The current show at the Lawrence Art Guild’s 1109 Gallery has an interesting title, “The Human Condition.” The artists who entered the show have quite a wide variety of ideas of what the human condition is. Is the human condition the body at its most basic, that is, not covered by clothing? A few artists thought so and there are some very good life drawings done in ink and wash. Other artists illustrated human life in Lawrence with a scene from a cafe, a man in a rocking chair and a figure in a kilt from a parade.
The human condition is expressed in a variety of mediums at this show, which will run into April. There are photos, including a large man with tatooed arms. One painting shows a huge orange face with wild red hair. I’m not sure what that says about the human condition. Maybe the artist isn’t sure either as the piece is untitled. I also wondered about a large abstract painting in orange, blue and cream colors. Is that an arm in there?Then there are three mannequin heads, one covered in shells and two covered in beads. Another has both beads and gears attached along with a sort of metalic hat. Is the artist trying to say something about the brain and the way it works with this one? My favorite is a sculpture, a torso of bronze of a muscular, blindfolded male titled “Prisoner.”
I entered one painting in this show, the one above. I took the photo on which it is based in Trinidad some time ago. The two figures in the painting are very small compared to the ocean and sky, which to me says something about the human condition. Also, the men are working and that’s what we humans seem to spend a lot of our time doing.
But perhpas the wisest depiction of the human condition in the show is the three dimensional piece of two gloved hands holding knitting needles on which is perhaps the beginning of a scarf. The piece is titled “Work in Progress”