Thursday, August 14, 2008

Liz Miller, Part Two

N. Painter

A little while ago, I wrote about the installation art of Liz Miller. I saw this work at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach.

Associate curator Natalie Bray was kind enough to take the time to provide an image of the installation, as there are limited images available on the institution's website.

Liz Miller
Self-Sustaining Debacle, 2008
Mixed media installation
Image courtesy of the artist and the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia

Check it out. And do yourself a favor- check out Liz Miller's website for more of her awesome work!

Thank you to Ms. Bray for providing ARTifice with this image!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Alum website: Jenny Walton

Jenny Walton's "Swift Flow" (used with artist's permission)

2007 alum Jenny Walton has had a busy summer, showing work in 1460 Wallmountables (on display until August 31st at the DC Arts Center), and exhibiting in "Meat After Meat Joy" at Pierre Menard Gallery.

Check out Jenny's blog and website to get up-to-date on her work and what she's been up to.

Also, don't forget about our sister site ARTifice Alum for more updates on AU alumni!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

ARTifice and friends at "Quart Bag," Civilian Art Projects

A few pics from the well-attended opening for "Quart Bag: A Community Art Show," at Civilian Art Projects: (all photos by n.p.)

"Quart Bag" featured a widely varied assortment of works from over 100 DC area artists. Works were displayed inside of quart-size plastic bags, and were priced at $50 or $100.

Recent AU alum Lauren Rice's "Seedling"

2008 alum Brian Barr's "Self-Portrait as a Tough Guy"

Bonner Sale's "a little longer" (current AU student)

Nikki Painter's "Optimist" (current AU student)

ARTifice friend Alex Ebstein's untitled drawing (Check out some more great images from the opening on Alex's blog There Were Ten Tigers.)

Rachel's "Girls Grow Up Faster"

Cara Ober's "Truth sounds like a pistol"

Megan Blafas's "Parts of a Whole"

Matthew Spahr's "Mr. Blake died in Wisconsin" (ARTifice does not know Matthew Spahr, but we thought this work was nice.)

To see even MORE images from the opening, check out artist Nikolas Schiller's blog, The Daily Render. Schiller also had work in "Quart Bag" (see previous "Quart Bag" post).

"Quart Bag" is on view at Civilian Art Projects until August 16th.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Quart Bag: A Community Art Show" at Civilian Art Projects

"Without You I Am Lost," by Nikolas Schiller

AU artists Bonner Sale and Nikki Painter will have work in "Quart Bag: A Community Art Show," opening Friday, August 8th at Civilian Art Projects.

Recent AU Alumni Brian Barr and Lauren Rice will also exhibit pieces in "Quart Bag."

AND Artifice blogger buddies Alex Ebstein of There Were Ten Tigers, Rachel Fick of ArtCade Forum, and Cara Ober of BMore Art will have work in the show.

Here's some more info:

QUART BAG: A Community Art Show at Civilian
August 8 - August 16, 2008
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, 8/08/08

Inspired by the many things you can do with a quart bag, Civilian Art Projects has invited 100 DC area artists to participate in a community art exhibition called Quart Bag. The exhibition provides an imaginative opportunity for artists to use thirty-two ounces of space within a plastic quart size bag. All works of art will be sold for $100 or less, providing an opportunity for all people to walk home with a piece of art that is FAA approved.

When: Friday, August 8, 2008 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
The exhibition will run from August 8 - 16, 2008.

APES/FIASCO - After the opening, head up to Comet Ping Pong for beer specials, pizza, ping pong and rock. 10pm. $10.

