Social criticism and open-ended psychological riffing each take their turns at Window to Sculpture, the annual emerging-artists series that launches this week at the Sculpture Center.
In In-Between, Cozette Phillips — a resident artist at Midwestern State University in Texas — defines our engagement with the world via a single object: window treatments. Her material of choice — steel — underscores the way our industrial society closes itself off from the natural world, both figuratively and literally.
Metaphorically, we cut ourselves off in failing to consider the impact of our consumption. Materially, we hide the world behind a blanket with sun-blotting artifices over our windows. Just by looking at "Absence Opaque" (pictured), we can tell something is wildly amiss. The bent and tangled blinds speak of fraying desperation, a pawing attempt to fix something intrinsically broken — or perhaps to escape it. The bunched and tangled black drapes in "Crash and Reveal," likewise, are surprising in how deeply they shock us. We are disturbed because we recognize the pain and frustration behind them. It is a tremendous accomplishment to so clearly communicate emotions by the traces they leave on objects.
Also on display is Clevelander Elizabeth Emery's Promise, It'll Only Take a Minute to Stop, an examination of how personal narratives and unconscious factors influence our engagement with art. An opening reception is set for Friday, March 9, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Emery will talk at 6:15 p.m., and Phillips takes the foor at 7. Both shows run through April 14 at 1834 East 123rd St. Call 216-229-6527 or go to sculpturecenter.org to learn more.