Month: June 2013

Artist and Curator Reni Gower

posted by – 06/21/13 @ 1:52pm

Pink Blue

Reni Gower is not only a fantastic artist with two large and inviting pieces in the current show, she is also the guest curator of the exhibit. Reni has been a multi-media artist for about 30 years but just recently picked up on the craft of papercuts while teaching in Scotland she became enchanted by the motifs of celtic art and began to create large works out of the motifs utilizing only weighted paper and a box cutter, often with the underside of the paper painted in a bright acrylic hue, so that when the paper hangs the light created from the pigment and the shadow play from the style of hanging creates an affect of colored light behind the piece. She is also known for her works which incorporate encaustic and abstract painting and collage and in some cases, sculptural installations.

There is only one more week to see this exhibit before we install for next month, so come now to see her work in person!

Collecting the New: To Have and to Hold

posted by – 06/19/13 @ 2:40pm

Curators and critics are imagined to have innate insightfulness, cultivated sensibilities, and special training that allows them to make judgments on everyone’s behalf. But what special credentials entitle curators and critics of contemporary art to ply their decisions? Contemporary art, by definition, has not withstood the test of time. Yet curators and critics possess an institutional authority that is constructed to seem impregnable. These art professionals do recognize the moral, ethical, and practical necessities of presenting what they believe to be authentic objects and factual information. But the tenor of their presumptions raises serious questions about the perceived role of curators and critics in our society.

Because of this, and in light of the publicity surrounding Bruce Munro’s installations at Cheekwood, I thought it would be appropriate, and even necessary, to present a brief art historical examination of Munro’s work. As an art historian, I often find the art of contemporaneity more easily understandable in the context of the history of art. Generally speaking, there is, I think, confusion over the status of contemporaneity as theoretical determinant and contemporaneity as social effect. If we remember to heed this confusion when evaluating contemporary art, it would be greatly beneficial to us.

As I have previously noted, only time determines what remains important –canonical– and what will quietly fade. Therefore, comprehending the history of art is an essential prerequisite to coping with its present, and productively imagining its futures.

Although Munro’s work responds to many art historical movements and theories, I find him most closely affiliated with the Light and Space art movement of the 1960s. Related to op art, minimalism and geometric abstraction, Munro’s work focuses on perceptual phenomena, such as light, volume and scale. Munro employs materials such as glass, neon, fluorescent lights, resin and cast acrylic to form installations conditioned by the work’s surroundings. Essentially, the spectator’s experience of light and other sensory phenomena is the main focus of these kinds of works.

This method of art-making dematerializes the art object. Because this art is often less centered around the ideological and more on the perceptual, it is easy to write off as “kitsch” or “bad art”, but this is naïve. Just as immaterial as mind-boggling conceptual art, Munro’s environments intensify sensory awareness and heighten the experience of nature itself in the form of light. This heightened experience of nature is precisely why I believe art exists.

 

Pam Longobardi, Hudgens finalist!

posted by – 06/19/13 @ 12:05pm


Pam Longobardi, an artist represented here at Tinney, is a finalist for the Hudgens Prize based on her work for the Drifters Project. Longobardi started the project in 2006 where installations of plastic and other waste left deserted on beaches to wash up ashore as food and other hazards for the wildlife and environment are used to create a dialogue between the viewer and the artwork which raises awareness about the importance of being environmentally conscious, not just privately but publicly and in everything we do, everywhere. To learn more about her and the work that got recognition because of this prize, visit her site and read this article which profiles her work. Longobardi is also participating in a group project exhibition at the Venice Bienelle, which is ongoing until the end of November.

The Good Graffiti

posted by – 06/18/13 @ 1:44pm

Art education is performing the ultimate 360 degree turnaround: leaving schools with lack of funds, finding its way into the streets of Philadelphia through the Mural Arts Program, and then inspiring schools to incorporate such a profound program into their curriculum. Why are schools so inspired by murals? Mural Art Program’s free art education programs annually serve nearly 2,000 at-risk youth at neighborhood sites throughout the city, utilizing an intensive curriculum that involves mural-making as a dynamic means to engage youth and to teach transferable life and job skills such as taking personal responsibility, teamwork, and creative problem-solving. Furthermore, the 20,000 total underserved and at-risk youth that have already participated in the Mural Program have an astounding 100% high school graduation rate.

