This is the intriguing title for Eva Mantell’s upcoming talk on Sunday, Feb. 12, 1:30 p.m., at the West Windsor Arts Center. Mantell is one of the artists in Recyclone, on view through Feb. 26, featuring three artists who work in found objects. The other two artists are Ina Brosseau Marx and Eric Schultz.
“Part cultural archeologists, part creative alchemists, the exhibit’s three artists draw inspiration and materials for his or her artwork from society’s discards and trash,” says Guest Curator Tricia Fagan. “In their hands wires, bones, magazines, coffee cups, slides, old pieces of metal and wood and other junkyard finds are commuted into fascinating, often beautiful, works of art.”
Mantell, who often works in paper coffee cups and fallen leaves, is showing some of her newest pieces on canvas that rework delicately torn and patterned magazine pages to trace paths and structure with a painter’s eye. Marx brings her decades of expertise in design, restoration of antiques, gilding and painted surfaces to bear in creating elegant visual compositions of discarded objects that often stir memories and related emotions in viewers. Art lovers who have enjoyed Schultz’s unique “found object” assemblages, creatures and sculptures will find his signature craftsmanship and joy of creation intact in the new work on display.
“Three unique visions, three forces of nature, an unlimited supply of society’s discards, and an equally limitless supply of exuberant creative imagination has generated the perfect storm for art lovers,” says Fagan.
On Sunday, Mantell will discuss the use of non-traditional materials in art, exploring the works of artists who have pushed the limits of taste as well as gravity and logic in the pursuit of originality. She will also discuss and demo her own use of materials in her artwork.
Mantell makes sculpture, works on paper, drawings and video. She has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibits and was a print fellow at the Brodsky Center at Rutgers University. She has created artwork, video and large-scale projections for dance and theater projects performed at venues including the Whitney, the ICA in Boston, the Dublin (Ireland) Dance Festival, and Dadafest in Liverpool, England.
“My art begins with materials that I have a direct contact with,” she says. “When I worked and lived in New York City I was obsessed with finding the natural or biomorphic in the city streets. I have lived in a town bordering farmlands and preserved woods now for eight years, with trees, grass, wild areas around me, and I find myself obsessed with finding structure, civilization and points of connection. As the city streets reminded me of leaves, it seems the leaves now remind me of city streets.”
Ina Brosseau Marx has only been creating her own art since turning 81 in 2010, but has already had her work displayed regionally in numerous juried exhibitions and was awarded a prize for one of her three sculptures selected for the Morven Museum’s inaugural outdoor exhibit, The Ripple Effect.
As founders of The Finishing School, Inc., Marx and her husband, Allen, developed an international reputation in restoration and painted surfaces. In addition to the books they have published on painted surfaces and furniture restoration, they have raised numerous sons and grandchildren.
“There were many family meals,” says Brosseau, of how she gathered all the chicken bones used in some of her assemblages.
Eric Schultz is a sculptor who creates and installs major traveling sculpture exhibitions for J. Seward Johnson and Grounds For Sculpture at the Sculpture Foundation in Hamilton. He has exhibited widely in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and his work has received numerous awards.