April 2, 2007 - Lehman College Art Gallery - Sugar Buzz
April 2, 2007

Sugar Buzz

Sugar Buzz
February 6-May 15, 2007

Lehman College Art Gallery
250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
Bronx, NY 10468
718-960-8731 
www.lehman.edu/gallery

Sweets are the stuff of childhood memories and fantasies. They are also a locus of desire, pleasure, and guilt. Sugar Buzz features twenty-eight artists whose work deals with sweets in its imagery or as its medium. In this exhibition the artists have used a variety of strategies all with an element of humor, irony or whimsy. The exhibition, curated by Susan Hoeltzel with Nina Sundell, includes photography, video, painting, sculpture, and installations, completed since 2000.

The artists are: Becca Albee, Julie Allen, John Boone, Luisa Caldwell, Emily Eveleth, Lucy Fradkin, Pamela Hadfield, Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, Rebecca Holland,Yoshiko Kanai, Jenny Kanzler, Mary Magsamen & Stephan Hillerbrand, Mark McLeod, Amy W. Miller, Shelley Miller, Tracy Miller, Matthew Neff, Gina Occhiogrosso, Lynda Ray, Freddy Rodriguez, Milton Rosa-Ortiz, Jessica Edith Schwind, Karen Shaw, Dana K. Sherwood, Sara Sill, Vadis Turner, and Andy Yoder.

Using frosting, Canadian artist Shelley Miller applies intricately detailed architectural elements to building exteriors. Her monumental decorative embellishments, presented here as documentary photographs of installations in Canada and Brazil, wash away over time.

Becca Albee humorously alludes to the history of art in her homage to Robert Smithsons Spiral Jetty made from fragrant cakes, as does Andy Yoder in his large-scale Pipe made of licorice that references René Magrittes Ceci nest pas une pipe. Its surface is richly textured with patterns made by long Twizzlers and shorter licorice stubs.

Twist ties, sponges, pantyhose, cotton balls, curlers the stuff of daily life are the materials used to produce a variety of tasty delights in Vadis Turners large-scale installation and vitrine filled with sweets. Eight thousand candy wrappers those from candy consumed by the artist, her friends or found on the street create a monumental cascade of color and light in Luisa Caldwells Color Falls. Twenty-one feet high, its excess is dazzling as the cellophane gently moves in drafts of air.

Maggy Rozycki Hilter offers a moral tale of overindulgence in her hand-stitched textile with cute children, animals, cakes, and candies. Her thirteen-foot embroidery includes found textiles from old tablecloths and doilies as well as those stitched by the artist and her mother. It is a story told in multiple vignettes that suggest temptations and their consequences. Excess is also the theme of Milton Rosa-Ortizs Gula (gluttony). An allegorical reference to one of the Seven Deadly Sins, the sculpture hangs like a chimera. Its chalice-like form is created from hundreds of suspended sugar cubes and light.

Dana K. Sherwoods book, Confektion: The Sweet Allure of Entrapment, is opened to a page with a compressed yellow cupcake surrounded by dead bees. On the opposite page the cupcake and bugs are described in a brief text and a whimsical drawing. Throughout the book, packaged confections from Twinkies to HoHos are paired with insects. They offer deadpan humor and musings on seduction and death.

Larger than life and suggesting the human form, Emily Eveleths sensuous jelly donuts depict one of Americas most ubiquitous morning foods. For over ten years Eveleth has made donuts her subject. In Repose the donuts are cropped and dramatically lighted against a dark ground. Their forms slouch against one another with jelly oozing.

The medium of Rebecca Hollands site-specific installation Crush is sugar. Its minimalist form offers luminous, jewel-like color that appears to glow from within.

Mary Magsamen & Stephan Hillerbrands video air-hunger explores trust and boundaries as a couple blow and share bubble gum. Filmed in the lobby of the Woolworth Building in NYC, the majestic ceiling is almost cathedral-like. The title alludes to a medical condition associated with diabetic coma.

This exhibition is made possible with the support of JPMorgan Chase Foundation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York State Council on the Arts.

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