Sunday, January 23, 2011


By Nancy Condit

“The Blue Lantern” exhibit now showing at IAO (Individual Artists Association) is a straightforward narrative show, except for one piece, and that makes the show enigmatic.
The show is on exhibit with “Secrets of the Universe and Other Works by Gary Shilling” through February 5.

The components of “The Blue Lantern” are a small living space that resembles a small Japanese dwelling, with two sleeping pallets and a large – for the space, lush green ficus tree, a small Asian boat – is it a miniature?, books, each with a sepia toned photograph of old times – nature, the woods, a nice old house, the stormy ocean, and waterfalls on the scale on Niagara Falls, coated in waterproof vitrine – ancrostic made of beeswax and Damar varnish, beautifully Photo shopped photographs of the beach and ocean in the streets of France, and the Book of Death.

This is very much like Artspace at [Untitled’s] Kahn and Selesnick’s show of two years ago, as a story told with manipulated photographs and created artifacts.  However, while Kahn and Selesnick’s works looked at past events, as Clint Stone, executive director of IAO, pointed out, “This one looks into the future.  I don’t know if you’d call it prophetic or not.”

“It’s a very exploratory show.  Everyone’s going to get something different out of it. 
It’s about the collaboration (of ten) artists rather than the (individual) artist.”  Led by James Gallagher of Tulsa, they built the wooden boat and living space over ten days at IAO before the exhibit opened. 

The “Book of Death” is composed of photographs created by 500 artists and posted on the wall as visitors enter IAO.  The one that this reviewer found most eye-catching was that of a very old man wearing a sheet wrapped under his arms next to a baby facing the reverse direction – also dressed in a sheet.  The world “Book of Death” separated the black and white images as though it were the title of a book.

Well worth looking for, if only for its painterliness, is the  Darren Dirksen’s surrealistic oil of nautilus flying over the ocean.

Artists creating the show are James Gallagher, Yiren Gallagher, Jeff Hogue, Sam Fredrickson, Amelie Junque, Matt Phipps, Lee Roy Chapman, Darren Dirksen, Richard Baxter, and Linda Wilson.

Should the viewer be interested in buying the Boat, it is $90,000, however, it was mentioned that the price might be negotiable.  The Blue Lantern living space is negotiable, and the Nautilus is $3,200.  Bug prints are $35.

Also being shown is work by Gary Shilling.  The central part of his work on display, at least in size, was “Secrets of the Universe,” which was created from 2005 to 2011.  It is about seven to nine feet long, installed around two walls of the exhibit space, and about a foot and a half high.    Shilling uses small drawings and comic book art cut, pasted and augmented by painting to create a work that leads the eye in many directions at once.  The concentration seems to be on scientific drawings, with many of insects, superheroes, Scooby Doo – probably not of the latter category, and ladies.  Stone writes in the press release, “The artist does use the imagery of airplanes, insects and birds to thread the smaller works into one larger more cohesive work.  …these images of flight have a very specific meaning related to the spirit systems of the Congo.”

IAO is open from to Tuesday through Saturday, and is located at 706 W. Sheridan.  Road construction makes it a little tricky to find, but there is a large parking lot on the north side of the street.  The phone number is 232-6060.

The space is new, large, and available for events of all kinds.  See the website at

 Winter Sunset at Lake Hefner

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