Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crown of Appalachia/Book of Life @ Panza Gallery

The Crown of Appalachia/Book of Life exhibit opened at Panza Gallery a couple weeks ago. I was pleased to attend the opening reception on July 3; a great addition to the holiday weekend. The exhibit is a solo presentation of two bodies of work from David Grim. The work is beautifully installed, giving both paths of exploration sufficient space. The one consistency between both bodies is their reference to journaling.

David Grim has been working on his Book of Life for the last few years. He has been carrying the same phone book to various life drawing sessions, recording the human figure on its pages with his pen. For this exhibit, the works from the phone book were scanned and printed out and mounted in one large installation. Some of the original works from a related series were framed and another two were presented as light pieces. Mr. Grim worked on this series with a very stringent set of parameters, using only pen and drawing only in the phone book. All of the drawings in the book of life are line drawings, forcing an exploration of the various expressive qualities of line. It is a compelling journey.

Crown of Appalachia is Mr. Grim's alter, Merge Divide. The blog was begun in January 2010. Each post is accompanied by an image, reflective of events and places in the Pittsburgh region. The images range from narrative to abstract, but maintain a consistency of color and value.

Artist Statements:

David Grim-
Inspired by a childhood escape from religious conversion, The Book of Life presents the opportunity for me to reclaim the act of creation from an externalized “other”. Based on the concept of a holy tome containing the names of all those saved from eternal damnation, this project seeks to render humanity in its purest of form- defenseless and open. The intention of the displayed product is to raise questions regarding authority, transience, privacy, and the relationship between the artist and his subject.

Merge Divide-
Convinced that Pittsburgh is the figurative “Crown” of a vast tract of America marked by the Appalachians, I decided to commemorate my travels throughout the region with an online presence, including words and images. This marks my initial foray into the sense of a partially imaginary place that may indeed exist. I mean to convey the weird netherworld quality of this area in sociological and alchemical terms.

Crown of Appalachia/Book of Life
Through July 31, 2010
Saturday July 31- Closing Party (6-9PM)
Panza Gallery
115 Sedgwick Street in Millvale, PA.
Hours: Wed.Thurs.Fri.10-5 Sat10-3

Image borrowed from Kamau


nemo said...

great write up!

Susan Constanse said...

Thanks, Rick.

Merge Divide said...

Thank you so much, Susan. For making it to the show and writing about it here.