“Floating Blue” photographs by Thomas Pickarski

June 12 – August 2, 2019

Floating Blue
Having spent the last 10 summers traveling through arctic regions, Pickarski discovered a deep love for the eternal beauty of icebergs. He finds them to appear sculpturally magnificent, as if crafted in a way that seems too perfect for this world. In this series of photographs, he aims to portray both the ethereal beauty of icebergs, as well as the otherworldliness of the landscapes in which they exist.

“Shelter” photographic installation by Andy Mattern

February 18 – March 21, 2019

Shelter is a project visualizing time spent underground in Oklahoma storm cellars. These cool, dim spaces are both havens and tombs.  Mattern uses the cellar as a life -size camera with the air vent as the lens.  The result is an abstract arrangement of celestial circular forms mimicking these cellars that punctuate the landscape of the mid-west.

Andy Mattern is represented by Elizabeth Houston Gallery, New York

“Variations on a Theme” sculpture and cyanotypes by Heather Beardsley

December 17, 2018 through February 7, 2019

Artist Talk/Reception: Thursday, Jan 17, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Variations on a Theme draws inspiration from Ernst Haeckel and Anna Atkins, image-makers that blurred the lines between art and science.  By imitating the style of high-tech visualizations like spectrographs and 3D printing through low-tech craft media like modeling clay and cyanotype, this work calls into question of authenticity and legitimacy in scientific representation.

“Sophisticated Chaos” watercolors by Ken Karlic

November 5 – December 7, 2018
Artist Talk:  November 15, 11:30am – 12:30pm
Reception: TBD

SOPHISTICATED CHAOS

Inspired by scenes of complex forms, this exhibition of large-scale watercolor paintings uses structures as a vehicle to explore the physicality of material, technique and subject. Pushing the boundaries of watercolor, these works engulf the viewer not only in their size and scale, but in their merger of art, design and architecture which dissolve into varying levels of abstraction. The painting approach is as much a part of the work as the subject—with marks, drips and splatters all becoming part of the final piece. The results are images that are bold yet beautiful, muscular yet elegant, suggestive and evocative.

“Spirit of the Day” sumi ink paintings by Nishiki Sugawara-Beda

October 1 – 27, 2018
Artist Talk/Reception: Thursday, October 11, 11:30am-12:30pm

Spirit of the Day

 Spirit of the Day offers viewers an essential yet often forgotten engagement—a deeper connection with their own spirit in the contemporary busy society. The paintings present a moment of this spiritual engagement through mindfully cultivated marks on the surface. Sumi-ink brings out subtle and nuanced shifts in values and highlights a myriad of layers so that viewers may lost in them and find the core of humanity.

“Z” ambrotypes by Rowan Renee

August 20 – September 20, 2018
Artist Talk: September 20, 11:30am – 12:30pm
ALL ARE WELCOME!

Z is a collection of nude ambrotype portraits working with transgender, cisgender, and a spectrum of genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals. Through Z, I aim to deconstruct conventions of the nude body towards more diverse representations. The title of the collection refers to a proposed gender neutral pronoun.

Each image records a collaborative dialogue between model and photographer that develops over the course of a shoot. These conversations consider the power dynamics of the photographic gaze, the ambiguities of gender performance and embodiment, and the complex intersection of vulnerability and empowerment that arise when one’s body is read as “queer”. Through these portraits I cultivate a connection between subject and viewer that transcends the normative categories of “man” and “woman”, leaving space for the nuances of personhood that remain when these categories dissolve.

I use the 19th century Wet-Plate Collodion process with contemporary subjects as a revision to historic representations of gender non-conforming people. Gender variance has always existed, but Victorian photographers routinely medicalized and pathologized their images, perpetuating a visual violence that fragments, dehumanizes and fetishizes queer bodies. The images in Z are conceived as reparative acts,  superimposing new imagery into the gaps left by history.

