February 4, 2023


Art requires creative

Artists explore ‘Invisible Disabilities’ at Arthaus Art Gallery


Sam Fein, “Confused,” gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, in “Invisible Disabilities” exhibit at UVA’s Arthaus Gallery.Sam Fein @SamFeinArt

We all have a hole between our non-public self and our community self. For persons with invisible disabilities like chronic sickness, mental sickness, and neurological ailments, that hole can be large.

“Invisible Disabilities,” offered by Unbound Visible Arts and curated by Samantha M. Joyce at Arthaus Art Gallery, highlights 10 artists in this inhabitants. An exhibition that explicitly depicts the crucible of concealed worries — the struggling they induce, and the wisdom they can provide — is a thing absolutely everyone can relate to.

Susan K. Teal suffers from stress and anxiety assaults and trauma, she suggests in her artist’s assertion. Her self-portraits, manufactured in 2020, just after the demise of her aunt and in the midst of pandemic isolation, depict Teal expressing a array of extreme emotions. In “Labile,” 1 expression unfolds to the upcoming, as she screams, grits her teeth, and softens into sorrow. The emotional tone recollects Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” (and indeed, Munch wrote in his journal of struggling from tuberculosis and psychological disease). Teal’s frank realism in self-portraiture is startlingly intimate. The succession of faces features a progression from rage to unhappiness, and a clarity of self-witnessing, that makes home around the pain.

Susan K. Teal, “Labile,” acrylic on stretched canvas.Susan K. Teal

But possibly I’m seeing hope just to ward off my individual fragility. “Invisible sickness has no arc. No narrative,” painter Linda Morgenstern, who suffers from myalgic encephalomyelitis/long-term exhaustion syndrome, writes in her statement. In her tiny, gorgeously mottled paintings of houses, interspersed with wall-mounted small cardboard shacks, paint is like the stuff of lifestyle from which kind coalesces and then dissolves, and the home a image for the entire body: structured but worn absent by light, dark, and weather conditions.

Linda Morgenstern, “Crimson Door,” oil on paper with impasto glaze.Linda Morgenstern

Operates that discover an artist’s disability without disclosing it open up an even larger scope for a viewer’s own projection. Sam Fein draws a watery figure haunted by ghosts in “Overwhelmed.” Her “Drug Mandala” assemblage — patterned with vials, baggies, products, and sweet — harnesses a treatment regime’s electrical power for contemplation and non secular expansion by turning it into sacred geometry.

That is the occupation of artwork. Providing type to the unseen and fugitive sections of humanity and of culture, it holds and consecrates them. Primarily in such panic-driven periods, artists like the types in this display, who accept their tenderness and battle, are accurate leaders.


At Arthaus Artwork Gallery, 43 N. Beacon St., Allston, as a result of July 17. www.unboundvisualarts.org/invisible-disabilities-in-person-show/

Cate McQuaid can be arrived at at catemcquaid@gmail.com. Comply with her on Twitter @cmcq.


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