Arthaus ‘Collage, Assemblage’ – Times News Online
Published on October 15, 2021 9:00 p.m.
“You See Collage, I See Assemblage” in the Arthaus showed the 2D collages by William Hudders and the 3D assemblages by Joseph M. Chapuk. The group exhibition put together by curator Deborah Rabinsky at Kunstraum 645 W. Hamilton St., Allentown, ended on September 30th.
The artists are professors at Northampton Community College.
Large works in bold colors, including “Mosh-Pit Landscape” (2020; collage, mixed media with found images and acrylic paint on wood, 48 x 48 inches) made up most of the Hudders exhibition. The picture collection seems to swirl rhythmically around each other in a mist-like acrylic wash.
The artist, who lives in Easton, does not want to give the work of art “overriding meaning”, but rather says, “As I make them, they start to generate their own meaning.”
Based on his color work, Hudders drew from his collection of black and white clippings when he created “Holiday” (2021; collage with found images, 9 x 16 inches). Including a film shot by actress Catherine Deneuve, American flags and holiday-like clippings arranged over a magazine photo of the Baltic Sea. “It’s like doing a black and white drawing with just black and white photographs,” says Hudders.
Chapuk’s “Portrait of the Artist as an ’80s LA Punk * With His Mother” (2021, assemblage, mixed media with found objects, 24 x 24 x 3.75 inches) has a personal story behind it. After creating it for himself, Rabinsky convinced Chapuk to include it in the exhibition.
A senior art student who was doing his Masters at California State University in the 1980s, he says, “All the other kids were ‘punks’. When there was a party, that was the kind of music that was played. “As an” ironic twist of my own life “, the artist added” with his mother “to the title,” to make it kind of funny “.
The figurine of a seated, “meek” woman in a small storage room in the shade is faced by a roaring plastic tiger with white legs in an adjacent compartment painted white. Chapuk says the tiger brings a more serious message to work about “environmental degradation”. A bloody, upside down, withered rose in another corner stands for “lipstick on dead relationships”.
“Ironic contrasts” are a recurring theme in many of the works of the artist, who lives in Bethlehem. Dead roses, Barbie dolls and male action figures in stressful positions, medicine bottles which, among other things, symbolize Big Pharma, and Mickey Mouse figures as the benevolent faces of heartless corporations populate Chapuk’s intimate assemblages.
These elements take up small shelves and compartments contained in wooden shadow boxes. Some stand on stands, including an uncomfortably hunched back Barbie doll in a lighted box with clear sides that appears to be under the spell of Mickey Mouse from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
“No picture is more or less important in the composition than the others”, writes Chapuk, “This can lead to uncertainty in the viewer, and that is at least partially the point …”
Hudders also had several paintings on display at the Arthaus Mezz Gallery in the Allentown Renaissance Hotel, 12 N. Seventh St., Allentown.
Arthaus is a partnership between RE: find and the Allentown Arts Commission.
Arthaus, 645 W. Hamilton St., Allentown: Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday. www.allentownarts.com; 610-841-4866
PRESS PHOTO BY ED COURRIER From left Joseph Chapuk and William Hudders at the double exhibition, Arthaus, Allentown.