The self-proclaimed “good graffiti” project began in 1984, connecting students, teachers, and artists in elaborate projects spanning thousands of murals throughout the city. A multitude of materials, techniques, and inspirations are showcased around Philadelphia. To sign up for a paid tour, which helps fund the program, and learn more click here.

Artist Jaq Belcher

posted by – 06/15/13 @ 2:48pm

Among all of the artists we have in the space currently for Shadow and Light, Jaq Belcher is the only one whom we officially represent. Her work, much like her colleague Reni Gower, is focused around the mediative state driven by the act of working with paper in this reductive and repetitive way. To add to this process, Jaq also numbers each and every cut she makes as she cuts them, so that the finished product includes the markers of time within it’s folds. This aspect of her work fits in to her exploration of meditative conscious states. Read more about her on our artist page, linked above. And watch this short clip where Jaq gives a brief tour of her studio and talks about her process.

Engaging with Net Art

posted by – 06/14/13 @ 12:35pm

More and more frequently these days art has been transfered to the online world. Digital art is nothing new, but this isn’t about solely graphic design and using photoshop to create works of art. This is about using code and optimizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Vine and Instagram to create a more temporal world of art that can, in some cases, only be viewed digitally. In this recent post in ArtNews, read more and discover an entirely new and progressive world of art anchored to the web.

Artist Lauren Scanlon

posted by – 06/12/13 @ 11:31am

While most of the work in Shadow and Light depicts a narrative or the labors of a repetitive motif, artist Lauren Scanlon takes the use of paper-cuts in a different direction. Using pages from vintage Harlequin romance novels she read at a young age, passed down to her by her grandmother, Scanlon transforms the pages of the erotic fiction by hand sewing their pages together to create a quilt of text and reductive imagery–she uses motifs from floral bedspreads to censor the content and bring a new dimension to the pages. This dichotomy is a reference to her grandmother’s two-fold nature of conservative and taboo.

The Music City Center’s Commissioned Collection

posted by – 06/11/13 @ 3:18pm

With 8 commissioned, site-specific pieces, Nashville’s new Music City Center stands just as impressive on the interior as it does on the exterior. Everything from color, form, and light inspire these artists to create extraordinary works that reflect the spirit of Nashville.

Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues lead the Ball-Nogues Studio in the creation of Euphony. Catenary stainless steel ball chains descend dramatically from a suspended elliptical ring beam and then return skyward on a new path forming two shells of pattern and color. Stretching 140 feet high, this matrix-forming geometric composition amplifies the aesthetics of light, reflection, and color creating a visual spectacle and physical sensation in the vast space of the Music City Center.

 

Beth Galston takes inspiration from the five bars of a musical staff and the undulating shape of a sound wave to create her interactive sculpture entitled Sound Wave. Using LED lights that dance along serpentine ribbons of suspended metal, Galston creates a visual melody that harmonizes the architectural design of Music City Center and the buzzing music scene in Nashville.

 

Nashville artist Alicia Henry, creates Intimacy and Peace to reflect both the human figure in isolation and the figure interacting with others. With twenty-one distinctive panels, texture and color appear only in close proximity. Henry invites the exploration and conversation of how culture, gender, race and societal differences affect individuals and group interactions.

 

Another local artist, Jamaal Sheats, presents Eight Octaves. The series of eight panels form the shape of an abstract guitar, complementing the architecture of the Music City Center. Sheats works in repousse and divides the series into four themes: the Rhythm, the Beat, the Pulse, and the Measure. Collectively, the artist documents the cultural heartbeat of the Nashville community.

 

Artist Phillip K. Smith, III creates two pieces for the Music City Center, both vibrant in color and three-stories tall. Chladni is based on the sound vibration patterns discovered by German physicist and musician, Ernst Chladni. Expressive components of music found in harmony, brightness, and fluidity are all celebrated his wall installation. Layers of color form bilaterally symmetrical shapes, revealing frequencies of reverberation through sand-covered metal plates. The overlapping colors found in the celebrated neon signs of Lower Broad and Hatch Show Print’s overprinting/layering process provided inspiration to the artist.

