Display Cases in the Great HallWillard Traub
3 November 2015 – 9 January 2016
Kentucky Wonder green beans, hardy pole beans that thrive in full sun, were special for photographer Willard Traub.(died on 25 August 2015). The beans grew outside his back door in Massachusetts. Productive staples yielding from early spring until first frost, sometimes they remained as frozen hulls on the vines, well beyond harvest time. Winding around metal fences and resilient despite weather, disease, and insects, their elegant forms remind of the wonder of nature in close familiar settings, outside a back door, or along a fence.
Traub’s photographs investigate patterns made by late beans, and the caress of light along their surfaces. Some are frozen in place, with contents intact, mummified by a cold snap on an early autumn night. Others sprout after late harvest, fresh volunteers that appear just when all hope of another crop fades, bringing a sense of renewal. Their forms are green ribbons of possibility.
The artist described them in his own words: Walking in my vegetable garden one December morning led me to the weather-beaten remnants of the summer’s harvest. Transparent and faded leaves, dried vines, and weathered pole bean; all of these dancing on the garden fence in the cold wind. I had recently completed photographing a series of black and white photographs of French funereal sculpture in Paris and now these beans in my own backyard suggested a sculptural photographic follow-up.
Photographs of the beans have been collected and shown at venues including the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris; The Copley Society, Boston; Cleveland Museum of Art; De Cordova Museum; Cleveland Clinic Houston Center for Photography; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; and the AT&T Collection.
CASE ONE : KENTUCKY WONDER, dimensions variable, 10 x 8 inches
CASE TWO: VOLUNTEERS, dimensions variable, 10 x 8 inches
Curated by Lisa A. Banner
Display Cases Exhibition ArchiveGary Schneider
21 September to 2 November 2015
Gary Schneider’s extraordinary nude photographs, 2001-2005, evolved from working with a small flashlight in total darkness, sustaining the exposure on film for about an hour, to trace whole body portraits of friends. Perfecting the process over several years, he created unusual studies that explore both psychological and physical presence. Schneider muses that “there are so many variables” in creating frank yet mysterious and unique individual portraits, which are photographic records of the performance of exposure.
Schneider describes the counting process during film exposure, and the complexity of the interaction with his subjects:
“I count the light out loud—it becomes a chanting meditation for me, and my subject becomes as involved in my performance as I am in theirs. The only task I ask of my subject is to gaze toward the lens…To break the camera face, I have different strategies. I count, make comments, make the subject blink while exposing each eye, and so on. The information is accumulated sequentially on one sheet of film. Just as a movie unfolds in real time, so I build the image by exposing one part of the person after another with my tiny light. If I add more light, it emphasizes that body part; conversely, not enough light and that area never becomes visible. I expose the parts of the body in the same sequence in order to exaggerate the differences between each person’s performance. I photograph the head, then move down the right side, then up the left side. In all of the portraits there is an interesting shift in the gaze, from the right eye to the left eye. This is a result of the long interval between exposing the two eyes. What happens during the session remains private, an intimate act between me and the subject. There is an enormous amount of information collected during the session, both emotional and physical…accumulation of all this information is impossible to interpret simply or decisively.”
CASE ONE : NAYLAND, 2004, pigmented ink on canvas
CASE TWO: LAURA, 2002, pigmented ink on canvas
56.75 x 26.75 inches
All works courtesy of the Artist
Curated by Lisa A. Banner
6 July to 13 September 2015
COWBOY COUNTRY: Photographs of Wyoming
Roberto Sandoval’s silver gelatin print photographs were shot over a ten year period, to reflect the ranching life of Wyoming cowboys. Less populous than any other of the fifty states, Wyoming is a land of high plains and extensive cattle ranches, fringed with mountains. With a wide and low horizon and high stone mesas among the features that Sandoval has captured in these black and white photographs, he documents the expansive West in the late twentieth century. Horses and cowboys, when seen, dominate the rolling landscape of open grazing and grassland, sparse treelines and rugged peaks that characterize this wild open range and give it a mythic quality. Read more >
Display Cases Exhibition ArchiveWalter Martin and Paloma Muñoz
1 June to 30 June 2015
