Featuring Elizabeth Saveri, Bennett Vadnais, Wendy Small, Royce Weatherly, Don Hamerman and Bonnie Rychlak.
The Modest Sublime represents the work of 6 artists working in a curious scale, either of small objects in a large format, or enormous subject matter rendered in detail. They are all looking very hard at things most of us simply ignore, or cannot imagine as subject matter worthy of deep and continuous scrutiny. Elizabeth Saveri paints in excruciatingly small fashion the panoramic sunsets and landscapes of her native Southern California on the plastic fasteners that close commercial bread bags, while Bennett Vadnais reduces the landscape of familiar Bushwick buildings into meticulous small format paintings curiously devoid of human presence. Don Hamerman, well known for his “forensic” images of found baseballs now rescales battered toy cars into photographic essays of some strange Lilliputian world. Wendy Small takes the detritus of medical fixtures and throwaway plastic gee-gaws and constructs simple and delicate photo-grams reminiscent of a late 19th century kaleidoscope. Bonnie Rychlak carefully hand carves manhole covers or drains from cast wax, transforming the enduring pedestrian fixture into a useless, vulnerable, and ultimately ephemeral object. Finally, Royce Weatherly returns with his own unique paintings of anonymous and mundane objects brilliantly and painstakingly observed until they appear as “almost” abstractions. Reducing the enormous into the minute, or finding the universe in the small and commonplace these six artists ask that we look more closely at our world and find as the American poet Kay Ryan “the silence that exists inside every object”.