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The Silber Gallery | Goucher College Athenaeum The Rosenberg Gallery | Kraushaar Auditorium

obscurities Christopher Attenborough Lauren Brick Karl Connolly Eric Dyer Mark Eisendrath Michael Farley Kyle Freeman Leslie Furlong Alexander Heilner

Justin Kelly Joanna Kopczyk Nate Larson Andrew Laumann Michael Northrup Kelly Shaw Marni Shindelman Stewart Watson

Abstract art has helped us to experience the emotional power inherent in pure form. Anton Ehrenzweig

Obscurities features the work of 17 artists nominated for the 2011 Baker Artist Awards in Baltimore, MD: Christopher Attenborough, Lauren Brick, Karl Connolly, Eric Dyer, Mark Eisendrath, Michael Farley, Kyle Freeman, Leslie Furlong, Alexander Heilner, Justin Kelly, Joanna Kopczyk, Nate Larson, Andrew Laumann, Michael Northrup, Kelly Shaw, Marni Shindelman, and Stewart Watson. As we were selecting artists for this group show, we were struck by the reoccurring themes of abstraction and distance. Each piece describes a departure from form, place, communication, or identity; captures the mystery and anxiety therein; and invites the viewer to peer closely and discover the obscure. Curators: Savanna Leigh, Travis Levasseur, and Sage Dever

Christopher Attenborough is interested in understanding space and how people establish identity in relation to place. His work investigates the person-space relationship, in which spaces are experienced, perceived, reflected upon, or imagined, then mediated by memories of past acquaintance with a specific place. He reassembled a collage of manufactured objects and spaces that shape and question our perceptions and create a feeling of recall, dĂŠjĂ visitĂŠ, past acquaintance, nostalgia, place, and placelessness.

Airport Black Holes 2008-present ink on paper dimensions variable


Untitled 2011 projection of 3-D animation loop dimensions variable

Lauren Brick is an animator and printmaker. Her work incorporates repetition, strange environments, and mysterious objects. Much of the imagery is derived from the visual material of everyday life, but is repurposed in unusual or unsettling arrangements.


Sill 2009 oil on canvas 26” x 84”

For Karl Connolly, painting is primarily about space, and he considers how an image works—how the eye navigates the peculiar pockets of information laid out on the canvas and how these feel inside the mind. He values images that do something, and he believes that a painting, though static, exists in what might rightly be considered contemplative space. The image is a theatrical event; one whose objective success or failure hinges on something akin to theatrical timing. Connolly’s work has moved through a broad array of aesthetic conventions. Whether he is making paintings of false Baroque narratives, high-key-photography-inspired images, or stripe paintings, Connolly’s central concern is the integrity of the image and how it plays upon the mind.

Eric Dyer uses the zoetrope, a pre-cinema optical toy, to create and explore a visual language of loops and spirals. When spun, the complex circular sculptures, dubbed cinetropes, are a blur to the human eye; they come to full animated life when viewed through shutter glasses or the lens of a fastshutter video camera. Dyer’s projects are exhibited as films and installations.


Media Archeology 2110 2010 animation film still dimensions variable

…And the devil shook his head and smiled 2010 charred birch 30.5” x 30.5”

In December 2000, returning from Costa Rica, Mark Eisendrath and his family were involved in a plane crash. Eisendrath had to re-enter the burning plane to rescue his severely injured mother, and so noticed embers of the plane burning on the forest floor—one of the most beautiful things the young painter had ever seen. Once back in his studio, Eisendrath began trying to emulate the beauty seen in those fragments. He developed an emulsion and used it to cover his wooden objects and paper assemblages. He then grinds pigments into the recipe and ignites it. The heat liquefies the pigment and binds it to the emulsion, which becomes a permanent and archival coating. Repeating the process instantly changes the appearance of the piece, making new seem ancient. Using the charring process on raw wooden sculptures without the pigment and emulsion has also brought about unique results—the wooden pieces appear to be metal. While material slight-of-hand is not his intent, he finds the phenomena intriguing, and they act as catalysts for conversation and growth in his work.


Michael Farley is an interdisciplinary artist from Baltimore, MD. He works with performance, video, curatorial practice, installation, and traditional media. He seeks to provoke discussion and cultural critique, as well as experiment with and comment on a broad range of conceptual issues and artistic processes. Subversive in nature, his work frequently deals with appropriated content and an awareness of context.

