Category: Exhibition

“The Prophet’s Library” by Wesley Clark

posted by – 06/16/17 @ 11:23am

Wesley Clark’s show “The Prophet’s Library” is deeply engrained with symbolism, metaphor, and his experience as an African American male in this country. He began this body of work by making a stream of consciousness list of words that came to him when he thought about his experience which culminated in “Table of Contents”. He created this list of words that now make up the top of the crossword before writing out the clues which allowed him to expand what could be a clue for each word. The words are also grouped together in order to create links and imagery that can be tracked throughout the rest of the show. He invites our imaginations to move piece to piece stitching together the narrative of this prophet. With the series of books that inspired the show title he presents the audience with four cases designed to hold books yet to be written. The exterior of each of these books has been carved, painted, and stained to be representative of the made up titles on the front. What is exciting about these titles, and subsequently these carvings, is that these can be seen as revisions of the current history or simply retellings of those narratives from perhaps a more accurate perspective. This is especially true with “Master Sowers” as it is analyzing the creation of civilization. One side contains an image of Lake Tana which is the source of the Nile river in Egypt which many can argue was the seedbed for civilization and technology as we know it. While the other side depicts two hands holding a mound of dirt with fists erupting from that dirt surrounded by a few symbols including an arrow and some stars. The idea behind this is that once you can defend yourself you can start to think about stars, science, etc. Another piece that spurs our imaginations is the “My Beautiful Black Unicorn(s)”. Which once agains plays with our imagination as well as historical references. Each horn is engraved with the name of slave revolt leaders including: Nat Turner, Denmark Vessey, and Toussaint L’Overture. In theory, these people are unicorns in that they should never have existed in the world in the role of revolutionist. Many people believe that the unicorn was the East Indian Rhino but through word of mouth that narrative was skewed leaving us with the mysterious unicorn we know today. This degradation of the truth can also be tracked onto the experience of the African American as they are often portrayed in the media in a negative light. Each piece in this show has layers and layers of meaning that require the viewer to approach the work with a willingness to spend time with the work. Time spent looking at this show is extremely rewarding as there are so many hidden gems of powerful text, image, or symbol that are lost with a superficial viewing. Wesley has created a show and a body of work that is imaginative, powerful, and truly meaningful within the social and political climate of today.

Artist Spotlight: Adam Shulman

posted by – 03/24/17 @ 2:56pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 2.53.35 PMAdam and Adama Shulman are fresh faces in fashion photography.  They live inspired lives, constantly creating photographic experiences that build upon their various cultural influences, having lived in New York City, West Africa, and the Middle East.

Adam Shulman is a self taught photographer specializing in both digital and medium format film. He has photographed everything from Arizona landscapes to fashion photography. His Senegalese wife, Adama, is a makeup artist, stylist, and model.  She has worked in Africa, Paris, and New York City, and acquired a background in editorial fashion.

Adam Shulman was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He is a board-certified medical physicist as well as a medical philanthropist, receiving his education at Vanderbilt University.  He has spent years working in and out of Africa training local doctors on modern cancer treatments as well as donating medical equipment. Living in Dakar, Senegal with his wife, Adam spent his time training medical staff, and just recently completed a year of medical training in Accra, Ghana. He has been immersed in African culture for nearly a decade, which serves as inspiration for his most recent body of work: Gold of Africa.

The title of the exhibition, Gold of Africa, equates Africa’s inhabitants to precious, stunning Gold. Shot with 6×7 film on a Mamiya RZ67 manual camera, African bodies are covered in gold, cracked earth, and bared in front of a dark background, creating narratives of overwhelming power and beauty.

Adam spent over a year working on this series, and in doing so, he managed to “capture the mass of an entire continent behind his models eyes or under the contours of each muscle and shadow.” The gold serves as a means of suffocation at times, yet also serves as an extension of each model’s body and soul.

screen_shot_2017-02-03_at_2.19.53_pm-791x730

http://adamaphotographynyc.com

Forbidden Fruit: Cuba’s Booming Art Industry

posted by – 07/22/15 @ 4:40pm

With the restoration of U.S.- Cuban relations this year, many aficionados of the art world are predicting a rise in sales of Cuban art. U.S. collectors were already able to purchase Cuban artwork due to a loophole in the trade embargo allowing for the purchase of cultural assets. However, the Havana Biennial in May was a major destination for American collectors, and a 2014 Wall Street Journal piece predicts an increased interest in the country’s artwork as it becomes easier for Americans to travel there and discover new artists.

