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Box Heart Gallery's 11th annual 'Art Inter/National'

| Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012

On display now, Box Heart Gallery's 11th Annual "Art Inter/National" exhibition showcases the works of 20 artists from around the world.

For this exhibit, Box Heart received more than 500 entries from regional, national and international artists. Of these entries, gallery co-owner and director Nicole Capozzi and gallery co-owner Joshua Hogan selected 20 artists and 25 works for display in a variety of media.

"The artwork selected for this year's 'Art Inter/National' exhibition visually describe what is ultimately important, what is true, and how our senses are connected to questions of truth," they write in their statement.

"True" or not, they are compelling works indeed, with several pieces pushing the limits of their respective mediums.

For example, Russian photographer Katerina Bodrunova's photograph "Marionette Spectacle. I act Appetence" defies conventional physics, depicting a woman meeting her lover on the side of a cliff. In Swedish artist Anna Berndtson's video "Dream Sky," a spigot dispenses both smoke and liquid, defying all sense of logic.

And in North Carolina artist Richard Elaver's 3D digital print "Tendrils," it's hard to tell if what we are looking at is real or imagined. Derived from computational simulations of natural forms, such as details of flowering buds and branches, Elaver's work is particularly interesting because it was developed via computer-aided design models and algorithms in an effort to simulate the complexity found in nature.

Thus, "Tendrils" is based on modular systems, or "the creation of organic interactive building units," according to the artist's statement. Taking a cue from L-system fractals, individual pieces have been accumulated into a complex organic structure through simple connections of varying elements.

Though the piece here exists as an image of a 3D modeled form, if the structure were made manifest, it could exist as a purely sculptural piece, or worn as body adornment.

Just the opposite, being very real and tactile, is a textile wall hanging by Cost Rican artist Silvia Piza-Tandlich titled "Still in Time." A wall-hung work that can be flipped around, the piece is a double-sided textile creation reflecting double-sided elements: past vs. present, simple vs. complicated. Incorporating modern materials applied with her own techniques and traditional techniques used in innovating ways, each side of the piece depicts a mask indigenous to Costa Rica, but there's no telling which one represents the past or the present, since both are "sides of convergence," according to the artist's statement.

Then there is the work of Chinese artist Jiang Ying. A printmaker from the Sichuan province, Ying's piece "Being Faithful" looks from a distance like a massive piece of cross-stitch. But upon closer inspection, one will discover it is comprised of stamp ink on rice paper.

To create the piece, Ying used a stamp and stamp ink typically used in Chinese traditional painting. She borrowed the symbol "X" from Chinese embroidery as a movable element in her print. By repeating "X" many times, Ying constructed numerous Chinese characters, which resulted in not only beautiful patterns but also text taken from Chinese classical works.

Though many of the aforementioned works are exploratory in nature, there are still many more traditional works to be had -- such as Indian artist Kuzana Ogg's abstract paintings "Nagar Chawk" and "Harkness Road" and Turkish artist Tamer Bilgic equally abstract "Untitled" work, which, with its bold brushstrokes and amazingly vibrant color, exists like a jewel among the remaining works on display.

But if it is truly traditional art that you like, then Irina Dorofeeva's silk painting "Winter" is sure to please. A moody winter landscape, it is (amazingly) comprised of only one piece of silk, which has been hand-dyed in intricate shades of light and dark colors that flesh out a rather convincing landscape.

Often Dorofeeva's works focus on nature and are inspired by landscapes, both Russian and American. And even though she lives in South Bend, Ind., now, this work was inspired by her remembrance of forests, fields and rivers in Russia.

The gallery will host a free public reception for the exhibit from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, when the 2012 Art Inter/National Best of Show recipient will be announced. That artist will become Box Heart's 2013 Artist of the Year and have a solo exhibit following next year's Art Inter/National Exhibition.

Last year, Nadim Sabella of Oakland, Calif., received the 2011 Best of Show Award for his photographic works that combine model-making with photography to create photographs that transform familiar places into strange and mysterious landscapes. His solo exhibit, "Little Disasters," opens Feb. 7.

Additional Information:

'The 11th Annual Art Inter/National'

When: Through Feb. 4. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays

Admission: Free

Where: Box Heart Gallery, 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield

Details: 412-687-8858 or www.boxheart.org

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