The timeliness of transgender visibility in mainstream media makes Z an urgent body of work to reach a wider audience. Recent federal legislation limiting transgender Military service, and discriminatory bathroom bills passed in several cities and states, have highlighted the need for further social and legislative change to achieve full inclusion and equality. Towards this goal I channel a photographic process that creates intimacy; a powerful tool to advance a worldview that is open, malleable and accepting of diversity.

ARTIST INFO:

Name: Rowan Renee

Preferred Pronouns: They/Them

Website: http://rowanrenee.com

Instagram: @brooklyntintype

Artist Bio: Rowan Renee is a genderqueer artist whose work explores themes of gender and power. Renee has received awards from The Aaron Siskind Foundation, The Rema Hort Mann Foundation and The Anchorage Museum of Art. Previous solo exhibitions include “Z” at Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation (2015) and “Bodies of Wood” (2017) at The Aperture Foundation. They have received fellowships from The Jerome Foundation, the McColl Center for Visual Art and the Ossian Arts Fellowship at the Jain Family Institute. They have been profiled on NPR, in The New York Times, VICE, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, American Photo Magazine and Guernica, among many other publications. They are currently living between Brooklyn, New York and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

“Easton Nights” photography by Peter Ydeen

August 20 – September 25, 2018

Artist Talk/Reception: September 25, 11:30am – 12:30pm
ALL ARE WELCOME

This piece, “I Want a Yellow House with a White Picket Fence” reflects on the American dream. This environment creates a type of mystical realism, similar to the environment pictured in the pieces by Charles Burchfield. Burchfield painted many townscapes, and nature scenes inspiring Ydeen. Within Ydeen’s pieces, there are not many people pictured, and he tries to focus on lighting and architectural design. So many people desire a home with a white picket fence, this abandoned looking town shows a broken idea. The light coming from the bedroom window is the only sign of life emitted from the piece. The nighttime scene isolates a specific vignette, and creates something that you could not get from daytime photography.

Peter Ydeen moved to Easton based on recommendations from a client. Although this is a medium sized city, Easton is between the major cities of New York City and Philadelphia. When he arrived into the city, Ydeen believed that the city had a sort of dislike towards humankind and avoided society in general. It seemed to be almost lost in time, and only related with the people nearby. After living in the town for a while, he realized that was not the truth. Rather, he believes that the town has a strong influence of Americana. These influences play through in many aspects of the town. From local businesses displaying American flags in their windows to the rebirth and repurpose of old town buildings. Although the commonality of Americana today is dwindling, it has become an important part of Ydeen’s work. Through his photographed materials, he created place that makes you feel you have visited this classic small town on the outskirts of two large cities. Ydeen accomplishes this by paying close attention to the lighting, and architectural layouts of Easton. The idea of taking the photos at night shows to be important in isolating the personal private spaces, and showing the importance of spatial lighting.

~ Gabriella Youshock, Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

“Hair Pieces” photography by Rebecca Drolen

 

Rebecca’s Artist Talk 3/1/18

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“Shearing” 30 x 30″

In her explorative Hair Pieces, photographer Rebecca Drolen calls us to consider the place of beauty, of standards, of hair within the context of our society. Through self-portraiture Drolen captures a dynamic collection of images that focus on the roles we place on hair. Her approach is both surreal and tongue-in-cheek. “The imagery and symbolism of hair as strength (mythologically) or beauty and sexuality in contemporary culture, seemed to be such a fruitful territory to spend time making within,” Drolen explains.

Hair Pieces considers the juxtaposition of body hair, the desirable and the disgraceful. In a much broader sense it offers a social critique of identity and self-image in a contemporary context.

One of the collection’s photographs, “Longer Lashes,” Drolen crosses humor with horror; her jarring, hyperbolic response to the question of when unrealistic feminine standards turn sour.  “The theme that I am most interested in is that we have so many double standards for hair,” says Drolen. “We cultivate and embrace hair in some areas of our bodies (indeed we sometimes feel like we cannot have enough), while we compulsively remove and hide that we have hair on other parts of our bodies.  We enter cycles of growth and removal that seem to be a shared exercise in frustration and futility – it keeps growing back.”

