Two abstract artists’ art portraying “beauty and grotesque shapes” was showcased in the ARC Kaneko Gallery from Oct. 20 through Nov. 10.
There was a similar dreamy and imaginative theme in the works of Linda Gibbon’s sculptures and Ken Hendricksons paintings that was unexpected.
“It’s like we were creating work in a parallel universe,” said one of the artists, Linda Gibbon as she described the affinity of their work. “We both are dealing with pod-like forms and interior spaces with doors and channels.”
Their abstract pieces have particular references to water, the body and underwater creatures that is meant to provoke imagination and challenge the viewer.
“Beauty and grotesque are relative terms that can’t exist without each other, just as sound and rhythm can’t be heard as music without silence,” said Gibbon. “My sculptures play these sensory notions off each other while evoking creative and destructive forces.”
Gibbon explains that the intent behind the ugly and over-the-top colors to her pieces are meant to show a comparison to realities of life.
“When you think about fluids, flowing juices and stuff going on in the interior of the body, it’s really gross but can be beautiful too,” Gibbon said.
The sculptures realistically portray the ugly elements of life and show that those can be beautiful too.
“In a nutshell, that’s what happens in life; things are beautiful to the point that they’re ugly,” said Gibbon.
Gibbon had been reading Dante’s “Inferno” when she started this particular abstract body of work.
“I was thinking about portals to the underworld and different layers, and the underlying idea about the grotesque and beauty and forces in the world that are up against each other.”
One of her pod-like sculpture received a baffled and amusing reaction from Patricia Wood, the gallery director.
“At first glance, I was wondering if that was some kind of worm or deformity,” Wood said.
Gibbons and Hendrickson’s abstract pieces also have a dream element that invokes the imagination.
“These portray a lack of balance, and a dream element flowing around in your thoughts, desires, dreams,” said Gibbon.
The lack of balance of the sculptures was particularly challenging to those running the gallery and art students helping set up the pieces.
“They feel kind of dangerous and precarious, in terms of looking like they could fall over such as the pieces hanging off the edge,” explained Wood.
Linda Gibbon is a dedicated art professor, and teaches sculpture and ceramics at Cosumnes River College, the Davies art center and in two elementary schools.
“I love being in the position to introduce people to get their hands dirty and thinking beyond cyberspace and getting physical with the clay,” said Gibbon.
Prior to being exposed to the clay medium, Gibbon had a passion for music and art history.
“For me it was the medium that put all of my interests together,” said Gibbon. “It really saved me, having art as a medium that I could tell stories and have something beautiful and solid when everything else in my life was falling apart.”
Gibbon hopes to put a spark into people the medium just as she had experienced.
Gibbon’s previous art work revolved around the intent of making everything look real, while her current artwork is on the opposite side of that spectrum.
“The idea of introducing something that wasn’t reas was against my principles as a ceramic artist.”
The “Abstract Dialogue” theme showcasing the works of Ken Hendrickson and Linda Fitz Gibbon will be running until Nov. 10.
The next artwork theme showcased in the Kaneko Gallery will be presenting “Unearthly forms” by artists Mitra Fabian and Lisa Marasso from Nov. 17 through Dec. 15. A reception will be held on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.