El Caiman by José Betancourt

El Caiman // José Betancourt

The unique situation faced by Cuban artists – isolation, lack of supplies – lends itself to an art scene unlike any other. Many Cuban artists incorporate found objects and weathered materials into their work. Artists such as Los Carpinteros deal with social issues facing Cubans today. Increased accessibility to the nation will provide an unprecedented look into the work of talented, previously undiscovered artists.

Sea Escape // José Betancourt

In his upcoming exhibition at Tinney, Cuban-born artist José Betancourt explores his own relationship with his native country, which he left in 1971 at a young age. Cuba: Reconstructing Memories presents a series of altered photographs inspired by Betancourt’s memories of his childhood and provides a fascinating glimpse into his relationship with his past.

 

Discovering Jaq Belcher’s “Hidden Light”

posted by – 03/11/15 @ 4:35pm

Jaq Belcher’s newest exhibition Hidden Light is her second solo exhibition in the gallery, her first since 2011. Perhaps it is thousands of tiny shadows cast on the paper that create this “hidden light” referred to in the show’s title. Maybe, though, it refers to the contemplative nature of these meticulously hand-cut works. Jaq Belcher’s works “testify to the idea of ‘being’ in the moment, the idea of staying in the ‘now’, the ‘present.” Inspired by esoteric philosophy and the notion of converging ideas, these works beg the viewer to invest a patience and mental energy when viewing the work. At times, the dizzying array of cuts can seem overwhelming; an arrangement of shapes in all directions. After a time, though, they unite to form singular images characterized by the delicate play of light and shadow, and positive and negative space. It is in this moment, when the shapes converge into a whole, that this “hidden light” is revealed. The light might be embodied by an idea, a realization, or maybe the enlightenment or serenity that these works seem to bring those who stand before them.

Belcher’s framed works rest in delicate balance between two and three-dimensions. Though they are cut from a single sheet of paper, the raised pieces lend a dimensionality that is both physical and visual. Her installation piece, titled Lunar Codex, is a true three-dimensional work and was perhaps the most entrancing of any of the works on display during the First Saturday Art Crawl. The striking balance of light and shadow comes alive in the installation. Bringing elements of the physical space together through an arrangement of 70,000 of her cut paper “seeds” on the floor and a mesmerizing rectangular prism suspended from the ceiling, Belcher gives life to the “hidden light” she wants the viewer to find in her pieces through this work. It seems that these works are present with the viewer, engaging in a dialogue that evokes a sense of serene contemplation; a contemplation that is certain to yield rewards of discovery, in the work as well as for the self.

"Lunar Codex" installation at the March Art Crawl

 

“State of the Art” Addressed

posted by – 01/30/15 @ 4:57pm

As a Northwest Arkansas native, I can’t help but to share the love I have for the Natural State. Crystal Bridges Museum, Alice Walton’s controversial new mecca of American art, is located in the retail dynasty’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. During my last visit home, I made the short drive to the museum to see their latest exhibition, State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. This particular show had created quite the buzz for Crystal Bridges around the country, certainly the most notable since they opened doors for the first time in 2011. The show sought to display the landscape of American contemporary art. This included works from over one hundred artists, from all four corners of the country. The jurors made a point to discover those artists whose work had “not yet been fully recognized on a national level” (http://crystalbridges.org/). It seemed that nearly everyone I spoke to in Nashville had heard of the show, and had already formulated their opinions based on the venue.

Ialu wood, steel, plastic and electric motor 57 in. x 78 in. x 108 in. 2011, John Douglas Powers

Video of \”Ialu\”

As I coasted down the scenic drive leading to the museum entrance, I was eager to make my own evaluation. Once I had inhaled the natural beauty of the Crystal Bridges campus, a delightful patch of Ozark forest a world apart from Manhattan, I entered the State of the Art exhibition area with high expectations. Immediately I realized that this collection of works was in a separate sphere altogether from the collection of 18th century portraits and busts in the hall adjacent it. I entered the show through a hallway cloaked in a crocheted installation piece by artist Jeila Gueramian. The womb of thread evoked a sense of childish wonder, and marked the entrance into the space much like the rabbit-hole into Alice’s Wonderland. Soon I heard the dull screech of John Douglas Powers’ Ialu that was all-too-familiar. I had seen a piece by the same artist that was displayed during a recent show in Vanderbilt University’s Space 204 gallery, the alma mater of the now Knoxville-based artist. It was easy to become entranced by the mechanized structure subtly swaying to and fro in front of projected video. The hypnosis I was afflicted with while looking at that piece lasted throughout the show. Whether it was the wall-sized quilt of artist Gina Phillips or the patiently rendered carbon pencil drawings of Adonna Khare, beautiful digitally recorded video or old-master style painting, the work begged the viewer to stay and marvel at the devotion to quality these artists displayed in their work. It wasn’t about shock-value for these artists; it was about the intense dedication of time that many of these artists had poured into it. Along with Powers, the Nashville connections continued as the Tinney Contemporary’s very own Pam Longobardi displayed her meditative three-dimensional works of reclaimed ocean refuse and mesmerizing paintings. Longobardi was also selected to give an artist lecture during the exhibition. Continuing through the show, I began to make note of the value of craftsmanship the curators had shown in their selections. Some pieces bordered on neuroticism, but the effect on the viewer was one of powerful appreciation. After hours in the space, I found myself wishing for more time to stand among these works.

