Arts & Literature

Whimsy in Paradise

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Take Alexander Calder’s mobiles and throw in heaping amounts of Rupe Goldbergian excess, and you might have some idea of what artist Gina Kamentsky’s work is like. Her sculptures are at once whimsical and fascinating. Each is a machine, but a machine that creates an event rather than accomplishing a task. The “events” are small things, often simple motion incorporating a found object like a toy or doll. A static description doesn’t suffice, however: see Kamentsky’s work in person, and you’ll likely end up lingering, watching in fascination.

Kamentsky’s exhibition The Engagment Party is paired with another called All Things in Paradise, by artist Nanette Vonnegut. Vonnegut is the daughter of the well-known author and former Northampton resident Kurt Vonnegut. Her work offers an air of outsider simplicity, and its subject matter is often whimsical, too. In one painting (pictured), clowns infest a wilderness. In another, the Garden of Eden becomes a place of bright color and a rendering style akin to that of the late medieval period.

The concurrent exhibitions continue through late April.

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