Gallery artist Christopher Russell will open a two-person exhibition of new work at the Harris Gallery (University of La Verne, CA) on April 2, 2015. On view through May 15, “Scientific Magic” will also feature work by mixed-media artist Sarah Cromarty. Says curator Dion Johnson:
‘Scientific Magic’ juxtaposes sculptural paintings by Sarah Cromarty with photographic works by Christopher Russell. This exhibition encourages viewers to wonder beyond their first impressions and discover idiosyncratic imagery and narrative oddities. Linked by complex and sometimes counterintuitive studio practices, Cromarty and Russell create art objects that conjure surprises and chart new visual territories.
In ‘The Falls’ series, Christopher Russell’s razor-scratched photo works skillfully integrate photography and drawing to create distinctly mysterious pictures. Most of his pieces are symmetrically structured diptychs or triptychs with pulsating veils of bold monochromatic translucency. Frosty silvers, aquatic blues and glowing golds illuminate ambiguous landscape-like spaces. White razor-scratched lines are superimposed atop these saturated photographic fields. The scratched line technique violates the photo print surface and the resulting imagery seems to both fracture and unite the color space.
Gazing into Russell’s carefully orchestrated scenarios, viewers are invited to explore gossamer precise drawings that flow through his compositions: floral patterns interlace and transition; texts appear and terminate; ship masts connect and cluster. Whether alluding to Victorian interior décor or ships lost at sea, Russell’s fragmented narratives seem to hover between haunted memories and daydreamt hallucinations.
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