Pam Langobardi 

"Ghosts of Consumption/Archaeology of Culture (for Piet M.)"

 

"Ghosts of Consumption/Archaeology of Culture (for Piet M.)" found ocean plastic,steel pins 110" x 75" x 5"

 

As I pulled away from the museum, I struggled to concentrate my thoughts on any one particular piece. The show had ripped open the curtains of the contemporary art scene for this young art student. I think that the state of art, not the art market, was on full display at Crystal Bridges. It was interesting to me that such an expansive view of the art landscape would find itself nestled in my small corner of the state. However, it may rather be even more fitting that this work from artists who live and work out of the spotlight was displayed in a place nearly as inconspicuous as they are. Perhaps we should take note of the wonderful things going on in not-so-obvious places.

 

Carla Ciuffo’s Stasis: Heavenly Bodies

posted by – 01/05/15 @ 6:25pm

There is an air of mystery in the captivating pieces currently hanging in Tinney Contemporary. We were lucky enough to learn more about Stasis: Heavenly Bodies from an exclusive Q & A interview with the artist, Carla Ciuffo.

 

Part of the mystery in Ciuffo’s work possibly comes from the medium she used to print her images on.


M: You’ve worked with printing your images on many different surfaces, why did you find printing Heavenly Bodies on acrylic to be the best medium?

C: I really wanted to enhance the negative space in the images – so the art wouldn’t be confined. I also wanted to “project” them as far as I could without using traditional 3D methods. The acrylic creates depth, and expands the negative space. It’s clean, minimal, and allows the images to “float” a bit away from a wall.

 

Texts also heavily influenced the elements that work through her pieces.


M: As many of your works involve lyrical imagery, what narrative pieces inspire you the most? Are there particularly poets, authors, or playwrights that you found especially stirring in relation to Heavenly Bodies?

C: Perhaps. I am a voracious reader. Non-worldly stories influence me. Neil Gaiman, a favorite. There was also one book I was reading when I began working on Stasis, The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry:

“There is lace in every living thing: the bare branches of winter, the patterns of clouds, the surface of water as it ripples in the breeze…. Even a wild dog’s matted fur shows a lacy pattern if you look at it closely enough.” ― Brunonia Barry, The Lace Reader

“I’ll pit my God against your god any day, I say to the Calvinists. It’s not their god I’m praying to…. The God I’m praying to is neither male nor female. My God is the one who exists apart from all of men’s agendas, the God who takes you away when there is no possible place you can go.” ― Brunonia Barry, The Lace Reader

 

The illustrative manner of this body of works is evident throughout the collection and many of Ciuffo’s other works. However, Stasis appears more monochromatic in comparison to Ciuffo’s more colorful bodies of work such as Thrill, Pandora’s Box, and, Cloud 9.


M: How was creating Heavenly Bodies different and/or similar from past works?

C: When I began working on Stasis, it became an exercise in restraint. I began stripping away color. I was searching for the essence of an emotion – the emotion that was driving the work. Stasis became a neutral, non-judgmental place of refuge. A place with infinite possibilities but remaining an “in between” space. I like to call the series “life in between”.

…The most difficult work, for me, is paring it down to its simplest form. That’s Stasis.

 

Though Ciuffo worked to construct an image in its simplest form, she doesn’t necessarily expect everyone to experience the same feelings from viewing it.

 

M: What would you like for viewers to collectively feel and take from Heavenly Bodies?

C: That is entirely up to the viewer. I’ve enjoyed people sharing their viewing experiences with me – and they are all different. One common collective emotion that people seem to feel is a calming feeling. But – with a dash of uncertainty.

 

The artist uniquely defined Stasis: Heavenly Bodies for us, the way she herself views the collection.

 

M: How would you best describe Heavenly Bodies in your own words?

C: Finding positive in a negative space. A moment of total and absolute stillness in a non-judgmental atmosphere. A refuge of sorts before taking the inevitable next steps back into life.

 

And we have much to look forward to from Ciuffo…

 

M: Finally, are there any new projects that you are currently working on? If so, do you feel comfortable sharing with us any details about them?

