Magnum Opus: New prints by Ken Frink
I found this large collection of small prints inexplicably uplifting. Each color combination elicits a different feeling, making each print a Polaroid of an emotional state. Gleeful scratches and swirls riddle the surfaces. This is the pleasure of Magnum Opus: 560 flavors of positive human sentiment. Because color and a heightened emotional state are such great bedfellows, lingering in the main gallery with Frink’s work is akin to spending time in a Gothic cathedral and watching the light change as it pours through the stained-glass windows.
“A Second Life”: An installation by Karl Hofmann
“Making artwork for me is part pleasure and part revealing and expressing my own psychological turbulence,” Hofmann says in his written statement. “It is a continual process of creating moments of order in a sea of chaos.” “A Second Life” is carefully choreographed chaos with a satisfying symmetry to it. A few large arching bands pull the eye in and give the entire work a dancer-like cohesion and grace.
Under close inspection, there is an upward, twisting thrust towards the artificial light. While the heavy garbage cans and blocks of cement keep it all earthbound, everything else pulls towards the sky. In fact, there’s a soaring, heaven-bound beauty to the upper pieces of wood: They promise hope and rebirth.
“Drowned Floor”: An installation by KB Jones
In addition to her work at Harwood, KB Jones has another exhibit (All-Purpose Flour) opening on Thursday, May 8, at John Sommers Gallery, from 5 to 7pm. The gallery is located on the second floor of the art building, room 202, on the UNM campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:15am to 4:45pm.
Jones will also give a talk on Friday, May 9, at 10am at the UNM Central Campus, CFA Building, Room 1020.
Whether working with prints, wood or paint, all three artists affirm a sense of exuberance. And the celebratory experience at the heart of their exhibits reflects the splendor of the natural world. This meeting of the human spirit with springtime’s beauty brings to mind Li-Young Lee’s poem “From Blossoms,” which concludes:
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
Alison Oatman, a writer living in Albuquerque, has just finished a novel. Catch her on the web at alisonoatman.com.
Runs through Thursday, May 29
Harwood Art Center
1114 Seventh Street NW
Gallery Hours: Monday through Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-4pm