Exhibits explore human relations

Three shows at the Baton Rouge Gallery this month explore human relationships.

In Dawn Black’s ongoing series the “Conceal Project,” part of her “Death Cult” exhibit, there are 400 postcard-sized watercolor, goauche and ink paintings.

The “Conceal Project” is the dominant element, yet there’s a bigger theme in “Death Cult” — humans’ angsty masquerade through a fascination with death as a mystery.

A Public Broadcasting program on the nation’s oldest Mardi Gras krewe, the Order of Myths, inspired this show. The Mobile, Alabama, krewe spotlights a dance between characters Death and Folly.

This led Black to her paper sculpture project, “22 A Day,” where her goal is to create 22 three-dimensional hearts a day representing the 22 U.S. Iraqi war veterans who take die each day. Which lead to questions of war and folly, folly and masquerade; which starts a dialogue between “22 A Day” and the “Conceal Project.”

Matt Morrs’ “Working Memory” and Katie Knoeringer’s “Wild Dogs” are also on display. Morris explores the relationship between nature and technology, a continuing theme in his work and from past shows at the gallery.

Primarily a painter, this exhibit uses painting and sculpture through photography. The photos look like surreal paintings, filled with bold color and interesting objects.

Morris made many of the paintings while living in Germany, most of them observing how man’s advances in technology and architecture forever displaces natural landscapes. In “Working Memory,” he continues his theme through his proecss.

“Usually, I would look at the camera as technology and the subject as nature, but now I look at the camera as an instrument that records technology in an honest way,” Morris says.

Morris explains the true idea behind his photographs was to rid his studio of clutter, including his grandfather’s old clippers in the photo, “Sheep with French Curve.” Once he made the photo, he was supposed to throw away the clippers.

“But I haven’t done it yet,” Morris says.

He speaks at the gallery’s ARTiculate program, a gallery talk presented by the month’s exhibiting artists. Black also offers a presentation, but Knoeringer is unable to attend.

Knoeringer looks to a Joyce Carol Oates novel to make an analogy that compares daydreams to wild, feral dogs.

The bold colors in her work complement those in Morris’. Knoeringer offers a collection of acrylic paintings and graphite drawings based on daydreams “that come out of nowhere and run their course. That is the power and intrigue of the waking dream; to sweep its maker downstream toward some unknown destination where you may want to stay a while and look around.”

The exhibits run through Thursday, Aug. 28.