featured gallery for February 2001

Playing for Keeps

This exhibition focuses on the idea of play -- as embodied in depictions of toys, photographic memories of childhood, lighthearted materials, or reconfigured found objects.Ê The playfulness these works evoke ranges from naive, gleeful nostalgia to mature and often bleak commentary on notions of chance, isolation, and loss.

Joel Wateres' photographs Colored Chicks and Mom, present a child's world view -- sugar-coated and waist-high. Alternately, by removing the context of human interaction, Ken Goodman's painted toys and David Nelson's Train, Men, Dice series are rendered frozen, their intended frivolous and fun actions stripped from their physicality. Similarly, Martin Freeman's found-object, amalgamated figures possess an almost macabre stiffness and strange formality that renders them useless as toys, and leads one to wonder about the associations among their various parts. Chuck Nanny and Tony Feher depict the familiar qualities of children's toys and games -- saturated hues and shiny surfaces, but to a more personal and somber end.