Every era has a particular crisis that dominates the psyche of mankind. From plagues to the Cold War, we have always feared the end of the world as we know it.
At Westbeth Gallery, four artists examined the looming crisis of global warming. The exhibition’s colorful mix of sculpture, painting and photo-collage created a lively display about this ecological topic. Humor and abstraction shifted our perspective in order to help us rethink our planet’s future.
By Megan Guerber
In college my Environmental Science professor was often in tears as she taught about the Earth, its climate and where things are headed. The loss of honeybees and monarch butterflies, the dwindling down of the water supply in of our planet’s aquifers, all add up to the inevitable loss of food and water. At times we are too absorbed in the business of our daily lives to pay much attention, yet eventually these small changes will add up to an irreversible transformation of our planet.
At the opening on February 1st, Westbeth Gallery was filled with curious and energetic art lovers interested in the artistic interpretation of Climate Change.
Arthur Dworin took an abstract approach to this subject. Dworin beautifully explores the visceral quality of rust across his paintings. In doing so, he evokes futuristic aerial landscapes where the earth has been stripped bare of life and water.
Jonathan Bauch, the show’s curator, also works abstractly. At this show he displayed several of his dynamic steel sculptures. In these works the balance of strength and delicacy, of industry and human touch, bring to mind the role of technology in our current age.
Meryl Meisler’s successful photo-collages lined several gallery walls. In these constructed images, Meisler cleverly imagines how famous New York landmarks would appear if overtaken by our ocean’s waters. These images have a sense of humor, yet leave one with the eerie feeling that nature will one day overtake civilization.
Dave Channon also questions the importance of man in nature in his recent painting series, Intersections. In these works, Channon shifts our point of view by the use of telescopic foreshortening. Now insects and amphibians dominate our landscapes while endless manmade freeways disappear into hypnotic coils behind them. With Channon’s fantastical, oversized scrap-metal animals dominating the gallery floor, one is forced to reconsider who the real kings of the planet really are.
The show was on view at Westbeth Gallery at 55 Bethune St, New York from February 1 - 16, 2014.