Hair Pieces probes the questions of that tension from a fresh and unyielding perspective. A comprehensive meditation, the collection is Drolen’s first major work in her post-graduate career.

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“Toe Hair” mixed media 1.5″ x 1.5″

The collection Hair Pieces in on view in conjunction with the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) National conference, held in Philadelphia this year, March 1-4. The SPE is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote a larger, more comprehensive understanding of the medium public programs and service.

~ Nick Crouse ‘19
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant

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“Haircut” 30 x 90″

 

Andrew Cornell Robinson “Wishful Thinking”

ARTIST TALK CANCELLED
Unfortunately, because of the Eagles SuperBowl parade, the University is suspending operations on 2/8 and we are not able to reschedule the artist talk.

Artist Talk:  Thursday, February 8, 2018 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in the gallery.
All are welcome!

Wishful Thinking

In Wishful Thinking Andrew Cornell Robinson explores how humans create meaning. These works, primarily ceramics and photography, defy traditional ideas of what objects of worship should look like, while upholding their original function.

Living and working in New York City at the time of the 9/11 terrorism attacks, Robinson took particular notice of the way the people of Manhattan mourned their dead. Specifically, Robinson fondly recalls witnessing sanitation workers fiddling with some flowers, candles, and missing persons posters placed along a bridge. A concerned woman asked if the men were taking down the objects, then realized they were covering them with plastic to protect them. This exchange was proof that the small shrines erected in memory of the victims were important to not only the people who put them there, but to the entire community. This poses the question: how do people create meaning from objects?

In answering this question Robinson also looks back to his childhood in New Jersey, where his grandparents housed “curiosity cabinets” from which he could choose an object and hear a fantastic story of its origin. His grandparents invented these stories, but they were meaningful to young Robinson nonetheless.

These moments of personal history expanded to community and then world history for the artist, prompting him to ask Who and what is worshipped in the rest of the world? One of the artist’s reasons for creating these works was to explore who is glorified and who is forgotten, and why.  For example, the main inspirations for Rebel Heart is the story of the Death of the Marat. When Jean-Paul Marat was fatally stabbed by Charlotte Corday in 1793, he became one of the most powerful martyrs of the French Revolution. After his death, Marat’s organs were removed and placed in elaborate reliquary jars for worship after his murder.

The goal of these works is to prompt viewers to question what we worship, and, more importantly, how we worship. In speaking about this exhibition, Robinson described it as “kind of a riff on altarpieces.” This series of modern shrines and reliquaries emphasize and redefine the physicality of worship.

~ Devon D’Andrea ‘20
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant


12 x 10 x 8″ slip cast porcelain

ARTIST STATEMENT

Andrew Cornell Robinson has developed an intuitive and socially engaged approach to the production of interdisciplinary art with a particular interest in bridging art, design and craft with design strategies and methodologies. Robinson creates ceramic, sculpture and mixed media objects and images with a rich attention to materiality. He begins most projects with research that is often historical in nature and driven by a fictionalized character derived from design personae; a methodology used by industrial designers. Leveraging this device enables him to reexamine memory through the production of images and artifacts that tell a revisionist history, examining coded languages and mistranslations. His recent work is often focused on the queer and peculiar within the context of forms that include reliquaries and memento mori artifacts. In carefully researching and creating rich narratives and personae represented by a network of images and objects, he aims to engage the ways we understand historical memory and our place in it.

