Chibeau

Edmond Chibeau looks at performance and theatre from the avant-garde communication perspective

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Location: Mansfield, Connecticut, United States

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

EUGENE O'NEILL: Artists Interpret His Life and WorkEUGENE O'NEILL: Artists Interpret His Life and Work
May 31 to June 21, 20146pm
Hygienic Art Galleries
New London, CT
review: Edmond Chibeau

The exhibit honoring the New London, Nobel Prize laureate is a small and compelling show that evokes the spirit of O’Neill through visual means.  Some of the best pieces are on loan from the Eugene O’Neill Center.

Dan Potter’s Plasma cut steel sculpture of the author’s head, HIT (His Inner Turmoil) is one of the most interesting and emotional pieces in the show.  It is difficult to execute, technically excellent, and emotionally moving.  Dan Potter’s other work is a sumi ink portrait of the playwright, Brooding Quartet has a sinuous line that sumi ink captures so well.

Monte Cristo Cottage is a witty and ironic print by Lynda Wesley McLaughlin.  It offers us a view of a table with threatening claw feet.  Sitting around the table are Oona O’Neill as a little girl, Charlie Chaplin and O’Neill, who is holding a sheet of paper.  This evokes the scandal of Chaplin’s marriage to Oona.  They were married a month after she turned 18.  He was 36 years her senior.  They had eight children and stayed married until his death in 1977.  Wow!

A portrait of O’Neill by Michael Peery offers us a trompe l’oeil mouth as if it were a cut out pasted on to the painting.  The piece is well conceived and well executed.

Sheila Prieto offers two views of the same subject.  Last Desire is an acrylic of two elm tress without leaves, while her ink drawing,
When the Elms Took Away With Desire is a humorous comment on a tragic play.  She shows us two trees that are sneaking away, carrying a farmhouse.  One cannot help but think about the Elms as both characters and inciting elements in O’Neill’s play. 
Desire Under The Elms O’Neill Conference Tree, a photograph by Vinnie Scrrano shows us a view of the grounds of the Center with a beautiful Elm in full leaf.  Elms are not famous for their flowering or budding but they have exquisite trunks and branches.
This writer offers a WordWork (visual performance script) linking Desire Under The Elms to some of the various other playwrights who also took on the Phaedra and Hippolytus myth, Euripides, Seneca, Racine, Rexroth among them.  

There are two display cases with books and Playbills, and a postcard in O’Neill’s handwriting that have been contributed by Bill Hanrahan.  The card is addressed to Miss. Shoomaker at the Hudson Theatre on W. 44th Street.  The post card was mailed in 1926 with a 2 cent stamp.  Hanrahan also has a photograph of a group of early books with O’Neill’s plays in them. 

Robert M. Dowling has an odd triptych consisting of an Associated Press article suggesting that the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski chose Eugene O’Neill 44 cent stamps for letter bombs that were intended to kill rather than to maim.   And the 3rd piece is a letter from Kaczynski, mailed from a penitentiary in Colorado denying that there was any forethought to the choice of the stamps.

The show was conceived and put together by
Rob Richter, Robert M. Dowling, Bill Hanrahan, Michael Peery, Vincent Scarano, Rich Martin, with help form the Eugene O’Neill Center

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