Fire and winter make an unusual but engaging pair in the LeRoy Neiman Gallery’s newest exhibit. “Pale Fire,” the winter exhibition organized by MFA candidates in the School of the Arts, holds up to its paradoxical name with pieces evoking both the moodiness of winter and the vitality of summer in equal measure.
The collaborative effort of Victoria Roth and Anna Glantz, both SoA ’14, “Pale Fire” is inspired by the name of the postmodern 999-line poem by Vladimir Nabokov.
“We had this idea of having a muted overall palette for the works,” said Roth. “But then with the element of fire ... it kind of happened organically where some of the pieces started becoming that part of that fire.”
One such piece is “Sun Drupe” by Michael Berryhil, SoA ’09. It is an abstract painting that produces a neon effect. A border of cool colors surrounds squiggles of vivid pink and bright blue, all of which overlay a yellow-orange background. Stepping forward, one can see the myriad tones mixed in among the pink and see the texture of where the paint catches the bumps of the linen canvas.
Another painting that provides the heat in “Pale Fire” is Daniel Heidkamp’s “Rippers,” an expressionist representation of a day at the beach. Orange and beige people enjoy the sand in the foreground with a shining sea and luminous clouds in the background. To the right of “Rippers” is “Blue Tiger” by Shahar Yahalom, SoA ’14, which has a rusticity that contrasts with the scene of “Rippers.” This porcelain and steel sculpture depicts a feline-like head without features, with light gray marks lain thickly over a dark green-blue in an inconsistent pattern of dashes.
The beauty of “Pale Fire” is that it allows you to see the contrasting aspects between the individual pieces and then connect them to the overall theme. While each individual piece may tie together through mood, medium, subject matter, or any combinations of the three, each one speaks for itself as much as the exhibition as a whole.
“Pale Fire” runs through Feb. 27 at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery, 310 Dodge Hall. The opening reception is Jan. 24, at 5 p.m.