True colors: New sculpture show brightens up Prospect Heights

True colors: New sculpture show brightens up Prospect Heights
Color wheel: “Color Formed” curator Jim Osman in front of a piece by John Monti.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Gray skies got you down? Get a dose of chromotherapy at this vibrant exhibition.

Springtime may still be months away, but color has already bloomed at a little gallery in Prospect Heights. “Color Formed,” a new exhibition at Five Myles Gallery, features colorful sculptures by six artists from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Connecticut.

In the history of sculpture, ancient carvings were typically the same shades as their source material. The Egyptian and Greek civilizations were the first to tint their creations.

“I can guess that it was plant dyes and mineral pigments mixed with a binder that could last outdoors for awhile,” said curator Jim Osman, who is also an assistant professor at Parsons The New School for Design and also a sculptor himself.

Osman, who said he is entranced by the application of color in contemporary creations, chose to highlight works by Rachel Beach, Tom Doyle, John Monti, Don Porcaro, Carol Salmanson, and Rachel Urkowitz because clever use of color gives their artwork an extra dimension.

The dark tower: “Flower Custer 4” by John Monti is one of many striking sculptures in Five Myle Gallery’s “Color Formed” exhibition.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

“These works are made by artists with very distinct ideas and visions and I believe their thoughtful work is exuberant,” said Osman.

Color plays a central role in each sculpture. “Vertical Greensward 2” by Rachel Urchowitz would lose its air of whimsy if the installation was not a realistic representation of spiky green grass. The psychedelic splashes of color in John Monti’s series “Mirror Pour Ellipse” are so hypnotic that viewers don’t instantly notice the canvases are really mirrors. Don Porcaro’s “Collective Memory #60,” a colorful collection of apparatus such as hoofed prongs and rubber scalpels, is amiably redolent of a child’s woodworking tools.

While Osman has long been acquainted with some of the artists — Tom Doyle was a teacher of his some 35 years ago — he approached others because their artwork fit thematically with “Color Formed.” In the spirit of the show, some even appeared to him out of the blue.

“This was the case with Rachel Beach,” he said. “I walked by her show in the Lower East Side and felt that her art would work with the show.”

“Color Formed” at Five Myles Gallery [558 Saint Johns Pl. between Classon and Franklin avenues in Prospect Heights, (718) 783–4438, www.fivemyles.org]. Through Feb. 23.

Color guard: “Color Formed” curator Jim Osman in front of one of the show’s colorful pieces.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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