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Curious Matter
272 Fifth Street, Jersey City, 201-659-5771
Jersey City
September 20 - October 18, 2009
Reception: Sunday, October 4, 3 - 6 PM

A nyktomorph is also known as a ‘night shape.’ In the evening, when forms begin to blend into one another and color is suppressed, our inclination is to evoke something to make sense of what we can’t clearly see. That impluse can lead to the creation of entire fantasies out of the shadows we encounter. The enveloping mystery of the twilight often adds an emotional dimension—usually fear and wonder—which lends these conjured figures and scenes a fantastical quality. The artists of the Curious Matter exhibition “Nyktomorph” have gone into the night to see what they can see and have brought back a measure of enlightenment from the wavering shadows.

The nyktomorph becomes the black figure at the foot of our midnight bed through Suzan Courtney and Brian Oakes as they summon classic demonic images in Alter Ego and Devil Proof. Jimmy Fike and Kay Kenny search the evening sky with their cameras for the elusive evidence that these shapes do indeed exist as palpable entities with Star Hole and Camera Obscura.

As a changeable shape, the nyktomorph becomes an exploration in the mutability of the human form with Ricardo Hernandez’, Comiendose Vivos/Eating Themselves Alive. Edward Fausty recreates this human mutability through conception and growth with #24 (Self –Portrait) from his “Going Back” series. Mary Hill, in her video Father and Daughter, builds on the sailor’s mirage of the mermaid and our tendency to create chimaeras out of frightening and unfamiliar life forms.

The psychological space that brings us together or keeps us apart is the subject for Cedric Yhuel’s Untitled #1 from his series “Champs Magnetiques.” Our public longings and private fears create a drama of tension in this image. Carrie-Ann Bracco explores similar territory with her Night, Sebago Cabin From the Lake. The ambiguity of the house, crouching sinister in the dark, or as a welcoming beacon of safety from the dangers of the night, remains unresolved.

R. Wayne Parsons makes our reaction to the eerie indeterminate quality of Biomorph #14 the true subject of his photograph. And it is the medium itself that changes shape in Conor Fields’ drawing Sweet Spaceship!. The Tang™ liquefying or dry, depending on the humidity, keeps the drawing in an on-going state of flux.

The nyktomorph remains elusive and protean throughout our explorations here. The one constant is its emotional content. It brings up our most primal reactions and instincts in our fear of the dark.

THE ARTISTS: Carrie-Ann Bracco • Arthur Bruso • Suzan Courtney • Peter H. Everett • Edward Fausty • Conor Fields • Jimmy Fike • Richard Haymes • Ricardo Hernandez • Mary Hill • Kay Kenny • Yvonne Piner Kleiman • Ross Bennett Lewis • Luis Locarno • Joan Mellon • Raymond E. Mingst • Christopher Moss • Brian Oakes • Franc Palaia • R. Wayne Parsons • Olivié Ponce • Owen Rundquist • Stacy Seiler • Cedric Yhuel
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