Rick Rollenhagen and Dan Miller at Maria Neil Art Project
Rick Rollenhagen: The Spirituality of Spontaneity
Multi-medium artist Rick Rollenhagen enlightens Maria Neil Art Project and its viewers to close out 2022 and help us usher in 2023. His stone sculptures capture elements of spirituality derived through the process of carving, and the drawings and prints create forms quickly-rendered and later elaborated. Goddesses and gods of the European Middle Ages take center stage in forms of alabaster marble, and other malleable stone. These sculptures, as well as the ones reflecting emotions and feelings, are created through the process of directly “attacking” a block of stone with only a partial, or no, a priori conception of the final form. Says Rollenhagen, “Through the process of carving the stone, I attain a meditative state whereby the blows of the hammer to the chisel follow the beats of my heart. Additionally, to paraphrase Barbara Hepworth, my left hand which holds the chisel is my thinking hand, whereas my right hand which holds the hammer is my motor hand.”
Accompanying his three-dimensional works are blind contour sketches of models and artists. The two-dimensional work, unlike the sculptures, is based on direct observation. The drawings are further elaborated with acrylic paint or turned into linoleum block prints. Since these works are based on direct observation, there’s an equally-intimate quality attributed to their creation that mirrors Rollenhagen’s “hands-on” approach to his art.
Dan Miller: Melancholy and Malignancy
Dan Miller returns to Maria Neil Art Project in early 2023 for Melancholy and Malignancy—a new collection of acrylic and watercolor works. After his successful autobiographical exhibition in 2019, Miller did a deep dive into his own thoughts around depression and what some of the root causes (for him) may be. “(It started) as a thought experiment about what depression would look like if it were a pathogen, bacteria, parasite, growth or rash.” Miller continues, “I thought about how I had originally wanted to do medical illustration when I was young. Then I thought about how differently mental health struggles would be treated and talked about if we could point to the tiny monsters who caused it.”
This thought caused an immediate and visceral response with Miller. Colors entered his mind and were committed to board, were investigated and finally tweaked in such a way to create a sense of visual discomfort with the viewer. These “tragedies in vibrant pop tones” will be on view during the most doldrum months in Ohio, where grey skies greet us and bare trees are ever present. An interesting juxtaposition, indeed.
MARIA NEIL ART PROJECT
15517 Waterloo Road, Suite 1B
Cleveland, Ohio 44110
Rick Rollenhagen: The Spirituality of Spontaneity, through January 6.
Hours by appointment, firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about the artist, rickrollenhagen.com.
Dan Miller: Melancholy and Malignancy, February 3–April 7.
Opening reception 5-9pm Friday, February 3.
Other hours by appointment, email@example.com.
More about the artist, danielmillerart.com.