BT&C Gallery announces Roberley Bell: some things opening Thursday, April 9th with a reception 6-9pm. The exhibition will remain on view through May 29th. Gallery hours are Fridays 12-5pm or by appointment. As part of the BT&C Conversations series, on Friday, April 24th the artist will speak with Aaron Ott, Public Art Curator, Albright-Knox Art Gallery in an event that will begin at 6:30pm (www.btandcgallery.com for more information).
Some things showcases Roberley Bell’s latest body of work continuing her decades long investigation of the idea of the “natural” in our contemporary environment through sculptural organic abstraction. Bell is best known for sculptural and installation work that creates a dialogue between our interior and exterior worlds, as well as nature and its synthetic likeness. Heralding Spring into Buffalo, Bell’s boldly colored large sculpture from the series Other Landscapes will be included in the exhibition. As Bell explains:
The Other Landscapes series continues to explore the space where the artificial meets the real. My sculptures reconsider or interrogate what is real against what is not, to the point where even nature itself is uncertain. It is my intent to employ our imagination and our senses even with the artifice.
The Other Landscapes series is grounded in the origins of organic abstraction and computer aided Blob Design. Bell states, “like the current trend in design where buildings and form adopt an organic structure that is made possible only though computer-aided technologies, my Other Landscapes sculptures reveal themselves as natural forms, though they are, in fact, paradoxically based on nothing that exists in nature.” These sculptures, characteristic of Bell’s creative practice, do not just occupy the gallery space, but interact with the architecture; occupying the realm of installation work, Bell’s sculptures combine multiple elements, some of which directly interact with the gallery walls.
Also included is a series of small sculpture which Bell has titled some things and from which the exhibition takes its name. These small works are meditations for Bell— they allow the artist to work spontaneously and intuitively, serving as mental preparation for her large-scale work. An extension of the themes explored in her other work, but on a different scale, both visually and psychically, they are delicately subtle musings on the boundary between nature and artifice. This is the first time these works have been exhibited en masse.
During the run of this exhibition, for the month of May, Bell will be an artist in residence at Chesterwood, the summer home/studio and gardens of the American sculptor Daniel Chester French in Stockbridge, MA, now a National Trust Historic Site. Bell’s project at Chesterwood will consist of documenting her daily experiences in the gardens, French’s studio and house as resource material for future sculptures. Bell’s plan is to respond directly and immediately to some source of inspiration discovered on location. The result will be a sculptural response by Bell created each day of her residency. BT&C will be involved with documenting and sharing Bell’s process at Chesterwood— stay tuned through instagram (@btandcgallery), facebook and www.btandcgallery.com.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Roberley Bell spent her childhood in Latin America and Southeast Asia. She attended the University of Massachusetts and State University of New York at Alfred from where she holds an MFA. Bell is the recipient of many grants and fellowships including the New York Foundation for the Arts, Pollock Krasner Fellowship, a summer Fulbright to the Netherlands and a 2010 Senior Scholar Fulbright to Turkey. In 2012 she received a Fellowship for the Turkish Cultural Foundation and Dave Bowen Projects. Bell has received several residency awards both nationally and internationally, including a residency to the Stadt Kunstlerhaus in Salzburg Austria and a Studio fellowship from the international Studio Program in NY. Bell’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; Alan Space, Istanbul; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Denise Bibro Gallery, NY; and most recently in a solo exhibition at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA. A solo exhibition of Bell’s work is scheduled to open September 2015 at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk, VA. Bell has completed public projects in Cambridge, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Russia, Turkey and most recently installed her sculpture at the Albany International Airport. Bell lives in Bethany, New York and teaches in the School of Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology.