Arts and Entertainment
May 18, 2014From: Marta Hewett Gallery
Tennessee artist Brian F. Russell returns to Cincinnati for the opening of his sixth solo exhibition at Marta Hewett Gallery. Continuum, featuring his recent cast glass and metal sculpture, is presented in conjunction with the dedication of a very significant piece commissioned from the artist, which will be permanently displayed and accessible to the public in the Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Jewish Community Center beginning June 2nd. The Opening Reception for the artist of Continuum is at the gallery on Saturday, May 31, from 11:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. At 2:00 p.m. that day, Russell will present a talk about using glass as a dramatic medium for outdoor sculpture. Admission and parking are free. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday Friday, 10:00 am 5:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; closed Sunday and Monday. Continuum will be on exhibit through July 26. For more information, visit www.martahewett.com, call 513-281-2780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almost two decades ago, Russell, already an accomplished metal smith and woodworker, chose to investigate the possibilities of using glass as a means to add color to his work. "Brian utilizes the technique of lost wax glass casting," Hewett comments. "He now achieves startling results bringing metal and glass together. His floor-standing pieces in this show are an unforgettable fusion of tantalizing movement and luminous, contemplative color."
The sculptures in this exhibit, appropriate for placement both indoors and outdoors, are composed of fluid cast crystal forms that glow with color as they hug, mirror and undulate around forged metal supports. The character of each work responds and changes dramatically to the seasons. Examples of this are evidenced in several large photographs in the exhibit that picture Russell's sculpture in the dead of winter, covered with ice, standing among pools of tulips and canopied by golden fall leaves.
Brian Russell's most recent work, The Legacy Flame, was commissioned by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati in 2013, through an endowment gift made by the late Milton Schloss. The Legacy Flame, which stands 12' high, reaches up into the space defined by the Jewish Community Center's main stairway. Large, cast crystal elements flicker within a swirling, hand forged armature. The installation also incorporates a dramatic, 12' long curved wall of illuminated cast glass panels which are punctuated by inspirational quotes from Jewish religious and cultural sources. The wall terminates in a media piece incorporating a 40" touch screen, offering profiles and personal histories of those who have made legacy gifts to the Cincinnati Jewish Community, as well as a local community history and a record of the creation of the Legacy Flame itself.
"It's my intention that The Legacy Flame inspires viewers to continue to fuel the fire of the community with their generosity," Russell comments, "while creating a lasting tribute to those who have already made such a commitment."
The artist has created specifically commissioned sculptural works in glass and metal for clients throughout the country, including Evraz Steel in Chicago, First Tennessee Bank in Memphis, Lark Creek Steak in San Francisco, SAS Business Analytics in Cary, North Carolina and St. Edwards Chapel in Memphis, among others.
In his studio in Arlington, Tennessee, Russell creates interior and exterior sculpture, fountains and architectural pieces. In Ohio, his larger outdoor sculpture can be found in the courtyard of the Marriott Hotel in Hamilton and in CoffmanPark in Dublin. In May, the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut, purchased Russell's piece Flutterby for their permanent outdoor sculpture collection. This work will be featured in the museum's upcoming exhibit, Glass Today: 21st Century Innovations opening June 21st. Russell's works are also included in the permanent collections of the CafejianMuseum, Minneapolis; Energy Capital Partners, New York City; Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis; HSBC Bank, Qatar; the Palace of Prince Mansour Bin Abdullah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; PittCountyMemorialHospital, Greenville, North Carolina; and the TennesseeStateMuseum, Memphis.
Continuum will be on exhibit through July 26th. The Marta Hewett Gallery, 1310 Pendleton Street at the Pendleton Art Center in Over-the-Rhine, is open Tuesday Friday, 10:00 am 5:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 pm to 3:00 pm. www.martahewett.com