Chroma’s “Various and Sundry” Shows in December

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    Elizabeth Howard

    Michael Fitts, Paintbrush

                                                                         VARIOUS AND SUNDRY ITEMS

                                                             Recent Work by Michael Fitts and Aggie Zed

                                Chroma Gallery, Opening Reception – Friday, December 1st, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

    103 West Water St. (the old Oasis Spa space)
    Charlottesville, Virginia 22902


    In Various and Sundry Items, things, once sought for their romantic or innovative purposes, are now in a humble state. The bright virginal enamels are chipping off from use; the perishable contents have hardened inside containers with obstinate caps and cunning labels. Critical elements of games have gone missing, leaving a ragged cardboard lid to keep duty over the rest. Dolls and last season’s dreams are absent appendages. Things may have simply degraded to such a degree as to become most useful being reconstructed altogether, notes Chroma Gallery director Deborah McLeod.

    Michael Fitts, 3-IN-ONE

    The sundries – forsaken inventory of our miscellaneous and endlessly inventive culture – are the ennobled subjects of Michael Fitts’ fine little paintings. Principally made on copper and other scrap metals, they generally feature a single iconic object, and as icons they have a long and pensive story to tell. There is helpfulness and humor in their well worn countenance. We see ourselves in them, and like ourselves through them. (See Streetlight profile of Michael Fitts)

    Aggie Zed, Scrap Angel

    Meanwhile, says McLeod, Aggie Zed has gathered bits and parts – spare components and recycled fragments together to concoct her fantastical, and yet familiar, hybrid characters. Zed’s famously outrageous tribe of kith and kin sport bizarre head gear, masks, and puppet mittens – on a normal day. They sit on the floor, halfway between species, and make grand gestures of surprise, explanation and bewilderment. On a stranger day, they are in stop motion positions, readying for flight or other less predetermined adventures, aided by and given power through applied copper wings or bits of wire fashioned into wheels. or laced into intricate scaffoldings. Zed’s figures are myth-illogical. They are Aesops Fables: the Sequel, offering outcomes. They are the hero Odysseus’s encounters with turn of the century technology. But far from being wicked, lest one assume that, Zed’s little scrap compositions are always touching and endearing, human in every sentient way; doing the best they can with whatever various and sundry items they have around the place to work with.

    Aggie Zed, Tiny with Wings #1


    Chroma Gallery is open from 1:00 until 5:00, Wednesday – Saturday


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