 

In his second piece, Spectrum II, Phillip K. Smith, III crafts an interpretation of resonance, rhythm, and musical vibration revealed through topography, color, and reflection. Complimenting the movement of sound and the Music City Center’s roofline, the musical motif continues as tones and intensities of reflection fluctuate with one’s movement within the space.

 

Composition by Aaron Stephan takes inspiration from the molded plastic tree holding parts in model car kits. Instead of car parts, plane wings, and ship rudders, Stephan’s unique work consists of a variety of over a hundred life-sized musical instruments that reflect Nashville’s embrace of all musical styles. The stark white instruments are organized in a similar grid-like form and create a rhythmic dynamic with the surrounding architecture.

 

Artist Bob Zoell creates a 165-foot-long ceramic mural, entitled “Happy Notes,”using birds as characters through all four seasons. By doing so, Zoell combines a poetic harmony with a playful celebration of music and the city where it is created.

Artist Michelle Forsyth

posted by – 06/07/13 @ 1:42pm

In stark contrast to the monochrome works of the other artists in our current exhibit, Michelle Forsyth uses a wide range of hand cut colored paper pins to create grids that are representational of the banal moments found at recovering disaster sites, a nice complement to the work of Lenka Konopasek. The final product is a beautiful testament to the art of optical mixing and a memorial to the sites she depicts. Together these individualized and painstakingly put together pins create a whole image.

“The images in these paintings are willingly unresolved and are partially obscured with surface embellishments that include thousands of tiny, sinuous brush strokes, and colorful hand-stitches that hold beads and sequins to the paper. Part requiem and part cathartic obsession, I work to simultaneously test the imprint of my own presence while using mark making to record the passage of time. A meticulous attention to detail stimulates viewers to get close to the work. It is at this range where I provide a space for poetic engagement and evoke sentiments of loss and grief.”

Here, we have April 5, 1958 a homage disastrous oil spill from a lare freighter and it’s aftermath at the location where flowers bloom from the still existing wreckage. Pictured is the full piece and a few details.

Artists of Music City Center

posted by – 06/06/13 @ 3:29pm

Three artists from Tinney Contemporary were chosen to adorn the walls of Nashville’s new Music City Center.

Anna Jaap, John Folsom, and Pam Longobardi help fill the 1.2 million square foot space of the new convention center.

Anna Jaap

“This work is part of the SKYFIELD series—sixteen works on canvas created over a two year period with a focus on the intersections of physical and spiritual reality.

The descriptive title phrase “when the hours of daylight are few and the hours of darkness many” is taken from a book entitled Botany for Gardeners by Harold William Rickett, published in 1957.  It speaks eloquently of the period of dormancy in the life cycle that is necessary to foster new beginnings.”

John Folsom

This work is part of Anodyne Frontiers. Folsom’s first encounter with Shaker Village was at a family reunion back in October 2011. Immediately struck by the severe symmetry of the dwellings, Folsom found that the austere nature of the architecture seemed to reflect back onto the landscape, which itself possessed a formalism usually reserved for manicured estates.  In thinking about the direction for this work, Folsom also discovered the word “Anodyne” and its relationship to the pharmacopeia of antiquated medicine. Though the word itself relates more specifically to any kind of analgesic that will numb pain, these days it is used more acutely to describe anything unlikely to cause offense or debate.

Folsom became increasingly interested in that idea, relating it visually to the way images rendered in a more liminal palette can inhabit interior spaces almost imperceptibly.  Using large swaths of cool color that upon closer inspection reveal a frontier land slowly coming into focus, Folsom presents the structures and landscape of Shaker Village as a living museum, hovering on the edge of perception. Through the use of color and mixed media, Folsom’s Anodyne Frontiers, exemplifies this fascinating “in-between” quality.

Pam Longobardi

 

From Discontinuity Continuum. Longobardi shows new work in paintings on copper, collage-cyanotype works on paper.  The paintings create self-contained universes where Longobardi visualizes a future point where unprecedented changes wrought by humans may be clearly read through the paintings’ materiality.  She uses a combination of naturally occurring materials (copper and chemical patinas) and industrially created materials  (plastics, acrylic and lacquers) that are mixed to create that cracks, craters and stratigraphic layers on the copper panel.  These works reveal large, connected energy systems punctuated by the minutia of a microscopic lens, continuing her investigation of the problematic psychological relationship between humans and the natural world while simultaneously suggesting an interconnected fate.