By JENNIFER K. BAUERMOSCOW — Dressed mostly in green fatigues, a band of soldiers treads across greened earth toward a heap of refuse. Many carry objects to add to a growing pile. Where they have been and where they are going is a mystery — one glimpsed through a jagged hole in a piece of sheetrock.
The soldiers are Lilliputian in size, maybe a centimeter tall, and yet they suggest a life-size story of tragedy hidden behind the walls of a house.
The artwork, “You remember it, or it remembers you,” by Thomas Doyle, is one among the works in “Miniatures; It’s Not All Small After All,” on display through Sept. 28 at the Prichard Art Gallery in Moscow.
Doyle’s intricately detailed worlds are sculpted in 1:43 scale and smaller. He, like the other four artists featured in the exhibit, offers surreal and fantastical visions through a masterful command of craft on a tiny scale.
Miniatures have long fascinated people — from doll houses to model railroads. In art, they can captivate audiences and communicate big ideas.
“A lot of miniatures give you a God’s-eye perspective,” says Lauren McCleary, the education coordinator at the Prichard who curated the exhibit with Assistant Director Nara Woodland.
“The viewer is almost enveloped in these small creations they have to go so close,” Woodland says.
Thomas Doyle: Often sealed under glass, this New York artist’s works distort reality through a warped dreamlike lens where the American dream often collides with catastrophe. Doyle orders tiny figurines, cuts them apart, repositions and paints them into poses transmitting strong emotions.
Ellen Driscoll: Driscoll combs the sidewalks of her Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood collecting plastic she transforms into sweeping scenes with minute details that explore resource consumption and material lineage.
Gregory Euclide: An artist and high school art teacher living in the Minnesota River Valley, Euclide uses found objects, from pinecones to trash, to create magical vistas where nature and humankind intersect in beautiful and ugly ways.
Lilana Porter: This New York artist’s “theatrical vignettes” expose the depths of human psyche through a minimalistic approach.
Kurt Moses: With the help of his wife, Minnesota photographer Kurt Moses travels the country in a recreational vehicle photographing toy figures, 1:87 in scale, in real-world settings using natural light and whatever conditions present themselves with often humorous results.
IF YOU GO
What: “Miniatures; It’s Not All Small After All”
When: On exhibit through Sept. 28, 2014
Where: Prichard Art Gallery, 414 S. Main St., Moscow
Of Note: Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Monday.