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Functional Dysfunction is a unique art exhibition that opened Friday at the Bloomington Art Center. It explores the collaborative paintings of Caprice Glaser and Ray Becoskie, two Twin Cities artists who create large scale paintings together by working alternately on a single canvas.
I discovered them at the Northrup King Building last fall and fell in love with both their individual and collaborative works. I loved their focus on line, color and composition… and was intrigued by the concept of two artists working together to create a single painting. When I received an invitation to the opening of this exhibition with the promise of them starting a new collaborative painting that night I knew I had to attend to get a sense of how this actually works… we even re-arranged plans for the evening so we could attend at least part of the opening. We were not disappointed, just wished we could have stayed longer!
Here is how they explain their unique collaboration in their own words…
We are both intrigued with achieving unpredictable, chaotic, yet balanced paintings; a paradox that cannot be achieved as singular painters, since painting is always controlled by the artist's individual voice. The combined effort, along with a stringent set of rules, created a third persona that embraces the goal of these paintings. We've found a unique compatibility that is based on frustration, impatience, and a struggle for control.
One person starts the paintings. The painting is then turned over to the next person to fix or add to the imagery. One rule is that there is no discussion on what should be done. This process continues at a furious pace until there is a mutual understanding that the imagery represents the third persona. These paintings are open to all the material resources found in the studio.
Caprice won the coin toss at the opening to start the painting. It was interesting to see how freely they rotated the canvas… note how the first color block was moved to a different corner when Ray started painting. A friend who was with me said she noticed Caprice's face filled with expression as she watched when Ray started painting. It would be fun to know what she was thinking… part of that unpredictable, chaotic struggle for control and balance their synergy creates?
They continued to move the canvas into different positions as they proceeded to work… then we reluctantly had to leave for that other commitment. I stopped by yesterday to see how far they progressed on Friday night… that opening block of color was in yet another corner!
You can see Functional Dysfunction in the Inez Greenberg Gallery at the Bloomington Art Center, 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55431. The exhibition continues through May 7, 2010, with an artist talk at 7:00 pm on April 15. The gallery is free and open to the public, open Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 to 10:00 pm.
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