In 2000, Les Yeux du Monde gallery owner Lyn Warren curated a site-specific exhibit for the UVA Art Museum, titled “Hindsight/Fore-site: Art for the New Millennium.” The show featured works by many artists that Warren and her gallery represent currently, from Megan Marlatt and UVA associate art professor William Bennett to Rosemarie Fiore and Lydia Gasman, stationed throughout the city, from the visitor’s center to the Frank Ix Building.
The show ran for two months and helped Warren make a larger name for herself as a curator and artist representative. But many locals may forget that a portion of Warren’s curatorial work for the millennium show—pieces by Dean Dass, John Borden Evans, Lincoln Perry and more—was also on display at her home on Route 20N.
And here’s where hindsight and foresight merge, where years of gallery evolution and locations—from 20N to Starr Hill to Water Street—melt into an overlapping past and future: At the end of June, Les Yeux du Monde will leave its current space on Water Street and, Warren hopes, head home.
We don’t believe our eyes! Les Yeux du Monde gives up its space to make room for a larger Petit Bébé.
“My lease is up at the end of summer, but I’m going to go early,” said Warren, citing exhibits for the second annual Festival of the Photo as the gallery’s last planned events. “Mainly, I want people to know that I’m not closing.”
Rather, Warren hopes to create a space devoted to the arts near her residence, and tells Curtain Calls that she and her husband, artist and recently retired Davidson College professor Russ Warren, are speaking with architect W.G. Clark, whose über-contemporary concrete cubes recently caught the attention of both Oxford American and C-VILLE’s ABODE (not in that order, Curt notes). While Warren said that she does not plan to host a show each month, she’d like for any structure to serve as a “‘destination’ kind of place.”
Aware that programming for an arts space requires what Curt would delicately describe as the patience and planning of a one-legged tightrope walker, he asked Warren about the fate of her fall exhibits.
“I have major people lined up for the fall,” Warren responded, mentioning the likes of John Gordon Evans, Shelby Fischer, Ann Massie and Clay Witt. “I’ll rent a space, month-to-month, probably, to make sure they get their full dues. I’m going to make sure I have a nice space for September through December.”
One of the candidates, according to Warren, is the Frank Ix Building, the cultural dust bin developed by Ludwig Kuttner after he helped his son Oliver develop The Terraces, LYDM’s current home. “I have talked to them about possibly renting something at Ix for those months, but I am going to talk to other places,” said Warren.
And while the future home of the LYDM artists—among them, it should be noted, is Ludwig’s wife, Beatrix Ost—is up in the air, the fate of the gallery’s Water Street corner is not. Kim Kuttner, wife of Oliver and owner of Petit Bébé, confirmed with CC that the wee baby would move into the vacant space in July.
As you might imagine, a good deal of Curt’s time was spent running back and forth last week between Les Yeux and Second Street Gallery, covering news of Warren’s plans and SSG director Leah Stoddard’s departure. But he’d be remiss if he didn’t mention that…
Rosemarie Fiore is burning down the house
Who left the waffle iron on? For that matter, who broke the lawn mower, abused the cake mixer and used a floor polisher to buff paint into the linoleum? The tattle-tale in his heart commands Curt to point his finger: Rosemarie Fiore did it.
Fiore, who is showing at both LYDM and Second Street through May, made an early name (and nabbed a fifth-year fellowship from UVA’s art department) for herself locally as a sculptor in the ’90s. And while her exhibit at LYDM—a collection of paintings composed under the watchful, televised eyes and looming afro shadow of Bob Ross, the host of “The Joy of Painting”—is what you’d expect, speckled imperfections across largely similar canvases, the show is a more human counterpart to her uncanny, mechanized works at Second Street.
One wall of Second Street’s main gallery is dominated by “The Gulf Stream,” an acrylic painting on a linoleum canvas, composed with a floor polisher, that happens to resemble 19th century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” (You know, the print that every other college student hangs in their bedroom, along with their Escher and “Periodic Table of Mixed Drinks” posters.) In the Dové gallery, a television loops videos that document Fiore’s successful attempts to make prints and paintings with controlled firework explosions and a 1964 vintage Scrambler carnival ride.
The show is fun in a very postmodern Martha Stewart way, with certain domestic tools frozen in their eras and then thawed for art’s sake. The challenge of the exhibit is that each tool Fiore uses has a fixed life in the artist’s hands: Her lawnmower, used to devour self-help books and containers filled with paint, will run out of gas, Bob Ross only has one hour of airtime and all rides on the Scrambler, no matter how fun, come to an end. It’s the sculptural equivalent of a time-lapse film: What can you accomplish before you burn the waffles? Curt’s recommendation: Check out the Second Street show first, then head to LYDM. And never forget to unplug the coffee pot ever again.
“Love Shack,” but for books
A few local lit-wits—among them, CC acquaintance and book reviewer Elizabeth McCullough from cvillewords.com—opened WriterHouse, a combination classroom/workshop/“Almost done with that next Great American Novel” space near the corner of Preston Avenue and Harris Street, behind Bodo’s Bagels. Curt plans to check the space out during the next week, but those of you eager for your own private Walden Pond can apply via the WH website (writerhouse.org) for a membership to the collective and 24-hour access to the space. Boy, we’ve come such a long way since Curt’s mama used to send him out into the woods with just a bit of flint, a hatchet and a thesaurus and told him to return with a sestina.
Photo contest challenge!
Due to a Pavlovian experiment involving cameras and Cheap Trick’s “Surrender,” your narrator Curt breaks into song every time he hears a shutter click or sees a flash go off. Which means that you should snap hundreds of photos and submit ’em to
C-VILLE’s annual “The Art Director is on Vacation” Photo Contest. Send your prints, each bearing your name, address and phone number, to C-VILLE’s office by June 13. As an added bonus, Curt will film himself singing “Surrender” at a karaoke night if the number of submissions eclipses 100.
E-mail your arts news to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you know, we could just hang out. If you’d call.