“Silent Beings” a review by Jack Puglisi

Imagine yourself an archeologist, traveling aboard a spacecraft towards a planet that orbits a distant star. Upon arrival you begin an excavation, soon discovering the remnants of a long vanished civilization. There are the remains of mechanisms of undetermined utility, interwoven with the fossilized skeletons of a race of enigmatic beings. Mysterious iconography and objects of devotion are unearthed, covered with hieroglyphs and cyphers whose precise meaning is lost to time; an intricate mythology is hinted at, a cosmology suggested.  Who were these people and what did they know and understand? It can only be speculated upon.

If such an experience sounds too difficult to envision or if it sounds too intriguing to ignore, a trip to Panza Gallery this month should be on high on your agenda. “Silent Beings,” the latest exhibit by Pittsburgh artist Timothy Kelley, is a conspicuous example of a single artist’s commitment to a unified and compelling vision in his work.

The work is created with a long and eclectic list of materials: paint, canvas and graphite; but also copper, barbed wire, clay, cement and even the shard of a tortoise shell. But it’s Kelley’s unique vision that is what captures the viewers’ attention and imagination. Take the piece titled “Dancing in the Rain” for an example. A huge monolithic wall hanging composed of 300 lbs. of cement and overlaid with plaster, stone, copper and wood. A single fragment of a sculpted human face set within what appears to be the petrified skeleton of some pre-historic creature and fashioned in the manner of a primitive sacred icon. The airy, ethereal title of the work seems a strange contradiction to the solid, dense nature of the piece.

Despite the otherworldliness of the exhibit, the work cannot but present concepts that are familiar to everyone; this is, after all, the work of a very real human being. There are themes that are as recognizable as Scripture and as old as Babylon that can be easily detected; mother and child motifs, life, death and the mysteries of creation.

The world Kelley is exhibiting here is one the one that exists within his own rich and varied consciousness. In his artist’s statement, Kelley says “My work as it relates is to expresses aspects of the mythos, ancient culture and the conceived ideas and words that have been brought into modern culture. You will find expressions of spirituality, the communing with nature, and the torn historic truths brought to presentation through basic raw materials that we find around us every day.” This exhibit is a testimony to the success of an artist to work out his own unique vision.

An artist talk will be held on Saturday, November 4th, 1:30 pm, after the life drawing class at Panza Gallery in Millvale PA. This will be an excellent opportunity to see the work and discuss with the artist his inspiration and creative process.

“Silent Beings” runs from Saturday, October 21 through Saturday, November 25th, 2017 at Panza Gallery, 115 Sedgwick St. Millvale, PA 15209. Call 412-821-0959 for information.

115 Sedgwick Street   •   Millvale Pa 15209    •    412.821.0959    •    panzagallery@mac.com    •    Wed. Thurs. Fri. 10-5, Sat. 10-3

                               

Dancing in the Rain

by Timothy Kelley

( cement and overlaid with plaster, stone, copper and wood )