Monday, March 3, 2014

'Second Nature' at Albany Aiport Gallery

On exhibit: 'Second Nature' at Albany Aiport Gallery
Exhibit explores responses to a world modified by impact of human activity

Words like ''natural'' and ''organic'' imply goodness by association. But the more they've become marketing buzzwords, the murkier their definitions have become. The exhibition statement for "Second Nature," now on display at the Albany International Airport Gallery, identifies the problem with such terms: they once signified things we humans "haven't manufactured or meddled with." Now, humans affect almost every aspect of nature through such things as global warming and genetic modification. The show's artists deal with nature, and the loaded terms we use to talk about it, in a multitude of ways.
Whimsy is the province of Roberly Bell, as well. Her brightly colored fiberglass forms resemble something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Bulging and bulbous, these figures sprout fake flowers or found objects in mutated still life vignettes. The objects she chooses — a china bird, a ceramic dog — underscore our fascination with manufactured representations of nature.