Last night, the latest exhibit at West Side Arts opened to the public featuring the work of Bradley Fesmire and Sam Duket. The sculptural works by these two artists are very different, yet wonderfully compliment each other. Duket’s egg shapes, carefully molded, sanded, and painted, have a very retro feel. It was interesting to get face to face with his works and see his craftsmanship, even to see it evolve. Some eggs still had some element of experimentation with spray paint to create his bleeding effect. His recent work shows the bleeding effect more seamlessly. He also plays with depth in the eggs in this show, creating shadows and domes within the works creating additional shapes in works such as “Darth Vader.” These shapes do not lack interest for where they are are simple in size, they are strong in shape and detail. The old Minimalists would be proud.
One of Duket’s Egg
The work of Bradley Fesmire is more abstract in both shapes and content. He cuts plywood into undefined geometric shapes. Straight edges abound on the outside of his work. Within his shapes are neutral colored curved shapely lines on top of paint that can not be defined by just one color. The lack of definition in what one definitely sees in his work is Fesmire’s strength. One piece looked like they were made from two rectangular doors. This diptych in blue had a completely different perspective after backing up to view from the other side of the room. The doors were no longer rectangles, but a slight v shape only noticed from a front view of the work. Fesmire’s shapes within shapes run a fine line of either being carefully crafted or happy accidents. This stimulating mystery made an excellent companion to Duket’s work.
Fesmire’s blue doors
Another great exhibition by West Side Arts by artists whose prices and work are on the verge of relocation. This is the great sadness of Providence. Despite being a wonderful home for an artist to live with low costs, there is no collecting audience for the price range being sought by artists of this caliber. Though if more contemporary, emerging collectors from New York or Boston made the trip to PVD, they would find great incentives to buy work by artists on the verge of greatness.
The largest disappointment about this show had nothing to do with the work. It was the image chosen for the exhibition’s postcard. I still have no idea how it correlates with the show except that the color of whatever it is on the card is actually chartreuse. Chartreuse is also a French liqueur… Why not have a picture of liquid being poured into a glass, at least it would be more interesting. What a dynamic to have an exhibition by artists so precise and dedicated to their work and have such a hideous and lazy exhibition card.