"Out of Order' at Chestnut Hill Gallery

Quality and camaraderie: Four friends

Connelly's 'Still Life': A show for his friends.
Connelly's 'Still Life': A show for his friends.

Live shrimp swim at night across both front windows of the Chestnut Hill Gallery inviting passersby to "Out of Order," an innovative art exhibit. The New York artist Ted Victoria has brought his "Sea Monkeys" to town by installing lighted projections by means of a lens and light system (The red shrimp actually swim in an aquarium in gallery director Joe Borrelli's basement).

Not only are these fish real and remarkable, so is Borrelli's whole show. He persuaded the internationally renowned artist Chuck Connelly both to show a collection of his oil paintings and to curate the exhibition, which includes three other artists. Besides Victoria's installations, "Out of Order" includes Harry Anderson's light sculptures and Hal Hirshorn's salt prints.

Walking past the "dancing monkeys," visitors can see a series of powerful Connelly pieces"“ all rectangular oils of similar modest size, all with bold brushwork and come-and-get-me colors. By measured steps, they introduce Harry Anderson's superb collection of asymmetrically balanced lamps and found objects.

Moving around the room visitors are inevitably drawn to Victoria's dancers, framed in elegant black. Finally, the rectangle is closed with yet another series of surprises: Hirshorn's hauntingly beautiful photographs, which he describes as "random associations which function like dreams." Hirshorn's work closes the exhibition, leaving the viewer with a sense of wonder (especially about his naked women and mysterious past).

Each of the four artists commands his own space, and despite the disparity of intension, medium and color, they all sit wondrously well together. The entire presentation is in scale, in sync, rhythmically satisfying.♦

Caroline Millett formerly acted as dealer for Chick Connelly some years ago.

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