Hidden narratives have always been important to Robinson.[*] Signs and symbols, colors and materials may all convey meaning from the spiritual to the profane. Robinson’s latest project translates his interest in revisionist histories and is partly a meditation upon the discord within American culture and politics. Expressed through a series of secular shrines, reliquaries, artifacts and images the project began with an examination and reinterpretation of the life and death of the French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat. When Charlotte Corday plunged her knife into the heart of Marat in July of 1793, she created one of the French Revolution’s most powerful martyr heroes. His body and memory were elevated into a ceremonial pantheon. His heart was removed and placed into a makeshift reliquary–a bejeweled urn that had once belonged to the deposed French monarchy. The reliquary served as a focal point for public ceremony and devotion. The cult of the Sacred Heart (Sacré-Coeur de Jean-Paul Marat) derived from Catholic rituals and idolization became a visual and formal sign that Robinson has abstracted and reinterpreted through a grotto like form in ceramic, glass and mixed media; as well as a series of shrine like tableau in a contemporary exploration of the memento mori. Translating stories through fragmentation and layering result in a collection of signs and artifacts that act like a rebus open to interpretation.

Born in Camden, NJ, he studied ceramics and sculpture prior to completing his MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he studied with Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, and worked with painter Frank Moore, et al. He received an Albee fellowship residency and was a visiting artist in Port Au Prince, Haiti and at the Agastya Foundation, in Bangalore, India. His work has been presented throughout the world with the Kustera Gallery, David & Schweitzer Contemporary, Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Christopher Stout Gallery, Baltimore Contemporary Museum, Bruce Museum, Ross Art Museum, and the United Kingdom Crafts Council. He lives and works in New York City and is a member of the faculty at Greenwich House Pottery and Parsons School of Design.

Robinson’s interest in hidden narratives and coded languages spans many topics that include cultural bias, the misinterpretation or obfuscation of culture and identity and simply mistranslation. For example, “Le Livre des Sauvages” in the Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal in Paris is of particular interest to him. The work was the subject of an 1860 study by Christian Abbe Em Domenech, a missionary to North America, who discovered a document covered in cryptic pictograms and glyphs, which he assumed was created by an indigenous person of the American plains. Domenech’s theory of its provenance has been in question by several German critics, who point out that many of the glyphs are characters comprising German words written in clumsy handwriting. Contemporary opinion of Le Livre Des Sauvages is that its bizarre pictures and odd text were merely the doodling of a German-speaking child living on the American plains.

Another example of a coded language that interests Robinson, is Polari, an innuendo fueled English slang language used primarily (although not exclusively) by gay men in the United Kingdom between the 1920’s and the 1970’s although it’s history and etymology can be traced further into the past. It fell out of use after the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967. This ‘lost language of gay men’ served simultaneously as disguise and identification, when mere existence in the United Kingdom and beyond was punishable with imprisonment and public disgrace. Polari was a form of resistance, a way of queering language, and the expression of a shared culture and identity. Transforming craft materials, artifacts and narratives by speaking through codes and abstraction underlines some of the themes within Robinson’s work.

12 x 10 x 8″ slip cast porcelain

“Urban Fabric” by artist Heidi Nam

Inspired by natural rock formations, grid patterns, and the constant evolution of urbanity, Heidi Nam’s collage and multi-media works explore the crossroad between the organic and the metropolitan. Nam’s enamorment of urban development is influenced by both personal and artistic experience, and it is reflected in both her work and her artistic process.

On a 2011 trip to her childhood home in Korea, Nam found the small village of her memory replaced by new development and modernity. Although in many cases the new had completely replaced the old, in some instances, new development was simply layered over the small village’s history. This melding of what was and what could be, paired with her fascination with scape, pattern, and repetition, serves as the fuel on the fire for Nam’s artistic experiment.

To create these pieces, Nam deconstructs her own silkscreen and woodblock prints, drawings, photos, and paintings, and reconstructs the fragments to form new, unique urban landscapes. This construction of the new from the old symbolizes the evolution of urban space. Nam’s multi-faceted work is layered with experience, depth, and variation.

– Devon D’Andrea
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant