Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wrap Up from Gordon-Nash

LAYERS is installed at the Nash Gallery and on view until the end of July.  I would like to thank curator and  Head Librarian Cathy Nolan Vincevic, her staff and board of directors for their help and encouragement.

In a one person show you can see a comprehensive body of work and where an artist has been.   I believe that an artist can also use the opportunity to see where to go next.

In this exhibit I selected several works from each year of my last decade's production.  Ten years ago I was immersed  in the possibilities of combining scanned images in the (then) relatively new artists tool Photoshop.

Stamp Collector and Meltdown on the end wall combine a variety of scanned material; letters, photographs, stamps and drawings.  Completed in 2003 and 2004 these digital pigment prints reflect an interest in the layering of a personal iconography to construct visual narratives.

Working with ink on paper is a discipline that developed during that period, almost as a counter-point to the computer driven works.
I participated in an artist residency in Thailand. I became aware that the Asian artists who were not so enamored of contemporary Western trends in art came from a tradition of rigorous attention to art 'basics'.  I realized probably for the first time the gulf between my New York centric view of conceptual, pop and minimalism, the pressure for gallery representation, and the longer view of an artist's career that concerned my Asian friends.

There seemed to me to be a certain respect for incorporating past tradition into the contemporary, while the Western arc involved new 'movements' usurping art world interest.

I was inspired (or perhaps a bit chagrined) during certain times when interpretors weren't around and we fell into drawing for communications.  My friends had used brushes for writing since childhood and their drawing seemed to flow effortlessly between writing and image.  Mine left a bit to be desired; a skill that had gone fallow.

After I returned to the States I began to work with a renewed interest into cross-cultural referencing.  The exploration of archetype and myths that find expression in disparate cultures became an influence that I continue to explore.

During this time period I also became aware that a Japanese printmaker I admired had begun to teach at nearby Wesleyan University.  The moku hanga woodcuts that are part of this exhibit are a result of several years of study in this technique which complimented the ideas I was working with digitally.

In the library proper, the mixed media game boxes from my Ox and O's series found a home in display cases.

The Nash Gallery where the most of my work was installed also housed the original collection of the library, donated by Judge Nash, along the entire length of one wall.  A very concise and interesting history of the library can be found at the libraries "History Link".

A portion of the several thousand volume collection forms a backdrop for my accordion book, Today Only, which is part travelogue and part documentation of performances in Belgium and France in collaboration with artists Susan Shulman and Ria Vanden Eynde.

LAYERS is on display in the Nash Gallery in the Gordon-Nash Library through July. 

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