Comet: 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC

Partial List of Artists participating in QB:
Seth Adelsberger / Brigitte Anders-Kraus / Brian Barr/ Jon Bobby Benjamin / Matthew Best / Kristina Bilonick / John Bohl / Marissa Botelho / Martin Brief / Emily C-D / Colby Caldwell / Nick Carr / Page Carr / Erin Cluely / Cynthia Connolly / Patricia Correa / Dane Austin Criner / Caitlin Cunningham / Dmetrious / Mary Early / Alex Ebstein / Steven Eson / Briony Evans / Annie Ewaskio / Edward Fendley / Rachel Fick / Steve Frost / Scott Gursky / Paul Jeanes / Rebecca Juliette / Brook Halvorson / Elizabeth Huey / James Huckenpahler / Anamario Hernandez / Bridget Sue Lambert / Alberto Gaitan / Victoria Gaitan / Carlos Gomez / Jason Gubbiotti / Annie Gray / Adam Griffiths / Erick Jackson / Amanda Kleinman / JW Mahoney / Katherine Mann / Nathan Manuel / John Marra / Cara Ober / Ayo Okuseinde / Betsy Packard / Nikki Painter / Annie Peters / Dana Reifler-Amato / Ding Ren / Lauren Rice/ Bonner Sale / Sara Seidman / Emily Slaughter / Matt Spahr / Noelle Tan / Denise Tassin / Lisa Marie Thalhammer / Robert Tifford / Rene Trevino / Justin Tsucalas / Andrej Ujhazy / The Scott Twins

Friday, August 1, 2008

“Transformed” and “Self-Sustaining Debacle” at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia

By N. Painter

Rain Forest, 2007
8 toilet paper rolls
Courtesy of the artist and Josée Bienvenu Gallery
Image courtesy of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia

During a recent Virginia Beach vacation, I made my first ever visit to the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia. I had been aware of the CAC previously, but hadn’t made it over to that area. This time around, I was especially interested in the exhibitions featured on the institution’s website.

“Transformed” showcased the work of several artists with whom I was familiar, but whose work I had never viewed in person, and I was excited to see the work of Yuken Teruya up close. I was also looking forward to seeing work by Tara Donovan, due to her connections with my own alma mater.

Taken from the CAC’s site (in reference to the curation of works in the show):

“These materials are frequently relied upon for utilitarian purposes,” said CAC associate curator Natalie Bray. “The works in ‘Transformed’ investigate the physical potential of mundane and familiar items to become art objects that transcend their former roles in everyday life.”

Forest Cloud, 2007
15 toilet paper rolls
Courtesy of the artist and Josée Bienvenu Gallery
Image courtesy of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia

Teruya’s work did not disappoint, and I admired the delicacy of the pieces for some time. Another standout of the show was the work of Tim Devoe, who had deconstructed almost an entire wall of the gallery in order to draw attention to the wall as “art object.”

While “Transformed” had rounded up some memorable pieces, my experience of the show was nothing in comparison to artist Liz Miller’s installation, titled “Self-Sustaining Debacle.”

I really wish that I had images of this installation, as there are few on the CAC’s website, and I did not take photos.

Upon entering Miller’s installation, I caught my breath and was immediately immersed in the act of looking at this new environment composed of cut felt shapes. As I looked, few words came to mind, and I concentrated on color relationships and the way my eye moved from part to part of the installation. I noticed smaller groups of shapes which held my attention for a period of time, before my eye was moved onward by large blocks of color, or small, directional lines. I felt that I was witness to a happening, to some sort of alien environment, in which something unknown, yet familiar was leading me along.

In the group of people with whom I viewed the exhibits, the comment was made that “that looks kind of like a spaceship” (about one of the pieces of the installation). This comment snapped me out of my virtually wordless reverie, and I wondered aloud why viewers are compelled to label what they see. Despite a somewhat extended discussion of the question, no real answer was posed, and I continue to wonder…

Why do viewers label? Particularly in viewing non-objective and/or abstract art? Why must an artwork “remind us of” something? Are we so uncomfortable with a nonverbal experience? Is looking without words without value for the average viewer? (In the phrase “looking without words,” I am not implying that a viewer has no intelligent thoughts in relation to an artwork. I am talking about a viewer’s ability or decision to accept an image or object in its ambiguity without having to limit its possibilities by choosing for it a specific identity via assigning a “name.”)

I have my own ideas about these questions. In the meantime, check out Liz Miller’s website, because she makes (in my opinion) amazing art.

Both of these shows are on display at the CAC until September 28th.