Entomological boxes by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz contain a selection of composed butterflies and moths, assembled from the wings of Lepidoptera gathered from all over the world, and joined to tiny human bodies. In nature, the role of these flying insects is pollination, gathering a dusting of pollen along their legs, and carrying it from one plant to another. Delicate color and dramatic markings attract mates, and allow Lepidoptera to dissemble in the presence of predators. Martin and Muñoz cross-pollinated human with Lepidoptera fusing them into new forms. Read more >
1 May to 31 May 2015
LA 24 ORE: COURT OF MEMORY
The Italian “24 Ore” (literally, “24 hours”) is a leather briefcase designed to hold only a day’s essentials. Kikki Ghezzi has created three 24 Ore containing photogravure images of her childhood home, images taken when the home had stood silent for five years after the death of her father, and shortly before it was to be emptied completely. Three distinct cases represent stages in a journey of remembrance: preservation of memory, grief, and ultimately, personal transformation. The 24 Ore embody the process of memory itself, its limitations and demands for selection and compression: a house must become a small, portable case; years passed within its walls must become only moments of in-ward reflection. Read more >
March 21, 2015 - April 30, 2015
Benjamin Cottam’s drawings have the vaporous quality of plumes of smoke, captured against a fine and delicate azure sky. Using techniques favored by many artists of the 18th century, Cottam excerpts images taken from the headlines or news snippets, and converts them into riveting and intense studies. Delicately rendered in white crayon against a blue page, they are silky threads of memory. Recording moments of journalism, depicting pieces of people, bodies, and the residual effects of mindless, senseless killing, Cottam draws what is reported on the news. Read more >
February 14th, 2015 - March 21st, 2015
DIRTY WORDS: LOVE LETTERS
When William Hempel returned to New York after seven years living abroad, he was struck by the casual and constant use of insults. This series of paintings emerged from his experience of language, and its permutations, as the artist experienced harsh words in common parlance, called out loud on streets among friends and strangers every day in public and private in the City.
Each small painting has the same dimensions. The panel depths vary, implying the hurt of the words, how deeply they penetrate as they are uttered. Contained on the handcrafted wooden panel is a single word, appearing in the top register of a two-color field, lovingly painted with stencil. Read more >
January 7th, 2015 - February 13th, 2015
LUCIFER’S KISS: Photograms by TR ERICSSON
Lucifer was the Latin name given to the brightest star in the ancient Roman sky, the light we now identify with the planet Venus. The first light in the night sky, it is often seen low on the horizon just after sunset. Ericsson plays with the subsequent interpretation of Lucifer as the favored angel who falls from grace, becoming identified with forces of darkness. In these photograms, Lucifer brings light to the paper, revealing a woman’s form, fashioning her contours against glossy black.
Playing with light and dark, edges and shadows, Ericsson manipulates both muse and medium to create a sensuous and luminous image. Read more >
October 6th, 2014 - January 6th, 2015
EPHEMERAL PIGMENTS: Polaroids by Beatrice Pediconi
Beatrice Pediconi's Ephemeral Pigments is a series of polaroids of paintings on water, documenting her spirit moving over the liquid tableau. Using a different medium each time, sometimes paint, sometimes egg, sometimes pigment and oils, she circulates images into a basin of water, dropping viscous liquids into a receptive tray filled with water, coloring the movement and ripples on the surface, with these intense and delicious substances. At times they are suspended like a meniscus on the surface, at times they form shapes, and then dissolve, trailing tails behind.
The movement of the artist's hand over the water, her gesture, is recorded in the three poetic series of polaroids. Read more >
August 8th - October 6th, 2014
NORWAY: Small works on Paper
Michael Kirk's intimate pastels and watercolors were made on trips he took to Norway. Tender reflections of majestic landscapes, made on site as he traveled through Norway's fjords and mountains, many of the small works later inspired larger paintings and drawings when he returned to his studio. They convey his immediate responses to Norwegian landscape. His own words describe his impressions:
1991. Lofoten, an archipelago within the Artic Circle, mountainous islands reach out into the Norwegian Sea. In late May the “midnight sun” floats along the horizon. Dusk becomes dawn; one day runs into the next. I was working with pastels using my fingers to grind pigment into pigment. This physical act extends my being directly into the paper. The work is not driven by conscious thought, rather by a series of sensations and the rhythm of my hands responding to the moment. Read more >
June 20th to August 8th, 2014
DREAMSEQUENCE FILM STILLS
As a photographer and a filmmaker, Dean Dempsey plays with questions of identity by masking his figures, removing them from our gaze with layers and adornment, or by placing them into carefully arranged tableaus that reveal a multiplicity of meanings.
