Hoy/Ewert gallery opening, 2013

Strolling in the Spectrum of Emotions

by Isabelle Kessler

When do we take this time? Among the possibilities, to go to a gallery is an opportunity to renew the pleasure of being a spectator. There, we do not need to be entertained, we need just to be open to a conversation with the pieces. I had the pleasure of going to DSG Fine Art Gallery and meeting a selection of the work of Carol Hoy and Gretchen Ewert. I will write about the work of Hoy, even though the contrast between the two groups of work could be a paper in itself. I took two times the pleasure of strolling, re-visiting emotions, discovering others.

I was touched, I was moved, I was disturbed: a delight. I won’t describe the pieces. Better, for you reader, to go and see them for yourself. The first moment of trying to classify: “is it naïve,” “ is it primitive,” “is it art brut?” passed, luckily quickly. Each piece had its own realm, its own authenticity. Their diversity can leave us perplexed, but the mixture of strength and fragility in each one touches deeply the spectator who takes the time to go beyond “I like it” or “I don’t like it.” Being Humans, none of the human emotions are alien to us. Art is a way to be in contact with the parts of ourselves we do not solicit on a daily basis.

You have to see Crux, a small amazing painting, my favorite, but that’s only my point of view. Perhaps you will be transported by Man in the Moon or Rainbow Dancer with the same line creating the shoulder, the arm until the foot. Or it may be Family Tree, with its astonishing collection of noses, or maybe Bird Goddess, or The Oracle in my Chest will take possession of you.

Bird Dancer is a remarkable realization of sculptural movement. Each angle offers another feeling of dance, from the pleasure of letting everything out to the intense feeling of being in contact with the primal inside. It is unusual to find the joy of movement in something static.

The sculptures are truly three dimensional, each side a complete story in itself. It reminds me of a little story about a colossal statue, an almost naked man, which was to be put on the main plaza of a town in France. But the man was showing his butt either to the church, unthinkable, or to the city hall, inconceivable. After several tries, the statue was removed and put in a park with a bouquet of trees hiding its behind.

That is to say, even humor is present in the work. The Man Who Found Happiness has a hand gesture, which I saw once in a very happy child and that I have never forgotten. Thank you Carol Hoy, to have created the same extreme intensity.

Isabelle Kessler is a French-American Object Theater director, originally from Mulhouse, France. She will include Hoy’s Bird Dancer in her Object Theater piece, The Art of Being a Spectator in Berlin, Germany on October 17, 2013. This performance will include artists from New Mexico, Italy and France at Berlin’s Festival of Object Theater, SCHAUBUDE Berlin, Theater de Dinge Festival. The festival will feature performances from all over Europe.
Carol in finished Rishi encaustic mask