Brooklyn Robots Invade Provincetown
"Modulations" July 28- August 17
Reception Friday, July 28, 7-9 PM
"Modulations" is the title of a new three week long exhibit at Little Gorgeous Things in Provincetown. Johnny Swing returns with his "obsessive furniture" line including a new couch made for this exhibit out of 15,000 nickels held together by over 35,000 welds. Johnny will also be exhibiting his fully functional chairs constructed of glass jars. Gordon Bennet debuts in Provincetown with his robot sculptures culled from a mixture of found objects, both old and new. His creations have been inspired by the designs of Norman Bel Geddes and Raymond Loewy, whose visions of the "modern age" helped shape industrial designs of the '40's and '50's. Brewster resident Franny Golden will be showing abstract oil paintings, many inspired by her three years living, painting, and teaching abroad in Turkey and Bulgaria.
Taking common, everyday materials and repurposing them, Swing has created practical art that is as stunning to view as it is stimulating and comfortable to use. Johnny Swing's "repurposed" art comprises an astonishing inventive aesthetic: glorious chandeliers and chairs made out of baby-food jars, sturdy chairs and benches of welded I-beams perfect for outdoor scupture gardens and displays, and of course, his signature coin furniture of quarters, nickels, "loose change," and half-dollars. Swing's philosophy about his creations is that they are functional furniture creations, as well as unique pieces of sculpture. Johnny Swing's nickel couch, made from 15,000 nickels held together in a sheer layer by 35,000 welds, was featured recently on the cover of Art and Antiques magazine with noted designer Jack Lenor Larsen.
Swing was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, and presently makes his home with his wife and two children in southern Vermont. He received a B.S. in Fine Arts from Skidmore College and studied sculpture at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. (He also received a New York City Class 1 Structural Steel Welding License). He has also twice been a team leader on the popular Discovery Channel show, "Junkyard Wars." His pieces can be found in the Robert Crowell Museum (Newfane, Vermont) and the Storm King Arts Center (Mountainville, NY). During the 1980s he lived in the East Village in New York and had three solo shows at the St. Mark's Gallery. Swing has also shown in a solo exhibit at the Longhouse Reserve, Easthampton, New York. Group shows have included in New York: Danceteria, the Now Gallery, the No Se No Gallery, the Terra Artist Gallery, Space 2B, Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts, Tunnel, "Prisoners of Art" at the Police Building, "The Degenerate Art Show" at Fashion Moda, CITE Design, and the Gallery of Functional Art in Los Angeles.
"Like the sculptor Michelangelo, who saw angels encased in marble and carved until he set them free, Gordon Bennett liberates scrapped sewing machines, fire alarms and other assorted junk, releasing components from their prior incarnations in order to forge something sublime: robot figurines. Named in honor of their former lives, creations like Filmo, Tenna, and Mr. Pots are oh-so-much more than the sum of their parts. R2-D2 would be proud." -- from Seed Magazine, April/May 2006.
Gordon Bennett has a sculpture workshop in Brooklyn, New York. He and his family collectively hunt for robot parts at local stoop sales, dumpters and garbage cans in their Park Slope neighborhood. The materials are wood, metal, bakelite, glass, plastic, rubber, and paint. Each robot is a unique, one-of-a-kind sculpture and receives its own numbered metal tag as proof it's an authentic Bennet Robot Works robot. Each robot takes about a month to build. They range in height from 14" to 25". There are no moving or battery operated parts.
Gordon Bennett studied art at Syracuse University where he received a BFA in Advertising and Design. He is a member of the Brooklyn Arts Council. He has been creating robot sculptures for around seven years. Robot sculptures are in private collections in the U.S., Great Britain and Japan. Bennett Robot Works has been featured in several international magazines including THE BULLETINE in Sydney, Australia, PIG and FLAIR in Milano, Italy and KIJK in Holland. Robot sculptures have also appeared in SEED in the U.S.
Berlin-based design book publisher Die Gestalten Verlag (dgv), plans to include pieces from Bennett Robot Works in a new book about character design scheduled for release in October 2006 called "Dot Dot Dash".
Archived web articles about Bennett Robot Works can be found at such well known sites as BoingBoing, Technorati, Treehugger and Cool Hunting.
Franny Golden lives in Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in London and has won numerous national and international prizes including two Ragdale Foundation Residency Fellowships, a Vermont Colony Residency Fellowship, a Brisons Veor Cornwall (England) Residency Fellowship, and a Villa Moltavo (California) Residency Fellowship. She has been an Artist in Residence and Professor of Painting, Drawing, and the History of Art at Cape Cod Community College.
A noted instructor of painting, drawing, life drawing, and the history of art for over 17 years, she has taught painting at the Provincetown Art Association, the Massachusetts College of Art, and the Cape Cod Conservatory. This summer she is an instructor in painting at Castle Hill Center for the Arts, Truro, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM). Her work is in the permanent collection of the Cape Museum of Fine Arts, where she had a one-woman show in 2003. Her work resides in many private and museum collections throughout the world.
Ms. Golden has taught and painted in Istanbul, Turkey, where she lived from 1990 - 1994, and currently divides her time between Cape Cod and France, where she had a solo exhibit at the Musee de la Boite in the village of Francescas, Lot-et-Garonne, in the Aquitaine/Gascony region of southern France, where she maintains a 13th century residency/atelier. Her oil paintings reflect her travels to exotic locales, particularly her period of painting and living in Eastern Europe, as evidenced in her large colorful oil-on-paper works of mosque (camii) interiors in Istanbul and Bulgaria, as well as her intricately detailed oils of Kilim rug patterns.
FRANNY GOLDEN PERSONAL STATEMENT
"As a painter I am committed to "process" as a necessary part of personal individualization, and as a necessary part of the completed painting. So my paintings reveal that process; lines, drawings, failed efforts remain--emerging through the layers. They are variations of still lives, interiors, portraits--increasingly more abstract. They are visual journals--the dates of completion being their titles. They are from times and moments in my life; I can look at every painting I ever made and tell you all about life at the time it was painted, and in particular, some pretty astonishing, emotive, indelible stories from the recent three-and-a-half years of having lived and painted and taught in Turkey.
Turkey has obviously influenced my painting and, to a certain extent, facilitated a more abstract direction. I am a walker, a public transportation maven. So it was difficult to miss much--sounds of soprano voices, smells of grilled food, untold textures, saturated colors, flowing patterns. And gold: lots of it!
In addition to the process, there is the repetition of form, color and gold paint. Almost certainly some forms are archetypal--probably personal statements about being a woman. (Although it is difficult to articulate such a statement, it is something I feel.) The hues, the forms, the gold are, as well, manifestations of Turkey; the sphere, the dome, the arch are clearly architectural--ubiquitous here. The sphere has also come to symbolize the abundance of profuse, voluptuous fruit, as well as the hot, relentless sun.
Academically--intellectually--I want to take these forms and use them as color. And take these colors and use them as form. It is critical to work both of these elements at the same level, on the same picture plane; to work both elements as intervals, as in music--or even in mathematics. Hopefully, then, the harmony, the motion--and the necessary tension--will work indivisibly toward an expressionistic composition.