C: I am working on a new collaboration for a much larger installation. It would bring “Stasis” to life. The images are of tiny, mostly androgynous pod people – that reside in a garden. Let’s just say those are the “seeds” of the project

 

 

 

 

Mary Addison Hackett

posted by – 08/16/13 @ 2:36pm

As a part of our show with Stefany Hemming, we also will be having artist Mary Addison Hackett in the back gallery with the latest works from her series Shell Game. On her website she writes:

In Shell Game, I revisit my relationship with abstraction by incorporating invented flora, patterns lifted from family heirlooms, and carefully constructed layers that shift slightly in color when viewed from different angles. Before studio hours, I had a meditation practice. During studio hours I listened to mashups. In between, I walked the dog and did housework; saw a movie or read a book; took a motorcycle ride and did some yoga or ran. There were a few storms. Trees went down. On and on.

Her colorful and whimsical  paintings are a beautiful addition to our gallery and a nice continuation of Patricia Bellan-Gillen’s brightly colored affect on Tinney’s space. To read an old  interview with Mary Addison Hackett where she discusses her inspirations and her processes done by Studio Critical, you can go here.

 

Wanderlust

posted by – 07/23/13 @ 3:44pm

 

 

Wanderlust: |ˈwändərˌləst| noun, a strong desire to travel.

The term bonds Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s “Disorderly Notions” to the upcoming fashion seen in fall 2013 collections. Designers and our featured artist use hues of magenta and aqua to carry us into the fall, not letting us forget the majestic shades that summer leaves behind. The upcoming season also holds onto patterns of rich flora, much like the captivating environment Patricia Bellan- Gillen presents in her over-life-size pieces. The spirit of travel along with the ability to recall a memorable place are crucial to Bellan- Gillen’s show. Wanderlust inspires an affection to continually move. However, with each journey, a time of recollection and an awareness to such memories allows each “wanderluster” to create their own ideas of what is before them. Wilderness and travel inspire fashion, much like Bellan- Gillen’s attraction to adventure and the great outdoors. This lifestyle trend combines modern functionality with traditional fashion styles.

 

“Somewhere in the Brain”

posted by – 07/16/13 @ 2:13pm

Artists, critics, curators, gallerists, auctioneers, and collectors analyze contemporary art to bring forth its relevance and expose its fundamental nature, such as the medium or symbolism. On the other hand, the general public’s reaction to contemporary art provides a socially conscious response that incorporates contemporaneity with time, place, and ethics. Both viewers engage, but which is the “right” way to perceive contemporary art?

Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s “Disorderly Notions,” on display now here at Tinney Contemporary, employs the art of perception itself. The artist relies on all viewers to narrate her works, pulling from their own anecdotal memories. I overheard many art crawlers at the July Art Crawl ask, “what does this mean?” or “why does she use this specific motif?” The analytical essay spelling out the symbolic truths and answering such fundamental questions does not exist in this case.

“Somewhere in the brain” begins the artist’s exhibition write-up, enhancing the elusive and ambiguous scenes. The scale of Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s work demands attention and her use of mixed media compliment the multi-layered function of her work.

I recently read, “Any art that relies on an essay to explain it is not art,” holding true to Patricia’s theory of thriving on the inexplicable, the intuitive, and the enigmatic. The artist calls welcomes such provocation and puzzlement, placing trust in the viewer to simply react. Therefore, it is fitting that “Disorderly Notions” will remain on display for the August Art Crawl, inviting all contemporaries to not ask, but tell.

Patricia Bellan-Gillen

posted by – 07/12/13 @ 1:14pm

Disorderly Notions
Patricia Bellan-Gillen
Tinney Contemporary, July 6-August 17

After years of studying cultural, dream, mythological and religious symbols, I am beginning to believe that the most important signs are the images that appear and keep pressing on one’s mind with no explanation—unexpected but oddly recognizable visions that flash across the brain when words and phrases like “doubt,” “reality TV,” “turn to salt” or “separation of church and state” are heard…or the nascent compositions that appear while revisiting the pages of vintage Mad Magazine or hearing the memorable Da-Da-DaDa-DaDa theme song from the Rocky and Bullwinkel Show.   Honoring these puzzling visages maps the direction that I have begun to follow. This new body of work combines ideas and imagery generated through study and research with ideas and imagery that are felt, intuitive and enigmatic.

The work also celebrates a return to the fundamental act of drawing.

I welcome provocation and puzzles. I would like my work to confront the viewer simultaneously with beauty and awkwardness and to mediate grace with humor. I want to achieve a weird elegance.

Above all, I place great trust in the viewer.
{artist statement provided by the artist}

The new show is up! Patricia Bellan-Gillen, a teacher at Carnegie Mellon, is showing her work here through August. Come take a look and get lost in her large and impressive works