Saturday night SoMa Art Gallery in Cape May held an opening of three solo shows. The shows will be up for a while and are well worth a visit. The first artist is Harriet Sosson, Her collages always consist of familiar figures from art history surreally set in every-day surroundings. Earlier works have included Greek Gods riding the New York City subway and Renaissance figures in front of graffiti-ed urban decay. The collages are always formally satisfying – well composed with coloring and lighting considered. The humor is in the surprise of seeing familiar images in unlikely contexts.
This show has an added dimension for the old Caper May crowd. This exhibit features the Venus of Urbino being rescued by lifeguards, Mona Lisa at the beach, and others. Another part of Harriet’s show includes covers from an old giveaway magazine in town which featured a grid of photos of people on the beach. Now the people on the beach include Venus, and the Infanta of Spain by Velasquez, as well as friends and neighbors of thirty years ago. The nostalgic element of this show was a big hit with the locals during the opening night party.
Sean Taylor’s work is shown in an adjacent gallery. He makes both landscape and figurative paintings. The landscapes are often of the beach, with very modulated paint creating really beautiful complex colors. He does this in acrylic paint, which is very hard to do. (I’ve failed at it many times.) One large painting is of an empty beach with just sand, water and sky – yet it makes an interesting painting, nicely composed and pretty to look at. Another work shows rows of beauty contest participants, all identically coiffed and colored; all looking in the same direction. It makes a nice pop-art image of the conformist ‘50s or ‘60s, and is also very well painted.
The third artist featured last night is John Borrero. His works are very painted, rubbed, dripped, scratched, smeared, and abraded. Many include paper that has been buried in the paint, and a few include key escutcheons attached to the painting. All this manipulation produced semi-abstract landscapes that are dark and evocative. Some of the images are accompanied by short poems by the artist that are also moody and evocative. John Borrero also showed some sculpture composed of stiffened cloth and found objects. One was a woman made of brown cloth, a valve handle and a wooden spool that evoked a Jane Austen character very well. Another one was black clad and looked much more Wuthering Heights to me.
As always, the hors d’oevres were yummy, but even without the food, you’ll enjoy this show which remains in place ’till July 29th. Give us a call or go online to make a reservation at Leith Hall for this summer.