Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ben Oddi at ModernFormations

Ben Oddi at ModernFormations

I walked into ModernFormations for the opening on July's First Friday and was just stunned by Ben Oddi's work. It was not what I was anticipating, not at all. In this case, my expectations were exceeded.

It's interesting to see how an artist's vision can evolve. While there are consistencies in the underlying themes from this current body of work to what Mr. Oddi has shown in the past, the visual interpretion is a magnitude away. Another significant change is his move into encaustics from oils. I love looking at encaustic works; the media has always fascinated me. The layers of pigment and wax seem to float and there is a sense of fluidity to the surface. The works created with encaustics seem luminous.

The works created by Mr. Oddi in this exhibit explore the layering potential of the encaustic media. What I really found fascinating in his exploration was the pentimenti that could be glimpsed through the layers. The works are firm and bold, with a very expressive quality. The pentimenti visible through the layers seem at once deliberate and exploratory, like a recording of a journey encased in one holographic image.

The works are narrative, steeped in storytelling. But since this is a visual medium, the narrative is not linear and doesn't progress from piece to piece. Instead, each individual panel explores a moment in all of its fullness, implying all of the connections to a larger narrative in their layers.

The exhibit is in place through August 16 at ModernFormations. I have included a few images in the gallery. Enjoy!

Dear Universe: New Encaustic works by Benedict Oddi
Exhibit runs to August 16th 2013
4919 Penn Avenue. Pittsburgh PA 15224
Gallery hours: 1-4pm Sat, 7-9pm Thurs, or by appt.

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