In his film Dreamsequence, women are posed in diferent rooms that suggest a dramatic stage set. One kneels on the floor in an empty room filling with balloons that drop randomly from the ceiling, and later sits in a chair, lifting her face to a shower of golden glitter raining down upon her skin. The other perches on a chair in a bay window, naked except for the paint on her face, and the tulle enveloping her lower limbs. She moves without speaking, holding a bird in a cage. In the close ups of their faces shown here, they appear as though they are remembered from a dream. Read more >
May 4, 2014 - June 16, 2014
HUNTED: Gouache Drawings by Eliana Pérez
Domestic intranquilities form the subjects of this series of gouache drawings by Colombian artist Eliana Pérez, executed as a continuous numbered series with point of brush on deckled edge paper. Animals inhabit an interior and domestic landscape, coming to life and interacting with their environment. A group of branches in a vase waves cautiously as if bent by wind toward an unseen place, breaking into pieces and wispy fragments for no apparent reason. A slipcover begins to growl as if ready for attack. A hidden dragon slithers to life in the folds of a drapery, leaving fire in its wake. An archer shoots at a trophy stag from the comfort of his decorative pose on an ovoid telephone table. A flock of birds twitter against the back of a sofa. A living room is submerged in standing water, colorless, and linear. A blue mattress, its coils exposed, floats away on an ocean of coiled lines. The images form a personal narrative of disquiet. Read more >
March 24, 2014 - May 3, 2014
WOLF: Constructions in Wood and Mirror by Jongil Ma
Jongil Ma is intrigued by the delicate social relationships between friends and inside social groups. As an immigrant to the United States from Korea in 1996, his continued fascination with these interactions has led him to create an art practice that embraces sculpture and installation to create interactive spaces. Working in both large-scale monumental sculpture and intimate conceptual pieces, he brings sensitivity and power to his work. Because he wants to break through the confining divisions between audience and artist, he asks a wide range of participants to bring their own concerns to transform his pieces. Read more >
February 1, 2014 - March 17, 2014
Horses are powerful, atavistic creatures, symbols of freedom, speed, and sensitive response. This exhibition of horse drawings spans two important dates connected to the imagery of Irish painter Timothy Hawkesworth: 1 February 2014 marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse, the seventh sign of the Chinese zodiac and an auspicious year recognizing the power and primal nature of the horse. The end date of the exhibition, 17 March marks Saint Patrick’s Day, named for the patron saint of Ireland, where Timothy Hawkesworth grew up on a farm and began his relationship with horses.
Hawkesworth’s horses are energetic and rapidly drawn with graphite over wax and paint on paper, moving from right to left, galloping, rearing, and walking with heads bowed, raised or thrown back in restless movement. Evoking the animal nature with figurative representations, like Susan Rothenberg’s horses from the 1970s, Hawkesworth infuses a personal vision in these drawings, and taps into a source of infinite fascination: domesticated animals that retain a wild and untamed spirit. Read more >
November, 2013- January 17th, 2014
Alabaster and Albacore
Christopher Smith's Alabaster and Albacore is a series of lush and velvety photographic prints, showing proposed video installations in the interiors of recognizable landmarks and public spaces, including the James B. Duke House. In this body of work Smith engages themes of transience and permanence, movement and color, nature and displacement.
Taking elements of color and bubbles from his ongoing "Painter Project," Smith transforms them, draping them over the railings of staircases, suspending them from the skylights and floating them across the floor toward the viewer. Using techniques attuned classic films like as director Carol Reed’s “Odd Man Out (1947, Two Cities film), Jean-Luc Godard’s “Two or Three Things I Know About Her,” (1967, Argos Films), or Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic, “Taxi Driver,” Smith hones in on the bubbles floating in front of the camera as visual metaphors for the transience of life, the fragility of the moment. Read more >
September 15th - October 31st
Flowers of the Sky
Flowers of the Sky is a series of life-size botanical paintings on the folios of an 18th century astronomy text, dismantled and then reassembled into an accordion-fold artist book. The transformation of the text of James Ferguson's Astronomy Explained upon Sir Isaac Newton’s Principles (1799) began in response to a Victorian astronomy book entitled Flowers of the Sky in the archive of the John Work Garrett Library at Johns Hopkins University.
As the artist describes, the fluid yet tenuous painting on the book pages is analogous to a fragile web or distant constellation. For Smith, flowers are symbols of our selves and of nature, as well as a metaphor for the machinations of the universe. Implicitly, book folios serve as multivalent supports for the painted leaves and flowers that adorn them with color and design imposed over printed words. Read more >
Display Cases Artists in the News
TR Ericsson is featured in the Huffington Post. "The 21 Art Exhibitions You'll Be Talking Bout This Year" looks forward to Ericsson's upcoming show at the Cleveland Art Museum.
Beatrice Pediconi exhibition on view at the Maison Particulière in Brussels.