Tag: art

Nano.Stasis Cosmic Garden

posted by – 09/01/17 @ 1:02pm

Nano.Stasis Cosmic Garden is the culmination of Carla Ciuffo’s two year residency at Harvard University.  In collaboration with the Disease and Biophysics Group, Ciuffo has developed a new project flaunting groundbreaking nanofiber technology in an effort to highlight a symbiosis between art and science.

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Ciuffo worked closely with Kevin K it Parker, Ph. D., a Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics.  He has pioneered research involving a rotary jet spinning production of nanofibers and fabrics. These nanofibers are a significant step forward in the realm of biomedical engineering, having the potential to be integrated into a broad spectrum of radical new applications, from tissue regeneration to advanced performance fibers in fashion.

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Ciuffo had the honor of being the first “layperson” to work in Parker’s lab.  Ciuffo has developed tiny nanofiber canvases to be imprinted with her own artwork.  Using a Scanning Electron Microscope, Ciuffo was able to create large acrylic composites to showcase the delicate and whimsical side of these fibers.

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The work in Nano.Stasis Cosmic Garden lies somewhere between photography and collage.  She creates fanciful narratives that capture the fiber’s unique, delicate details and whimsical beauty.

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“As we bridge the divide between art and science, my endeavor is to show how artists use science to make their fantasies real and palpable; and how science uses the arts in the same way.” -Carla Ciuffo

Her art challenges science to consider the role of its own narrative, as well as the visual impact of scientific images.  Science often prescribes a systematic way of thought and communication, while the arts promote nontraditional and creative critical thought.  These processes prove useful in scientific research. The combination of the two subjects is a symbiotic relationship, allowing the production of creative research and impactful work.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors at the Frist

posted by – 01/27/17 @ 5:00pm

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Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors is a nine channel video installation arranged in a black room on the second floor of the Frist.  Each camera is positioned in one of forty-three rooms in a historic mansion in New York, where Ragnar Kjartansson and seven friends begin a musical performance sitting alone in eight individual rooms.  The ninth camera is focused on the back porch of the house where a large group of people are sitting.

The musicians listen to the group via a pair of headphones, accompnaying Kjartansson on a cello, piano, drum set, banjo, accordion, and guitar. Without visual cues from their fellow performers, the begin to play a very complex and long musical composition. The song itself ebbs and flows in emotional crescendos and diminuendos.  Kjartansson pulls inspiration from Icelandic poet, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, borrowing lines from her work, including the performance’s haunting mantra: “Once again, I fall into my feminine ways.”

The music evolves from meditative and melancholic to a thunderous intensity. Lasting for about an hour and a half, the song is full of quiet, mysterious, contemplative moments, alongside loud, emotional outbursts.  With each artist playing in isolation, the piece explores ideas of relationships and collaboration. The length of the performance alone lends itself to contemplating endurance in production and spectating.

Eventually, characters on each screen interact with each other and move between films.   While the characters walk from screen to screen, the audience moves to follow, blurring the line between audience and performance.  As the video ends, each performer gathers in a single room, where they migrate out of the home, continuing their melody into the distance of the Hudson River Valley.

Frist Center Chief Curator, Mark Scala, says that Kjartansson “…pushes the limits of endurance for himself and his collaborators, he congenially accepts that audiences will come and go as they please, experiencing the work in its entirety or in brief episodes. But…the reward of extended viewing is a heightened perception of differences in the repetition of a scene, musical phrase, or physical action. The whole world is contained in these variations.

The Visitors is certainly worth staying to view the entire performance.  The music is captivating, and the composition in its entirety is a romantic, mournful rhapsody.  It manages to become a portrait of the audience as well as the performers, showcasing their unique personalities and relationships, perhaps mirroring our own.  The immersive installation will certainly leave you feeling enchanted.

The Frist is currently offering free admission to view The Visitors until February 9th, 2017 while they are transitioning exhibitions.

Artist Spotlight: Martica Griffin

posted by – 01/24/17 @ 4:11pm

Dreamboat, 48"x48" acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Dreamboat, 48″x48″ acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Martica Griffin is a Nashville-based artist whose work is primarily abstract and figurative. She has been with Tinney Contemporary for over eight years and four of her works are currently being exhibited in the gallery’s new show, Women of Abstraction.

For the pieces in the exhibition, Griffin drew inspiration from children’s stories – “each with a positive message, strong rhythm, and great sense of humor. Some of the paintings are a bit more structured, others freer and flowing, but all with the same purpose – to stir up the imagination through color, line and texture.”

Her four exhibited paintings focus on having the same starting point and limited palette. Each work starts with intentional and organic black lines covered with a colored grid. This gives each piece a unique sense of energy and rhythm. The work is then built, layer upon layer, through painting, drawing, and scraping, until the completed piece is revealed. Characterized by energetic lines and bold colors, each piece should leave viewers with a smile.

Altered State, 47"x47" acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Altered State, 47″x47″ acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Although her current works utilize the same starting point, Griffin normally works with a continuously changing process. Sometimes her canvases are first filled with color, while other times the canvas is filled with marks or crazy textures using tape, spackle or thick gloss medium. Griffin’s desire to always try new ways of tackling the canvas drives her continuously evolving process and ever-changing way of viewing the world around her. For example, Griffin is currently working on a new body of work on paper that involves starting with offbeat materials and then depicting a figurative group using only large sharpies.

 

On the topic of producing art, Griffin believes creating work can sometimes be frustrating and unenjoyable but is ultimately rewarding. She says, “When I feel like something is finished, that’s the payoff. And when someone has one of my paintings in their home or office and it adds to their life, that’s the best.”