On the night of Friday, October 12, the beta pictoris gallery will be hosting an opening reception for two exhibitions, Ellen Siebers’ telescope or a microscope and John Bankston’s Magic at Hand, which the gallery will show until November 16.
Ellen Siebers, a lecturer in painting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presents an array of mixed media works that examine how the ways in which art is presented—through framing, flattening, glazing and carving—present a disconnect from what the image is trying to express. At some level, artists always have some control over the narrative fictions they present, and Siebers shows that fiction is striking, impressionistic strokes.
John Bankston’s Magic at Hand, meanwhile, is a series of eight paintings that at first seem much less directly concerned with reality. Inspired by children’s coloring books, Bankston’s images are fantastical and vivid, but their dreamlike qualities belie a much more complex–and often very poignant–understanding of adult relationships.
As different as the works seem when taken at face value, both deal with the ways in which people disconnect from the natural world—one through direct artifice, the other through the syntax of dreams. The great magical realist author Gabriel Garcia Marquez once wrote that “A lie is more comfortable than doubt, more useful than love, more lasting than truth.” As compelling as that argument is, both showcases remind us that we’re essentially connected to the patterns of human life, no matter how extensive the fiction or engrossing the dream.
The beta pictoris gallery is located at 2411 2nd Ave. N. An opening reception for telescope or a microscope and Magic at Hand will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, October 12. The exhibits will remain on site until November 16. For more information, check out beta pictoris on Facebook or visit betapictorisgallery.com.