Distributed May 14, 2003
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

June 7 to July 6, 2003

Bell Gallery to present work of four artists in Obsessive Patterns

The David Winton Bell Gallery will present the work of Rhode Island artists Tayo Heuser, Jane Masters, Dean Snyder and Neal Walsh in a new group exhibition titled Obsessive Patterns, opening June 7 and continuing through July 6, 2003. The artists will speak about their work during a 5:30 p.m. opening reception Friday, June 6. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a new group exhibition titled Obsessive Patterns, featuring the work of Rhode Island artists Tayo Heuser, Jane Masters, Dean Snyder and Neal Walsh, beginning June 7 and continuing through July 6, 2003.

An opening reception has been scheduled for Friday, June 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Bell Gallery, located on the first floor of Brown’s List Art Center. The artists will speak about their work at 6 p.m. The exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.


Rough, yet luminous surfaces
Dean Snyder, installation view of Rawhide series, 2003, tattoed drawing on rawhide. Photo: Bell Gallery

The title Obsessive Patterns refers to a formal quality shared by the exhibited works. They are meticulously drawn or painted and show obsessive attention to detail – expressed as abstract and semi-abstract patterns on paper by Tayo Heuser and Jane Masters, on rawhide by Dean Snyder, and on wood and canvas by Neal Walsh.

“While Heuser’s and Masters’ works are quiet and meditative, those of Snyder and Walsh are vibrant and energetic; the former are precise and repetitive, and the latter are sketchy and unpredictable,” said Vesela Sretenovic, curator for the Bell Gallery. “Although the word ‘obsession’ often refers to a frame of mind or a state of being haunted by a persistent idea, desire or emotion, in this case it points to painstaking craftsmanship – a labor-intensive and time-consuming process in which the artists’ inner experience of the world is externalized visually as a number of intricate patterns.


Botanical shapes, zoomorphic designs
Jane Masters, “Untitled” from Zoomorphic Series #1, 1997, charcoal drawing. Photo: Bell Gallery

“Despite their different aesthetics, materials and techniques, the exhibited works by Heuser, Masters, Snyder and Walsh reveal obsessive pattern-making that speaks of the artists’ drive to materialize their reoccurring perceptions, feelings or thoughts into an orderly visual design.”

Tayo Heuser

Tayo Heuser lives and works in Narragansett, R.I. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and received a master’s degree in fine arts from Vermont College in Montpelier, Vt. Her work has been shown locally in Newport, Providence and Boston, and at California State University in Long Beach, the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and the Washington Square Gallery in Washington, D.C.

“Heuser’s large-scale, monochromatic pen-and-ink drawings bring to mind a basic impulse that sometimes borders on obsession in all artists – that is, to leave a hand-mark on a flat surface,” said Sretenovic. “She draws and redraws tiny marks that resemble dots, squares, letters and graph lines into the fields of overall abstract patterns. Yet, despite the precise lines and dense patterns, her drawings appear loose and weightless.”

Jane Masters

Born in London, Jane Masters came to the United States in 1982 and currently lives and works in Providence. Masters received a bachelor’s degree from Kansas City Art Institute and a master’s degree from California’s San Jose State University, both in fine arts. She has shown work locally and nationally, as well as in Peru and England. In this exhibition she presents three series of drawings using silverpoint, scratchboard and charcoal.

“Made with a stencil cut from mylar, the silverpoint drawings are made of crisp and delicate silver lines meandering over the white surface. ... Meticulous and intricate, they radiate a sense of expansion, movement, and three-dimensionality,” Sretenovic said. “A similar feeling of optical vibration and rhythm is also evident in the scratchboard drawings. ... In the Zoomorphic series of large charcoal-stenciled drawings, Masters created heavy black-and-white patterns with stencils of various botanical shapes – bulbs, vines, leaves, plants – and then rubbed them with charcoal. Creating an optical illusion, the floral patterns here suddenly turn into zoomorphic designs resembling butterflies or bats, recalling Rorschach blots.”

Dean Snyder

Dean Snyder, who lives and works in Providence, graduated from Kansas City Art Institute and earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited widely throughout the United States at museums and galleries in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, and at Bennington, Dartmouth and Skidmore colleges.

“Snyder’s installation, conceived specifically for this exhibition, merges sculpture and drawing to create an environment that is playful and loud, familiar and grim,” said Sretenovic. “Spread out onto the gallery walls and floor, Snyder’s hybrid forms are essentially elaborate tattoos drawn on rawhide with a tattoo machine. Their cartoonish imagery creates rough, yet luminous surfaces that glow with inner light when inflated. ... There is something humorous, lyrical and erotic in these works; they remind one of animated cartoon world both familiar and surreal, inhabited and dream-like.”

Neal Walsh

Neal Walsh earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Rhode Island and now lives and works in Providence. He has exhibited his works locally at the Providence Art Club, the Rhode Island Foundation Gallery, AS220 and Gallery Agniel, as well as at various galleries in Massachusetts and Louisiana.

Walsh combines different materials – ranging from oil, ink and graphite to masking tape and pages ripped from newspaper and old books – to create works that vary from collages to assemblages. His Untitled piece is a grid structure comprised of 24 identical wooden drawers, each with a different pattern created with layers of oil paint, pigment, pastel, graphite and encaustic.

“Grouped together, the repetitious patterns create a whole that appears at once raw and soft, dense and loose, opaque and translucent,” said Sretenovic “In this sense, Walsh’s work parallels the interchangeable patterns in nature and life: growth and decay, chance and control.”

The David Winton Bell Gallery, located at 64 College St., is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For further information, call (401) 863-2932.