On December 4, 2004, I visited the Anderson Gallery
and observed an exhibit entitled Heide
Fasnacht: Strange Attractors. It was composed of many
two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional works of art. Fasnachtís
most important two-dimensional work over the past decade was
displayed in the exhibit. These works consist of the Sneeze
series, the REM series, the new colored pencil Rain
on Window series and the Explosion series from 1998-2001.
The Sneeze series was quite interesting. Sneeze
IV was made by hand punctures through rag paper. The holes
were mostly in the center of the paper and there was a fairly
uniform pattern of dots. The dots were sort of in a grid and
were arranged diagonally. Sneeze V was more abstract.
Instead of hand punctures, the punctures were burnt into the
rag paper. As you look from left to right across the paper,
the holes became more concentrated. On the far right, there
was a curvy design of holes. I could see some sort of face next
to the curvy design. Perhaps, the face was the person from which
the sneeze came. Big Sneeze was rather impressive. It
was a three-dimensional piece made of polymer clay on rod. The
entire piece was mounted on the wall such that a small point
was in contact with the wall while the rest of the piece branched
out from that small point. It really did look like a "sneeze"
because the rods and clay branched out from a single point.
The REM series included six different pieces. They
were all made from graphite and hand punctures on paper and
consisted of holes connected by lines in different arrangements.
REM I and III were similar because they had dark
spots in various places on the paper. REM II and IV
were similar in their arrangement of lines and holes. REM
IV had white holes connected by white lines, which was unique
in comparison to the other pieces. REM V had a pattern
that was more centralized and closer-knit. Itís design resembled
a constellation in the sky.
Other notable pieces include the three-dimensional works Breaking
Glass, Precipitation, and Exploding Airplane. Breaking
Glass was made of aqua resin. It seemed to spread out from
a central point and had jagged edges just like glass has when
it is broken. Precipitation was very unique. Cast polyurethane
was shaped to look like raindrops in all kinds of shapes and
sizes and they were placed all over the gallery floor. It truly
looked like time froze for a moment and raindrops were just
hitting the surface of the floor. Another three-dimensional
piece was entitled Exploding Airplane. Polychromed neoprene
and Styrofoam were pieced together to form an airplane that
was bursting into pieces. The entire piece almost took up a
whole room. The head, tail, and wings of the plane were all
intact but separated from each other. In the center of the piece
where the planeís body should have been, somewhat spherical
pieces of debris were bunched together and gradually spread
out from the center. Lines of debris projected from the center
and were held in place by pieces of string.
In addition to these three-dimensional pieces, other two-dimensional
pieces included Ticker Tape Parade I, Exploding Champagne
Bottle, Rain on Window I, and Human Volcano. Ticker
Tape Parade I was drawn with Quattro
colored pencil on rag paper. It was very colorful and
had many people in it. There were some white spaces in the drawing
and you could see the strokes of the pencil as well. Colored
pencil on rag paper was used for Exploding Champagne Bottle.
The bottom of the bottle was still intact and faced outward
toward the spectator. The upper part of the bottle was broken
into jagged pieces of glass. Champagne covered most of the upper
part of the paper, drawing oneís focus toward that part of the
picture. Rain on Window I was a very detailed drawing
sketched with colored pencil on paper. The droplets varied in
size and seemed to stream down the windowpane realistically.
The strokes of the colored pencil were easily seen. Human
Volcano was quite interesting. It was drawn with graphite
on paper and was composed of black and white dots. The background
was black and there was a man on the right blowing a huge cloud
of white smoke. The smoke also had areas of gray and black dots.
Overall, there was a wide variety of styles and subjects
of the works in this exhibit. The two-dimensional and three-dimensional
pieces were very interesting and unique in their own way. Her
work is a union of opposing forces of nature. Chaos predominates
as well as more meditative and celebratory factions in her work.
From observing Strange Attractors, I realize how appropriate
the title of the exhibit was. Heide Fasnacht is a talented artist
whose work ranges in style as well as subject, yet retains the
same amount of brilliance in each piece.