On Sunday, October 1, 2023, Deborah (Adams) and Glenn N. Doering celebrated 40 years of married partnership by displaying 40 of their collaborative artworks (DOEprojekts Art Collaborative) at 410 W. 40th Street in NYC.
Above: “Serviette, Red and Gold,” detail, part of a series of 12 works. Coreforms embroidered on antique linen napkin from Glenn’s paternal grandmother’s trousseau.
This blog post features excerpts from the essay titled “Coreforms and Keywords: Celebrating 40,” by Neil Tetkowski, a visual artist with social, cultural, and global concerns. Known for his works in clay, he is active in sculpture, installation art, painting, and curating. Tetkowski lives in New York City. Photos by Deborah and Glenn Doering (with select photos by guests of “Celebrating 40.”)
“To flourish and to survive, we humans have invented an endless array of possibilities for language, using both images and words. The artists Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering, working together under the name DOEprojekts, have distilled their visual world into a basic language of forms.”
Above left: Deborah and Glenn wearing Coreform-printed shirts during the opening of “Celebrating 40.” Above right: “Celebrate” Blueberry Cheesecake (by Connie Brown), with wine selections.
Above: “Coreform Camp Shirts,” detail.
Above: Archival prints that are part of the Print and Drawing Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
“These Coreforms (horizontal and vertical lines, circles, swashes, and points), as well as cultural keywords (e.g. “Home,” “Community,” “Collaboration”) are the foundations of their art practice.”
Above: “Celebrating 40” installation of small sculptures, each featuring Coreforms, by DOEprojekts.
“Coreforms and Keywords are the common thread that unites DOErings’/DOEprojekts’ collaborative way of creating, living, and engaging the broader world around them. The exhibition “Celebrating 40,” featuring works using DOEprojekts’ Coreforms and Keywords, marks 40 years of artistic collaboration, as well as 40 years of marriage, with 40 artworks exhibited on 40th Street at the Metro Baptist Church in New York City’s “Hell’s Kitchen” neighborhood.”
410 West 40th Street, Metro B. Church, “Celebrating 40” art in background.
“DOEprojekts’ intent is to elevate consciousness and bring people together through art. The artists have referred to themselves as “subtle activists.” They say, “Our work does not communicate an angry spirit; it doesn’t hit you over the head. It doesn’t scream at you.” Rather, the viewer finds an underlying spirit of reconciliation and healing in their art.”
410 West 40th Street, visitors/guests discuss “Celebrating 40” art works.
“Their work intends to engage people, prompt introspection, provide an opportunity for self-evaluation, and encourage fun, yes, even fun! After all, what is life without some playful levity, especially during a 40-year relationship?”
“In order to materialize a universally intuitive concept, artists must transmute the physical into something else, something we call art. Deborah and Glenn achieve this transmutation, and it can be seen by viewers, participants, and collaborators in a variety of settings.”
“The artwork of DOEprojekts in all its many formats and media very naturally brings people together. I am taken by the love seat covered in fabric in the center of their home, complemented by their other works.”
“Coreforms” applied to various objects in the Doering’s home in New York City.
“The fabric pattern is an endless repeat of their Coreforms. Two people may want to sit on these carefully designed symbols; it is fair to surmise that the “sitters” might not give conscious attention to the pattern. But the artful ambiance is evident just the same.”
“Bead Mandala” (left) and “Wishing You Well” (right)
“’Bead Mandala’ (above left) is a simple work of concentric rings of beads, created and displayed in Doerings’ dining room. The title speaks to ideas solidified by psychologist Carl Jung, who wrote, “Because there are innumerable things beyond the range of human understanding, we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend.” The rich array of cultural meanings for circles include healing, journey, resolution, and infinity. Circles are a universal symbolic form, one that is essential to DOEprojekts and their language of Coreforms.”
“’Wishing You Well’ (above right) is a related piece with an even more symbolic approach; we could call it a mandala as well. In this case, the circle is made up of 20 actual chicken wishbones and a 21st broken wishbone in the very middle. (The wishbones were collected over the years by DOEprojekts). The implication is that one wish of good will put things right for 20 others: this time it’s an animal sacrifice for the benefit of twenty others. (It is important to note that sacrifice of one on behalf of many, is a “core” Judeo-Christian concept). All of this may be a reminder that life is temporal and that twenty-one creatures have already been healed into the singular spiral of the universe.”
DOEprojekts (Deborah and Glenn Doering) in relationship with Coreforms.
“Art as language … in the future there will only be art.
This common language will carry the message of love.”
~ Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931)