Love / Lust

Boston Sculptors Gallery • Boston, MA • • February 8–26, 2017

By: Cerys Wilson

Svoronos ReindeerGames
Dennis Svoronos, Reindeer Games, 2016, steel, lights and motors, 40 x 13 x 45".

“Love” and “lust” wrangled to mixed reviews during this season’s political smash and grab. For those now looking to rosier times, members of Boston Sculptors Gallery say look again. “This is the anti-Valentine’s day show!” says Andrea Thompson, the mastermind behind the Gallery’s group show, Love / Lust. Comprised of almost 100 works by the 37 member artists in a variety of media, including felt, plaster and steel, the show eschews the “sugary trappings” of the holidays for something messier, more neurotic, and even, perhaps, transcendent.

Boston Sculptors Gallery operates as a working collective, molded on camaraderie and mutual responsibility. For Thompson, who used to build only what she could carry herself, being a member has given her the courage to take on bolder, large-scale installations. Returning to portable wares for Love / Lust, she will explore the overlapping languages of sex and religion through an edition of imaginary icons inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.

The show’s “cash and carry” mandate (all works, starting from $100, will be available for purchase) proved challenging for Christina Zwart, who tends to work with multiples (photos, pizza boxes, snowballs) to build large, macro/micro pieces: “I had to go small, which is hard for me. Also, I didn’t have a thousand of anything that I could methodically and painstakingly arrange.” Zwart’s contribution to the show, Steve & Alison, is modeled on a photograph of a friend’s hands encircling her husband’s bare torso. The couple agreed to replicate the pose while Zwart made the plaster mold – an arduous, intimate process that took well over an hour to cast.

New member Fafnir Adamites finds ways to embed meaning into his materials. His Chaos Structures will meld the unruly fibers of paper and felt into new surfaces of unpredictable pattern.

Dennis Svoronos’s nostalgic love of the holiday season, coupled with a contemporary distaste for consumer lust, led him to create Reindeer Games, a motorized Rudolph and his Vixen copulating. “Contact and understanding between people are central to much of what I make,” says Svoronos. “Love is a definite component of that.”

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