Billy Hertz of Gallery Hertz is known for his ability to draw great artist to his gallery for exhibits. This past Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012, he had two artists that were a Motley Crew, Tom Bartel & Rachel Clark.
Bartel is world known for his quirky “interpretation of the figure”, and his ceramic work, earthenware w/vitreous slip and copper oxide, are masterfully created to perfection.
Bartel relayed to me some information about the time he was invited to demo at the NCECA conference. “It is the super bowl of ceramics” This was in Portland Oregon in 06. He created the human head lying in its side, and explained that, “it is a mix of an Olmec, "colossal heads" and a doll. The horizontal position allows for questions such as is it sleeping, dead, in a dream- like stage, and leads to psychological territories.
I asked Bartel why he chose ceramic sculpting over any other art form. His response, “because the material responded to me. It’s like an alchemy, when you hope other things will happen in the kiln, and it’s where I can communicate my ideas the best.”
Paired with Bartel is painter Rachel Clark. Clark’s use of color and brushwork is equally quirky in her interpretation of art. The play on colors and layers were humorous, intentionally and beautifully done.
I asked Rachel to pick out her favorite and she chose “Pink Scream” “It started out as a blind singer, later the googly eyes were added. The scream looks horrific, but strange, it represents awkwardness, haunting, and strangeness. Me: “And the pinkness what does it represent?” Rachel: “It represents feminity and layers.”
It seems Clark likes layers; her paintings are all about them…each one having dual meanings.
The exhibition runs until mid- June.
1253 South Preston Street
Louisville, KY 40203
Tuesday-Friday 11 am-5 pm Saturday 11am -3 pm and by appointment
Hertz Gallery has a new email address: [email protected]