wonder.”
Adds Anita Sue Kolman, gallery co-owner, “This show will have a social element created by people participating in Danny’s work and discussing what’s recognizable and enigmatic about Kelly’s work. They both deal with serious themes, and yet their work generates a playfulness that spills over into how people view and think about it. We’re thrilled to have them showing work together.”
Groups, herds and flocks, including an installation of suspended zeppelin forms, will populate the gallery. Their placement will inspire visitors to migrate from one area to another, in an excursion that will elicit astonishment, discomfort, elation and awe.