The Christine Palnik “Reduction” exhibit was held on the second story of the Holy Spirit Library. It opened on Thursday, Feb. 16 and will be on display until Friday, March 30.
The event was presented by the Fine Arts Department.
Palnik is a professional artist with local academic ties. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art from Rosemont College.
The “Reduction” exhibit had a distinctive atmosphere that presented the drawings in a unique light. The 18 featured pictures demonstrate an abstract edge that leaves much to the imagination. The uses of shading, atmosphere and shape all show the creative genius of the artist. Much is left to the creative mind of the viewer when gazing upon these dark drawings.
“Using the traditional technique of chiaroscuro, my current work addresses issues of volume, scale and the interplay of light and dark,” Palnik said in a quote displayed at the exhibit. “While these works are formally based, I am interested in abstracting human form to create a sense of mystery.”
Palnik’s drawings primarily deal with chiaroscuro. This literally means light and dark. However, this technique is taken to a whole new level in the depth that her pictures present. Seeing her drawings in this perspective was a definite change of pace from the usual images we see hanging in museums. The shadowy illustrations present the genre of abstract in a new light. The Palnik exhibit presents a side of art that is not often promoted in most galleries. Through the emotions expressed in the display, viewers got a taste for a new kind of art. Observing the mysterious drawings in a well-lit setting offered a contrast for the viewer as well.
“As far as the craft goes, they’re well drawn,” Nicholas Jacques, assistant studio art professor, said. “They’re well done, especially for the concern for beauty which is shown in the subtle transition of light.”
It was Jacques’ idea to bring the exhibit to Cabrini. Jacques had met Palnik through a faculty member at Rosemont last semester.
“I got to see her work and I immediately gravitated toward it,” Jacques said. “As drawings, I could relate to them right off the bat. Also, Cabrini hasn’t had a show of drawings in a while. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity.”
Jacques described Palnik’s art as creative not only in its originality and form but also in that it requires participation from the viewer. The wheels in your head will surely be turning when you see what these charcoal representations have to offer. While abstract, the drawings concentrate primarily on shapes and shading rather than imagery.
“The drawings themselves are actually zoomed in images of body parts,” Jacques said.“There’s enough missing for the viewer to bring their own interpretation to the table. Everyone will see something different.”
“The process itself is interesting,” Peter Yarnall, junior English major, said. “Negative space is used to create images which is a cool idea.” Like many other viewers, Yarnall expressed an interest in the actual forms and what is left to the imagination when seeing the pictures.
“I think that it is great for an art exhibit like this to come to campus,” Danielle Alio, senior communication major, said. “It gives the students and faculty a chance to view the work of an outside artist.”
“I see a photo aspect to the pictures but I also see an art aspect to them too,” sophomore English major and writing concentration minor Rachel Layden said. “It’s definitely an honor to have your art displayed like that. Art is generally a way to release the creativity in your mind. It is a way to share your inspiration with others.”