The Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, N.Y. excels in pairing artists whose works animate the space with a luminous dialogue. Gallerist Susan Grissom has outdone herself in current exhibits running through April 30.
Exciting new works by Constance Old of New Canaan and Barbara Owen, who lives in the Providence, R.I., area, harmonize like characters in a masterful two-person drama. Each exhibit feels like the lead, and together they are quietly stunning.
This wonderful interplay may be first suggested by the artists’ sympathetic views toward medium and materials, along with a shared tendency to allow narratives to flow freely amid carefully orchestrated abstraction.
In Analog, Old presents her 21st century version of rug hooking, whose marriage of medium and technique is dazzling. Things like shopping bags, handbags, and construction fencing serve as a base, or substrate, and mixed paper and plastics are the strands that get pulled through to create three-dimensional paintings that form a commentary on the excesses of the consumer economy.
Some of the most ingenious works in the show delight by turning the clothing brand J. Crew into raw material. These works are inspired by an initial piece from 2010 made with a disassembled J. Crew skirt with an attention-grabbing Day-Glo pink stripe pattern.
- Crew Revisited is 50 inches wide and 40 inches high, with a base of plastic construction fencing that had a solid orange stripe mixed in with the grid. “I wanted to make a large piece like the skirt pieces but did not have access to a large piece of fabric, so I improvised and substituted the construction fencing,” says Old, who also exhibits the swatch card for J. Crew Revisited.
- Crew Skirt w/ Grey Stripes features a disassembled A-line skirt, and two versions of the smaller J. Crew Skirt w/ Black Stripes fit within Old’s “Filling the Void” series of small rectangular works with oval “voids” in the middle. These look a bit like holiday gift bows, a fun twist on the retail roots of the raw material.
In Tangible Lines, Owen creates drawings in three dimensions—literally. Instead of drawing on paper, the artist uses hand-painted cut paper as the line itself.
In these highly colorful, intricate compositions, Owen experiments with depth, superposition and inviting the viewer to examine the boundary between flat work and the third dimension.
Tangible Lines features a series of framed drawings, displayed alongside exceptional wall-mounted installations.
The piece that quietly steals the show is a flowing study in white-upon-white entitled “Miss Havisham,” in reference to the spectral spinster in Dickens’ novel “Great Expectations.” A billowing torso of a work, it possesses serene beauty even as the title inspires subtle shivers.
Artists’ talks are scheduled for April 8 at 4 p.m., with a snow date of April 9. For hours, more information and directions to the gallery at 27 Westchester Avenue in Pound Ridge, N.Y., visit the website at www.thelionheartgallery.com or call 914.764.8689.