Saturday, January 07, 2006

January 7-February 12, 2006: GAE SAVANNAH: A FOOL AND HIS FROTH ARE SOON PARTED

Dam Stuhltrager Gallery
38 Marcy Avenue, Brooklyn, New York


Gae Savannah is a contemporary sculptor whose subject is the idiosyncratic face of beauty in a world where there are no moral absolutes. She builds works which are on their face lush and sumptuous, totemic forms that are the product of commercially manufactured textiles, decorative beads, feathers, even Christmas ornaments. They are monuments to the joy in building a complex and ambivalent impression, as is often present in fanciful scenes of natural beauty, in the emotional reaction one has to the presence of a loved one, or to an emotion that is as new, and therefore relevant, as the event which determines it. For Savannah the intellect and the senses are on equal footing. Her sculptures are lovingly and obsessively constructed. They possess a lush dynamic which combines aesthetic fascination and ironic ridicule--in what amounts to a foolishness of intention, a love of kitsch and a value for materials that are on their face fashionable and even trite. Totemic they are, and symbolic of a belief in beauty that is infinite yet also ambivalent. They are not perfect monuments, morally and conceptually pure, but are constructed from a variety of sensate impressions that connect directly with the transience of fashion and its tangent to the psychology of ornament. Each section of a single sculptural work is either purchased or decorated before the process of sampling and building commences to create the works as sculptural wholes. They are stacked and stuffed, embroidered and incandescent, vertical and layered. She wants to communicate the quality inspiration that originates in the difference between--and esthetic marriage of--a mysterious emotional interior and a glorious and sublime exterior. Finally, Savannah wants to fascinate the viewer with a multitude of sensations, to make them think about her works as products of a foolish consistency that has left them with many meanings instead of just one.