It would be a challenge to find two more diverse works sharing an exhibit space than that of Alan Ammann and Helen Bess. That they are so different, and yet so complementary is what “Fractured Fantasy” at Bowersock Gallery is all about; a convergence of styles.
Helene is a sculptor, Alan a painter. She build’s fantastical creatures from all manner of materials, he paints imagined, unexplored, fractured, worlds. Still, their colors and concepts complement one another in a delightful way.
Ammann’s energetic, colorful contemporary oils move the eye around the canvas like a pinball machine; pleasing as a whole, with moments to rest on and get lost in, a wonderful duality.
Ammann, an atelier-trained painter, shows throughout the US. Initially, a realist painter, one of Ammann’s portraits was selected as a semifinalist in the prestigious Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery triennial portrait competition. Today he explores abstraction, with an emphasis on composition, shape and movement and illusionistic light.
Alan’s work is exciting and vibrant, and very individual. His colors and lighting are striking. Perhaps the best way to describe his complex fraction/abstraction images is arresting.
Bess’s three-dimensional mixed media sculpture is equally complex but with a decidedly different feel.
Helene’s current body of work comes in two styles, but with clear common threads. There is a selection of joyful, humorous, and fantastical, creatures, and another that leans towards steampunk, mechanical aesthetics. Both are intricately detailed, and definitely all Helene.
Bess is a graduate of Phoenix Pratt School of Design in New York NY and St. Petersburg Community College in Florida. Her medium is anything that catches her eye, hardware, wire, paper, glass, fur, textiles, and bits and bobs are taken from day to day items. With the collection, she creates fantastical, critters – frogs, pups and the like, or techno fantasy imagery.
Together Ammann and Bess create a lively and exciting space, of many dimensions, Bowersock says.
This is a great pairing, like the perfect wine and cheese. Both these artists make a strong statement with their work, yet they don’t overpower one another. It would be a lucky home that featured them both; right now we’re a lucky gallery doing just that.