Saturday, May 27, 2006

Feel the EVOL - Nate Fors at the Dolphin


butterflies for brains (detail), 2006
enamel on insulating foam sealant, rubber, wood 48" x 44" x 5"

One of my favorite artists, Nate Fors, has a show opening at the Dolphin on First Friday - June 2. The show is called EVOLution, and even the title is filled with the themes and ambiguities that populate Nate's artistic world. What to make of the capitalized first four letters? They are "love" spelled backwards, in the beginning of a word layered with meaning.

Is love retrograde, evolving backwards and deteriorating? Is evolution, in all its controversies, bringing a reversal of love? Does the fact that "love" at the beginning of "EVOLution" is pronounced and spelled more like "evil" than "love" a message that evolution is a malignant form of progress - a moral entropy?

And look at the jpeg above. He's painting on insulating foam sealant, for crying out loud! Is it a sculpture or a painting? Should we focus on the surface, or the shape, or the negative space?

What would it be like to paint on that stuff? I imagine, with the thick liquid of the enamel and the curving, caressing shapes of the foam, it would be a sensuously delicious experience. Is that part of the EVOL?

I haven't seen the show yet, but I don't expect to get my questions answered. I'm confident, though, that the artist will have asked himself the same, similar and more questions, and that the work will challenge me and make me think. Fors is always an intelligent and exploring artist, so the observer always feels like the universe he creates, with its randomness and uncertainties, is - ironically enough - intelligently designed.

Come see EVOLution, June 2 - July 1, 2006, at the Dolphin, 1901 Baltimore. There'll be an opening reception on June 2 from 6 until 10 - I'm looking forward to it, and hope to see some blog-readers there.

2 Comments:

Anonymous travelingal said...

Had he called it REVOLution, the first 5 letters backwards would have spelled LOVER. Very interesting piece. First thing I thought when I saw it and even knew it was art, I thought "ice cream"

5/27/2006 9:52 PM  
Anonymous dolphin said...

"Is it a sculpture or a painting? Should we focus on the surface, or the shape, or the negative space?"

I'm gonna guess that the answer to those questions is "yes."

:-)

5/30/2006 10:08 AM  

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