Reflections on Carte Blanche

Land On Your Feet, Kyujin Lee, watercolor, acrylic, and tissue paper on mulberry paper, 9” x9”, Inquire.

Carte Blanche, the most recent exhibition from Studio Gallery, is curated by one of our previous Directors, Adah Rose Bitterbaum. This collection has no specific content theme, which is implied by the title - a decision that is particularly exciting, as the curator has selected pieces that cover numerous genres and mediums. This show is truly an opportunity to glance into the variety achieved in the art world today.

When I first walked in to the gallery after this show had been installed, I was immediately drawn to Jessica Drenk’s work. At first glance, the piece entitled Circulation looked like a real tree trunk. Upon looking at the label I saw that she created this piece out of book pages! The creativity displayed in all three of her Carte Blanche pieces is refreshing, as she comments on environmental protection in a spectacular way. Her work returns processed materials back to organic form, in a way that reminds the viewer that nature deserves to be respected and revered. Circulation can be read as a symbolic representation of the circularity of life, and how the wood and wood pulp serves a purpose despite its current shape.

Implement, Jessica Drenk, pencils (sanded), 19”x10”x9”, Inquire.

Circulation, Jessica Drenk, books, 16”, Inquire.

As a budding Art Historian, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Manuela Holban’s collection of pieces, one room away from Drenk’s sculptures. Inspired by the Rococo style, Holban has taken scenes and portraits and transformed them into abstract reimaginings. As a Romanian-born artist, her work harkens back to the work of Northern Baroque and Romantic artists, capturing a sense of mystery and adventure. However, the aspect that truly draws in the eye is the works’ magnificent colors, which speak to the timelessness captured in each piece.

Spanish Portrait, Manuela Holban, mixed media, 12” x 9”, Inquire.

Shadows, Manuela Holban, mixed media, 9” x 12”, Inquire.

From Staff Contributor Rebecca McInernery.