Emergent Behaviors

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Emergent Behaviors
Curated by: Lonnie Lee

471 25th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
August 30th, 2011 - September 24th, 2011
Opening: September 2nd, 2011 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

East Bay
Tuesday through Saturday, 11AM - 6PM
California College of the Arts, Chicago, Sacramento State University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, UC Davis
Oakland Art Murmur, San Francisco Art abstract. mixed-media, installation, landscape, figurative, modern, sculpture


Vessel Gallery introduces sculpture by Pamela Merory Dernham and jewelry by Hannah Keefe, and painting by Walter James Mansfield
 "Emergent Behaviors" 
When:  August 30 – September 24, 2011
  Opening Reception Friday, September 2, 6-9PM
            Artist Talk and Tour: Saturday September 10, 2-4PM.  Meet the artists and hear them speak about their art-making process.
Where:  Vessel Gallery  471 25th Street  Oakland, CA 94612  510 893 8800


Vessel Gallery introduces sculpture by Pamela Merory Dernham, new works by Walter James Mansfield, and jewelry by Hannah Keefe.  “Emergent Behaviors” examines the nature of human and animal behaviors of collectively working, gathering or flocking together. Be it economies or markets, beehives, animal markings, team building, mass hysteria, geese, road networks, traffic jams, bacterial infection, or the web ... each are examples of emergent phenomena, where a collection of energy is emitted without control, producing results which are not explicitly "programmed". These are vigorous and resilient, yet with no single-point of failure; therefore, if a single unit fails, is lost or is stolen, the system still works. Interacting with a common environment is an emergent behavior. "Emergent Behaviors" expresses visual representations of the phenomena of coordinated behaviors occurring without prior planning.
“Emergent Behaviors” is a solo show for each artist presented, but interwoven in the presentation and concepts revealed. 

“I have always been attracted to making figurative work because of my love of the human form and my fascination with physical, intellectual, and emotional interactions.  The figure has been used to tell the stories of most cultures for thousands of years.  Among the most compelling sculptures for me are the Pre Columbian and Egyptian tombs, Indian temples, and European churches.  Though I can never have the direct experience of these cultures, their figurative art draws me through its power to evoke reactions, feelings, and memories of my own.  In my own art I create figurative sculptural works that evoke meaning for the viewer through a broadly defined narrative intent.  We live in a world of innumerable cultures, languages, and beliefs.  What we ultimately share is our humanity, and my goal is to resonate with others across our particular belief systems.”  - Pamela Merory Dernham

“Pamela's work with wire is an expression of an artist who has a command of the figure.  However, the reduction of form into a single black line that Pam has mastered is what captivated my attention.  Her figures are composed to interact in such a way that the viewer can interpret a multitude of stories.  I am drawn to the purity, the visual language, and open narrative of her work.  These new paintings of Jim's convey an energy within abstraction that is ultimately serene, undulating between figure and landscape.  Introducing Hannah Keefe's chain compositions in jewelry provokes a new understanding how metal can lay on the body in a very soft and sensual way. Think deco meets Native American in the most modern sense.”    - Lonnie Lee, Curator 

“A noumenon, according to Kant, is an object that is discernible only to pure reason, but not to the senses or intuition; noumena ostensibly constitute the hidden reality behind the world of phenomena. While post-Kantians may have misgivings about such esoteric entities, making private imaginary universes visible to the public has been the goal of artists for a long time, and that aesthetic urge continues, despite repeated recent proclamations about the death of art. Noumenon (9/15/10) is the title of a show of paintings by Walter James Mansfield, a Sacramento-based artist who clearly fits this artist profile by Barbara Seabridge: "someone who has ... the urgent desire to build something meaningful and useful, but [not] a house or chair or anything else that can be named" and "starts building in the vague hope [of making] something correct and meaningful." Mansfield fuses 1950s Abstract Expressionist painterly gesture and 1970s postminimalism to create complex contemporary landscapes and portraits.”    - DeWitt Cheng, Art Critic