Sunday, March 24, 2013

Identifying Birds and Relationships

Leich Lathrop Gallery Albuquerque, NM
Opening reception: Friday, April 5, 5 – 8 p.m. Brief Artist Comments: 6 p.m.

April 4 – May 5, 2013
Gallery hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.

Identifying Birds and Relationships is a debut solo exhibition for New Hampshire artist Andy Moerlein at Leich Lathrop Gallery. This show features Moerlein’s ceramic birds, wood sculpture and prints.

Moerlein’s work has a storyteller’s attitude - that tightrope walk between naturalism and symbolism. Ceramic birds fill branches and stones with a communication that is evident yet ambigous. Some snuggle together; others turn their backs to each other. The birds seem ordinary - an embodiment of stillness - frozen in place. Yet each conveys a gesture that implies movement. These birds are prone to startle and fly at any moment.

Moerlein’s birds are a mix of authentic and exceptional. Real feathers festoon the rather generic small birds. Wood “stones” and complex branches complete a scene that suggests the interruption of an event. “My birds are steeped in presence. I express my human story with small birds as actors.”

The prints selected to hang with this show are similarly avian predicaments. The birds are often familiar, some even authentic in colors and pose, but they have an attitude that suggests dialogue.  There is no doubt that Moerlein has observed birds closely, but the images suggest his focus is on human relationships.

 Shadow Play 2013 wood, ceramic, stain          Proposal 2013 monoprint, colored pencil

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