Gallery director and curator Scott Speh looks toward the heavens for this exhibition, titled after the dictionary definition of the word “celestial.” Here six artists deal with the skybound through symbolism, metaphor or literal depiction.
The rainbow as a celestial phenomenon is evident in Michelle Grabner’s “Untitled Flock Drawing,” a wall installation composed of shimmering bits of rayon flocking with subtle pastel color gradation created by spray-painting onto the gallery walls. This piece falls just short of visually mesmerizing, as bits of flocking have been blown off the wall by viewers, leaving dangling chunks of fibers, but also emphasizing the ephemeral nature of the material.
Shane Huffman’s “Forevering” is a spacescape photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope overlaid with a wash of semen and menstrual blood. Here, Huffman conflates the beauty and immensity of space with human biological functions, toying with notions of microcosm and macrocosm, and the limits of infinity.
Sprinkled throughout the exhibition are Stan Shellabarger’s photographs of jet trails against blue skies, which are a continuation of his inquiry into human-made marks on the earth, and in this case, on the sky. Unfortunately, these fit more interestingly into Shellabarger’s body of work at large than they do into this exhibition, where they seem an obvious inclusion and are overshadowed by larger works. (Jamie Keesling)
Through February 14 at Western Exhibitions, 119 N. Peoria.