Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Oct 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Balancing on the Brink at Felix Kulpa

ane_felixkulpaIn a black-on-black topography delineated only by texture, a thick viscous muck marches upward at an angle within a deep steel frame. This tarry density contrasts with the reflective, burnished darkness beyond, suggesting a dangerous precipice looming against shining sky. Carved deep within the tarry cliff, small oblong chambers are scribed with lines suggesting growing seeds. A small cluster of metal type floats above the dark horizon like seeds just released in the wind in an untitled work by Michelle Stitz.

Stitz in her most ambitious and successful works seems to seek that dangerous fulcrum between profoundly minimal and disturbingly unresolved. Just a hair more clear, linear or prescriptive and they could become prettily prosaic, but with any less information, could seem empty of content. That’s a slender hair upon which to hang a reputation and Stitz runs right up to that hairsbreadth, and balances right there, on the precipice.

With artist Jody Alexander, Stitz shares the Felix Kulpa Gallery in the exhibition “White Balance,” which closes July 31. It would be a crime to miss the show; the gallery has never been lovelier or more interesting.

In “Stillness,” Stitz uses the handsome materials for which she has become known: multilayered resin, pigment and embedded objects bounded by deep steel frames. Within an engrossing rosy pool of deep translucent resin, lines of embedded pigment angle into the depths, never really meeting on one plane, but intersecting in Escher-esque relationships, calling on the viewer to peer deeply within and let go any rigid ideas of figure and ground.

Two paintings on black roofing paper deviate from Stitz’s usual materials and imagery, painted with salt solution interacting turbulently with the tar-infused paper, scribed with rudimentary drawings, embellished with small gardens of plastic flowers and floated within steel-framed glass boxes.ane_felixexhib In “Cement Garden” a giant amorphous white salty cloud hovers ominously over the pitch-dark horizon of the naked paper while an old-fashioned metal bed floats in indeterminate space, a haunting, dreamlike image.

I am already many times on record for my admiration of Jody Alexander’s wryly witty, sensually delightful objects and installations. Her work is perfectly sited in the diffused light of Felix Kulpa, with its tenderly crumbling walls and ebullient spirit. The pale, precious volumes of “Felix’s Notebooks,” the toothsome pages of gothic type embellished with delicate, colorful stitchery, the old pedestal sink “armed” with a mound of spitwads and straws seem designed into the room. The artists share subtle palettes and sophisticated sensibilities.


“White Balance” at Felix Kulpa Gallery, 107 Elm St., Santa Cruz closes Sunday, July 31. Maureen Davidson writes about the arts as The Exhibitionist. This column and her radio spot and blog at KUSP.org are funded in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay