Pence Gallery: Art and science come together in new exhibit

By From page A9 | December 31, 2013

Leslie DuPratt's "Sweet Dreams" is one of the images in her "Mad Housewife" exhibit, on display at the Pence Gallery, 212 D St., from Jan. 8 to Feb. 16. Courtesy photo

Leslie DuPratt's "Sweet Dreams" is one of the images in her "Mad Housewife" exhibit, on display at the Pence Gallery, 212 D St., from Jan. 8 to Feb. 16. Courtesy photo

The New Year is bringing forth some amazing new artists to the Pence Gallery, in our third biannual exhibit titled “The Consilience of Art & Science.” This juried exhibit assembles work that offers an innovative look at the merging of the two fields of visual art and science, and is on display from Jan. 10 to Feb. 28.

Twenty-six artists from across the nation were selected by jurors Chris Daubert and Anna Davidson to participate in this year’s display. Join the jurors as they discuss their choices and common trends in the work, from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10. A reception in the artists’ honor will run that evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery, 212 D St. in downtown Davis.

Both Daubert and Davidson are artists whose work reflects a deep interest in reflecting on and altering the natural world, and the drawings, paintings and sculpture they chose shares the same affinity. One of the largest pieces in the exhibit is a version of the entire text by Darwin’s “Origins of Species.”

Copied by hand with brush and ink, artist James Gouldthorpe’s piece is both a commentary on the idea of intelligent design, as well as a ritualistic practice that “mirrored the zealotry of those who have embraced their beliefs so totally that they perform extreme acts or rituals, such as repetitive or violent behaviors meant to be an expression of devotion.”

It will be fascinating to see this work on paper installed in the gallery, as Gouldthorpe’s writing is made up of edits and re-edits, with lines of words becoming almost abstractions rather than sentences.

Artist Franki Kohler’s quilt in the “Consilience” exhibit takes a closer look at a native plant, albeit from a mathematical point of view. As she explains of the piece, “The woodwardia fern has captured my attention for some time now. The structure of the fern is one example of the quasi-self-similar fractal as defined by mathematicians. Leaves repeat — though not exactly — in ever-smaller forms.”

Other artists with work on display include Krista Anandakuttan, Carol Bernard, Larry Bryson, David Cordes, Hedi Desuyo, Helen Donis-Keller, Donna Fanara, Andries Fourie, Sarah Anne Graham, Rosemary Hall, Ann Holsberry, Lisa Jetonne, Rob Kolhouse, Goran Konjevod, Amanda Larson, Mikko Lautamo, Mike McHaney, Michael Radin, Emily Schleiner, Charlie Schneider, Jenise Toney, Alessandro Tulisso, Randy Won and Suze Woolf. The exhibit is sponsored by Tandem Properties.


In our smaller gallery, a solo exhibit of paintings by Davis artist Leslie DuPratt commands the space from Jan. 8 to Feb. 16. Titled “Mad Housewife,” this display includes a new series of work capturing women involved in household tasks. Taking as their subject her own self, albeit dressed in various guises, DuPratt endows her scenes with humor, adding details that invite laughter and a deeper understanding of the delicate nature of women’s roles.

Often, her protagonist is formally dressed in evening wear, coiffed and bejeweled. Her environment usually is the home, though, cutting onions, washing dishes or doing laundry.

Equally provocative are DuPratt’s still-life works, composed of objects meant to enhance female beauty, such as jewelry, cosmetics and high heels. Her skill at painting in a realistic manner captures the textures of the objects portrayed, whether they are fruit or fabric.

To meet DuPratt and see the show, stop by the Second Friday ArtAbout reception on Jan. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m.

DuPratt also will talk about her method of painting, and the many inspirations for her work, on Friday, Jan. 24, from 7 to 8 p.m. Her lecture is free and no RSVP is necessary. The exhibit is sponsored by Tom Doyle and Kathy Joseph.

— Natalie Nelson is executive director and curator of the Pence Gallery. Her column is published monthly.

Natalie Nelson

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