Catalogue Authors: Catherine Fosnot, Carolyn Zick, Kendrick Hawkins
Review by: Dominique Nahas
Exhibition Catalogue: Art For Your Collection II
Publisher: New Perspectives on Learning, LLC
Published: January 2022
“Judith Modrak’s work pulsates with a type of ambient energy that courses through nearly anthropomorphized contours. Her three-dimensional creations are enigmatic: detached, sinister. And they are also alluringly unguarded, innocent and playful. I think such ideational and psychical incongruence in which the intelligible and the unintelligible, the serious and the ludic, the contrived and the uncontrived circulate and collide is the source of the power and magic of Modrak’s aesthetic. Her inquiring forms—are they mere shapes or are they beings, sentient entities? —while ambiguous and minimal in their construction also haunt us with their uncanniness. I often remain uneasy about the differing nature of the individual sections that pulsate with personality and living individuality. To that point Modrak’s sculptures bespeak of an individualized universality while each of her objects is sensuously particularized, tinged with a slight yet evident fetishistic eroticism. The artist’s emotive creations with their metabolic underpinnings are life-inducing and life asserting, yet also have a febrile vulnerability to them. Modrak’s aesthetic with its poetry and auratic power is deployed to signal to us the possibility that her creatures, seemingly inert and mute, are bodies whose surface rigidities are clashing with an inner suppleness of life. Judith Modrak’s sculptures entreat me, gently grabbing hold of my imagination as I walk around them feeling their pulse. My god, they give off more heat than they consume! No wonder: they captivate, and they mystify the brain and the eye in equal measure.” Dominique Nahas
Art for Your Collection was originally held at The Worcester Art Museum in 1958 and 1959 and then moved to RISD where it was held for almost 30 years. Last year, The Fosnot Gallery and The Visual Art Library hosted the annual show in New London. Ten renowned art critics were asked to name 3 to 4 artists on their radar—artists they considered important to include in the show. These artists were notified of the recommendation and invited to submit images of their work for review. The artists were given free expressive reign: some artists submitted their latest works; others created a special piece for the show. A review committee was formed and chose over 70 pieces of art on display December 2021 – January 2022.
The artwork selected included signed prints, drawings, collages, sculpture, paintings, and photography. It is an exciting, thought-provoking mix of contemporary voices. The artists whose works are included in the show are Alchemyverse (Yixuan- Shao & Bicheng Liang), Brandon Anschultz, Charity Lynn Baker, Lisa Corinne Davis, Martin Dull, Fred Gutzeit, Sono Kuwayama, Stephen Lack, Jazzmen Lee-Johnson, Joanne Mattera, Judith Modrak, Donna Moylan, Jordan Seaberry, Clintel Steed, Gina Werfel, and Cecilia Whittaker-Doe.
A portion of the proceeds will go to the non-profit Visual Art Library, also located in New London.