Like and Unlike
On Saturday, November 11th, there will be an exhibition of sculpture by Pamela Blum in the Main Galleries. The work will be on display through December 3rd with a reception for the artist on Saturday, November 11th from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. The Sculpture Garden and Carriage House will be closed for the season.
Dress-up, 2010, Encaustic on papier maché, plaster gauze and aluminum mesh, 34 x 9.75 x 9 inches
Artist’s intent: My works offer no perfect, permanent read. The exhibit’s title, Like and Unlike, asks the viewer to compare and contrast visuals, titles and metaphors. I see these works as comical, lyrical, abject, and satirical references to human foibles, misused tools, misunderstood words, and looming environmental catastrophe. The work begs to be touched.
Underpinnings: Two indelible quotes from Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible inform my work:
“My life: What I stole from history and how I live with it.”
“Misunderstanding…is the cornerstone…of civilization.”
What I stole from history: Art, like all invention, is infused with beliefs. In effect I “steal” from old beliefs to recombine them into new understanding.
Misunderstanding=recombination, invention: Many historical beliefs are seen as misunderstanding. That is the course of civilization. I try to make sense of current ideas about history, human behavior, societies, complexity theory, and energy as a kind of gravity opposing entropy. I realize that others’ ideas will supersede my own, so I embrace energy and entropy as important factors in my work.
Organic Study #10, 2017, Abaca, papier maché, plaster gauze & aluminum mesh, 6.5 x 7 x 4 inches
Materials: For example, my sculptures are made of so-called “archival” materials. Encaustic paint covers some works, acid-free handmade paper others. Encaustic (beeswax) provides a metaphor for two contrasts: longevity and fragility. So does the paper. Wax in the right environment lasts thousands of years. But in moments, heat, cold, or touch can destroy it. Paper lasts for centuries. But fire, water, pressure, pollution, and skin oils can consume it.
Entropy & energy: Regardless of archival materials, my work, like my ideas, moves towards dissolution. It will not last forever. For now, my work fights entropy. I view vision, words and other language modes as forms of energy. I try to compress energy into meaning. My sculptures act like “strange attractors” where specific energies come together.
My works are improbable combinations of familiar components. The works’ titles imply a search, meaning. Their forms refer to animals, plants, tools, grammar and punctuation. Just as energy and entropy are opposites, so are whites and blacks, extremes that transition into each other. Surfaces, marks, and values emerge and submerge. Paper suggests effects of time and natural forces. Different contexts give arrangements of my work different meanings.
Thanks: I would like to thank John Davis, R&F Handmade Paints, Judy Sigunick, Richard Frumess, Millicent Young, and other friends who have contributed to this exhibit.
Pamela Blum, 2017
Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 11:00 till 5:00 p.m. For further information about the gallery, the artists and upcoming exhibitions, visit
or contact John Davis directly at 518.828.5907 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
High resolution images are available upon request.
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John Davis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren Street Hudson, New York 12534
Hours: Thursdays through Mondays, 11 – 5 pm and by appointment
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