John Clement, Fireflies, Painted Steel (All Photos By Gail)
De Buck Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition by New York-based sculptor John Clement, entitled Fireflies. Clement’s artistic language, which entails a spirited geometry of curving forms and gaping voids, embodies an evolving interest in capturing and interacting with both viewers and the environment which has been a cornerstone of the artist’s work since the 1990s.
For Fireflies, Clement has created a large-scale site-specific installation for De Buck Gallery, bringing what would typically be an outdoor, public work into the white cube of the gallery space. Juxtaposed with small and medium scale sculptures, the exhibition provides a compelling overview of the transformation of Clement’s vocabulary through size, scale, color and shape.
Installed together, the effortless and endless variation of curves and negative space on multiple planes seen throughout Clement’s works implore further exploration on the part of the viewer. In the artist’s hands, the thick tubes of steel with which he works seem weightless and even mobile, molding the perception of the surrounding space.
See a slideshow of John Clement’s related painted steel sculptures at This Link.
Tailpipe and Oscar
John Clement’s Fireflies will be on Exhibit Through July 25th, 2014 at De Buck Gallery, Located at 545 West 23rd Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
You know what’s cool? Animals and insects that light up on their own. The ability to do that is called Bioluminescence, which is a good word to know. If you have ever seen a group of iridescent green fireflies blinking and flitting about on a dark summer evening, or a rainbow jellyfish glowing like carnival sideshow in a public aquarium, you know that it is a fairly delightful thing to observe. Bioluminescence!
Right now, the Museum of Natural History is hosting a special exhibit called Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence, which has been on my “To Do” list since I first read about it a few weeks ago. This weekend, my brother was in town visiting from Arizona, and since his a big Science geek, I dragged him along with me to the museum to check out the rooms full of glowing animals. Or so I thought.
Located on the fourth floor of the museum, Creatures of Lightis set up in a connected series of dark galleries that wind around through the different little exhibit stations where the various animals that bioluminesce are featured. The thing is, with exception of one tiny collection of Flashlight fish, that glowed bright green as they swam in a pitch black tank, all of the other animals and insects in the exhibit are models, not real animals. This is bogus. How difficult would it have been for the American Museum of Natural History to pull a few strings and get a tank or two of real glowing jellyfish for the exhibit? My guess: Not terribly difficult. Jellyfish are not an endangered species or anything. I do not know why they saw the need to phone this in, but I call shenanigans!
Also, out of necessity there is a lot reading to do. A lot of reading. Every two feet there is something else to read so you can understand what you are looking at, and what chemicals make it light up and blah blah blah. Reading! When I go to the museum, I want to look at cool things but I don’t want to stand around reading.
Creatures of Light doesn’t flat out suck or anything. It’s certainly worth going to if you’re not expecting to see any live animals. But I think I was hoping for that, so I was disappointed. Did I learn about how Fireflies attract mates, and did I see giant plastic models of somewhat glowing jellyfish hanging from the ceiling? Yes, yes I did. Was it worth the additional $12.50 you have to pay, in addition to whatever you pay to get into the museum? Meh. I am not going to whine too much about that because the museum needs the money so, it’s going to a good cause.
After we left the Creatures of Light Exhibit(by the way, your entry time is predetermined, so you have to go, I think, within 15 minutes of whatever time gets stamped on your ticket) we saw the Dinosaurs, The Hall of Ocean Life and the Hall of Gems and Minerals, all of which made my brother’s head explode. So, that was pretty cool.
Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence Runs through January 6th, 2013 at the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street on NYC’s Upper West Side.