Monday, May 26, 2008

Fall Into Summer Hunger: Marcie Miller Gross at Review Studios

Marcie Miller Gross’s fiber work opened at Review Studios Gallery space on Friday May 9th. And brought out Kansas City’s Art Scene. Walking into the space I was greeted by a large amount of Boulevard Wheat Beers alongside piles of cashews, Strawberry’s and even a bowl of Jelly Belly jellybeans. I took my time gathering a plate of food and beer and moving through the crowd of mostly late 30’s to 40’s Kansas City artist and entered the gallery.

Marcie Miller Gross’s work mostly works with industrial and medical cloths and felt usually folded and stacked. She sees her work as dealing with weight, density, and equilibrium finding parallels to the body and human conditions.

Eating a strawberry I looked up at the wall of sweaters which looked like it had been stacked and cut, and then evenly hung and placed by each other like wind chimes flattened. Noticing familiar sweater patterns I thought these pieces would look great next to the pile of winter sweaters lazily thrown in my closet.

Next to this piece laid strands of colored strings hung in pairs loosely on the wall with each pair of strands forming specific loops, and knots with the occasional string jetting out and connecting to each other. The colors predominantly dark reds, greens, and blues covered over half the wall and seemed to be the strongest work in the show with the physicality and frailness of the strands evoking the looseness and strength of human connections.

Opening my beer and licking up the salt from my cashew I stopped and looked at the work on the floor. Strewn across the floor were several 3 foot long pieces of felt in Gap Fall colors of orange, heather grey, emerald blue, and dark green each individually sewn together in the middle, in shapes resembling snowboards. I contemplated that perhaps Miller-Gross had a son who was into skate boarding and snowboards, and perhaps that this was an influence? Outside of that notion the work didn’t seem to activate the space, or my mind in the same way as the strands.

Quickly glancing back up I wondered passed the Kansas City art elite ending on a wall housing a long wide block of one inch dial pieces of felt stacked on top of each other. The dark auburn colors seemed to evoke fall while also coming too close again at looking like cut up Gap sweaters further invoking memories of fall, and winter. Wandering out of the gallery to grab more beer and cashews I wondered whether I had spent more time looking at art, or filling my stomach.