THE LEONARDO GALLERY: Explorers
The artists presented for this Gallery are explorers of the visual world who push the limits of new technology beyond the obvious into new realms of perception. Each has developed a very personal expression in creating new forms that draw on a range of sensory experience with the help of technical tools and scientific data.
Roman Verostko, artist and historian, brings to his art the rich resources of religious art and philosophy, along with exceptional computer technology. As a scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Visual Studies (MIT CAVS), as a faculty member at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and through numerous exhibitions and publications, he has focused on the "art factor" while expanding the electronic arts movement. In developing his original software and plotter-brush paintings, he has used the computer as an extension of his own creative powers.
In the Airplayer series of Sara Garden Armstrong, one can observe a growing mastery of multifaceted media and the inclusion of increasingly sophisticated technology. Large handmade paper forms, hoses, blower boxes and sound are elements in the language she uses, always articulated within the parameters of a given installation space. In her later works, one can see a shift from mechanical to electronic controls of the air sounds-reminiscent of sea and wind-and an increase in the artist's mix of "real" and digital. Wire mesh and paper forms have become powerful humanoid shapes and, when combined with movement and sound, suggest the basic mechanisms of life support and human functions. The artist does not hesitate to seek collaboration with technical specialists and in so doing has accelerated the development of her art.
The late Dale Eldred was well-trained in both art and science, and the combination gave him the freedom to undertake projects of impressive scope. His massive light-responsive installations have been featured in exhibitions here and abroad. One can see his major permanent works in many parts of the United States, as well as in numerous museum collections. Among many honors bestowed him was his being selected as a subject in "Challenge of the Unknown," an educational film series produced under the direction of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Less well known are his drawings and scenographic designs for four original ballet works. Some of his later works are included here. Dale's tragic death, in a fall while trying to save his art from an impending flood, cut short a brilliant body of work. We have lost a generous and gifted spirit.
ANNA CAMPBELL BLISS Artist, Consultant