Arts & Culture

Dual Degree show embraces dichotomies

Contributing Writer
Monday, February 28, 2011

“Anisotropy: The Third Annual Brown/RISD Dual Degree Show” guides visitors through a world of harmonious opposites — the modern and the antique, the cheery and the gloomy, the flat and the textured. A walk through the Brown-RISD Hillel gallery offers a rare glimpse into the work and lives of the students who straddle the boundary between Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design.

The exhibit explores the concept of being directionally dependent. Lukas Bentel’s ’14 sculpture “Violinist” — the largest and most noticeable work — uses striking pieces of welded metal in black and red to give a sense of limitless directions. Other drawings and paintings play on this idea in more subtle and figurative ways.

Opposite Bentel’s work in the entryway stand two fashion designs, “Jetsons Romper” by Caitrin Watson ’13 and “Re-Innovative Project” by Colin MacGregor ’13. Watson’s design is retro-futuristic in black and blue with a pattern from the old Jetsons cartoon. MacGregor’s uses recycled materials to create a warm-colored, flowery ensemble complete with petal-covered heels. The two outfits use shape to achieve a unique style, embodying a subtler theme of balance between opposites more than the overt thematic title.

Nature-inspired works like the row of chestnut pods by Lizzie Kripke ’13 face more industrial pieces like Kevin Wiesner’s ’14 small metal sculpture depicting a sinister winged figure. Wiesner’s piece is somewhat ironically titled “Angel.”

A multimedia exhibit, “Anisotropy” displays works that use means including marble sculpture, animated video, weaving and painting.

Bright, colorful paintings are juxtaposed with monochrome charcoal drawings, like Rachel Himes’s ’14 drawing of Sayles Hall. Himes described her piece as a “unification of an art form I work with at RISD and a space I love at Brown.” She said she was happy the exhibit allowed her to see work from upperclassmen that she does not normally have the opportunity to see. Allison Wong ’14 agreed, saying “I don’t really know everyone in the other years really personally.”

“The intention of the theme was to show how everyone in the program is taking their individual education in such a different way,” Wong said.

Much like the students themselves, the works manage to embrace many directions successfully, without creating a disjointed or out-of-place atmosphere.

Several students employed the idea of dichotomous balance within their works. David Borgonjon ’13 literally merged two identities into one in “My Sister’s Face and My Face,” which consists of two images woven together inextricably. Josephine Devanbu ’14 captured two ideas in one in her diptych “The Myth of Sisyphus,” which depicts first an ominous view down a dark flight of stairs, then a simple sine curve.

Kseniya Konovalova ’13 said the works themselves and the overall creativity were more important than the suggested theme. She also submitted a diptych, saying she likes the idea of “two pieces kind of combining to be one.”

The exhibit will run until March 18.


(four out of five stars)

The exhibit presents great creative variety.