Inspiration – Ian Shelly

Ian Shelly is a former student – and current friend – of mine. He teaches at Indiana University Southeast with his wife, the inimitable Natalie Shelly. They are awesome people and I’m so glad to know them.

Yesterday I drove out to St. Charles, MO to see Ian’s show at the Foundry Art Center there. It was great to see the continuity between his newer work and the thesis work he made here at Mizzou. Below are a few shots of the works installed at the Foundry. For best viewing check it out yourself! The Foundry is a very large space with tons of art and it’s situated in a beautiful waterfront area with lots of shops and parks. I think the space offered some really nice context for Ian’s work.

Title

A glorious homestead… I loved the overhead views that dominated this exhibition. Ian works to make the wall a ground plane and affords his viewers a God’s-eye perspective. This piece has a synergy with some of the not-so-intended intensities in Thomas Kinkade works…

Grazing

Orchestration of shadowspacestructure!

Pallet! The many miniature elements in this body of work are quite beautiful to investigate and serve to focus viewers on the deeper subtexts of Ian’s work. You can read a bit more on what he’s trying to do here and here.

Egress Solution!

Rooted – this piece was especially dynamic and evocative. The lighting and overall space around the piece was also powerful – a typical aspect of Ian’s work.

Archetypal… the shapes, forms, and the interactions of mass with shadow and light, as well as the dynamics between tension, balance, and stillness are all elements of Ian’s works that helps them access a sense of the archetypal. Go see the show to learn about titles for these works and to read Ian’s longer statement about the work. Seriously, you need to experience the light and space around each work to get a true feeling for what he’s accomplishing through his playful yet intensely felt art. Good stuff. Glad I got to see it.
The show is up until September 7th, so check the Foundry’s website to get directions and hours of operation. Go there!

PS: This isn’t the first time Ian’s inspired me… Click here.

Inspiration – Trudy Rogers Denham

I’ve worked with Trudy in some capacity for her entire graduate career – sometimes in classes, often just as a contributing committee member. It’s always wonderful to see an artist come into a graduate program and make huge changes while maintaining a core of truthfulness about who they are and what they want. Though I’ve seen Trudy’s work shift dramatically, there’s always been a knowing thread through it all. In the first class she took with me we were able to understand drawing itself as that propulsive linear element that moves within any work – whether it be performance, installation, or more traditional forms. I’m so impressed with Trudy’s work and proud to have been able to witness it.

Here are some installation shots from her thesis exhibition - Residuum - please come see it as soon as you can!

 

Wide view of the first room.

 

Wide view of the second room.

 

Professor Daniggelis engaging with the work.

The poetry of the chairs…

Inspiration: Sandra Ramos “The Mirror Poems”

Last week I was in Louisville, KY for my show at the 930 Art Center. While in town I took a drive to 21C, a contemporary art space situated in a posh hotel. 21C blew my mind, but there was one work in particular that I spent a good deal of time with: Sandra Ramos’ Unknown (The Mirror Poems – Toi Derricotte). The work, an installation of image and text on vinyl and using mirrors and inverted imagery, is very beautiful and evocative. Here are a few shots of the work in situ, but be sure to click the link above to learn more.

A few of my favorite lines:

“The eye in the mirror is the mirror of the eye.”

“If you ask it to show you the world it will show you the eye of your mother.”

If you get a chance to go to 21C, JUST GO DO IT.

Craft Studio Gallery Show, Presenting Context

I’ve got an installation up at the Craft Studio Gallery of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

I proposed the show and brought in the additional artists and their works. See below for more shots of the installations and to read our group statement. Be sure to click on each artist’s name to see more of their excellent work.

The Reception will take place February 19 at 4pm. Hope you can make it. Check back here soon for some details from the installed contexts.

Work and Installation of Context by Nathan Sullivan.

Work and Installation of Context by Derek Frankhouser.

Work and Installation of Context by Sloane Snure Paullus.

Work and Installation of Context by Catherine Armbrust.

Work and Installation of Context by Marcus Miers.

Presenting Context Group Statement

Artworks are almost always presented to viewers far removed from the circumstances of their creation. The inspirations, research, sources, methods, and background information that form the basis for all artworks are usually unavailable to the audience. This amounts to a veil of mystery surrounding the finished work, masking and focusing it. Artworks appear to have simply sprung fully formed into the world, though we know this to be false. This exhibition proposes to change that – at least in some small way – by displaying singular artworks in tandem with the ephemera that lead to their creation. Alongside completed works, artists will show some background to the art: inspiring data, evocative objects, images historical and pop cultural, as well as the more traditional sketches showing trial and error. Taken together, these artifacts will serve to illuminate the experiences artists go through to process their ideas and actions into finalized pieces of art.

Exhibiting Artists

Visiting Assistant Professors Matthew Ballou and Nathan Sullivan
MU Graduate students Catherine Armbrust and Sloane Snure Paullus
MU Undergraduate students Derek Frankhouser and Marcus Miers

A Note on Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy functions as an artist in a continuum of what I would call shamanistic principles: permeability, density, liminality, derivation, change, and transformation. That is, he manipulates and transforms the materials of the environment in some dynamic sympathy with them. This sympathetic approach is one that makes him keenly aware of his communication with and orientation toward the world. Because of this the work is in a very real sense suggested by the environment, the work’s parameters of possibility defined by the environment, and the artist’s intuitive making directed by the environment. There is very little “manhandling” going on here, very little ham-fisted, blundering action. His art is not an image of mankind dominating or playing flippantly with the world, but rather one of the sensitive investigator being moved forward by suggestions from within the investigated schema. His message is his articulation to the environment, not in some sort of neo-pagan hippy vagary, but in action, physical touch, biological aesthetics (i.e. basic 2D design and shape dynamics, which extends beyond the 2D into the 3D via his spatial and sensation-based investigations). The message isn’t linear like literacy or mathematics. It’s kinesthetic and alchemical. Zero irony, total being-ness. Awesome.

Get more info on Goldsworthy here and here.

The sketches I post here are ones I made during a visit I and my cousin Chris (a photographer) made to the Storm King Art Center in New York State to see Goldsworthy’s Storm King Wall. The trip was inspirational; I highly recommend making a stop at SKAC if you’re in the area.

Update (December 17, 2009): There’s a great piece on the ART21 Blog about Storm King that discusses the history of the place, how they think about acquiring/installing new work, and other interesting tidbits. Check it out.