Community Artist 2011 digital print 18� x 24�


Kyle Freeman investigates through his work the shifting boundaries between public and private space. Much of his imagery comes from people using social media websites—real people who have no knowledge that their likenesses have been proliferated, manipulated, and recontextualized. Freeman uses their personal snapshots as raw material and often revisits profiles to collect and categorize new images for his library of source material. Freeman uses his work to consider the roles we play as participants, voyeurs, and consumers in our digitally networked culture.

Face Morphed Grid/ Ode to Andy, Richter 2010 screenprint on paper 28.5” x 40”


Leslie Furlong is a photographer and video artist whose work explores our ever-transforming landscape. Furlong’s most recent photographic works are an amalgamation of images digitally manipulated to simulate landscapes that could be perceived as real. To create these images, she photographed ubiquitous symbols of our modern landscape—strip malls, parking lots, housing developments, and industrial sites—in various states of decay. They reference not only the transformation of our landscape from rural to urban/suburban, but also the transformation back to nature over time.


Parking Lot Series #1 2009 color photograph 30” x 30”

For 20 years, Alexander Heilner has been photographing how the natural and human-built elements of our world interact, often focusing on the structural and inadvertently aesthetic aspects of these entanglements. But in recent years, some of the most compelling new landscapes have been explicitly defined by the economics of their development. These places are not discovered, claimed, or even cultivated, as in centuries past. They are now designed, with bold and deliberate physical attributes, aesthetics driven by a desire to appeal to a customer—the homeowner or investor who will buy the newly developed land. This phenomenon has been pushed to its most dramatic extremes in places where land was previously empty, and the cost of physical space was minimal. Cape Coral, FL, began as a family-owned development project in the 1950s, and has now grown into the largest network of artificial canals in the world—almost entirely for the benefit of upper-middle-class, single-family, residential properties. More recently, the developers of Las Vegas and its surroundings have gone to extreme measures to sculpt and irrigate the desert, to support a population that would not be sustainable without this elaborate infrastructure. In the United Arab Emirates, the developerrulers of Dubai have spent the last decade building new land forms offshore, in the shapes of palm fronds, and even a depiction of “The World”—allowing wealthy investors to purchase their own small pieces of these designer landscapes.

Las Vegas, Nevada 2008 archival inkjet print 22” x 15”


Justin Kelly is a self-taught, Baltimore-born, artist and musician still living in the city of his birth. Justin’s current work covers many mediums including texture and color field digital paintings, digitally manipulated photography, and recontextualized video.

Surp 2010 archival transparency print, lightbox 16� x 20�


As the various elements that compose our perception of ourselves and our surroundings mingle, they often form conflicts and contradictions. Joanna Kopczyk finds this interplay simultaneously thrilling and terrifying. She would like her pieces to teeter similarly between abstraction and representation. The two-dimensionality of a painting, coupled with the drive to portray multidimensional spaces within it, is almost ludicrous. And yet, the flatness of the surface of a wall enables Kopczyk to play without the rigidity that often characterizes her work in three-dimensional mediums. While producing her art, she finds herself unconsciously reflecting on ideas that would, when she actively contemplates them, usually nauseate her.


Black Hole Sun 2010 oil on canvas 66� x 60�

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman use publicly available embedded geotag information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the real-world location. Each of these photographs is taken on the site of the update and paired with the originating text. The act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks. Larson and Shindelman select texts that reveal something about the personal nature of the users’ lives or the national climate, while also examining the relationship to physical space and the ways in which it influences online presence.

Geolocation: Holy Ghosts 2010 pigmented inkjet print 19” x 13”


Andrew Laumann was born in Baltimore, MD. Instead of going to college, he spent four years traveling across the US. In 2009, he settled back in Baltimore and founded the Pent House Gallery in the historic Copycat building. He plays in the band Dope Body and is an active member in the music and art scene. His work is concerned with constructionism, deconstructionism, and reconstructionism.

Burn III 2007 digital print 30� x 40�


Michael Northrup loves irony. Not exclusively, but he has a special appreciation for it. It underlies a lot of his work. It must come from his mother, who would laugh at news stories like, “Santa loses fingers while stepping off helicopter to wave at kids.� His older brother had a way of convincing him, at the time, that all those sci-fi movies they were watching in the 50s and 60s were actually documentaries. And his dad, a doctor, surgeon, and coroner, would bring humor to the dinner table on things like bowel obstructions and suicides. His parents were great at extracting humor out of tragedy, and that has given him his way of seeing life. For Michael, creating images comes more from discovery than anything deliberate—his work is about his daily experiences, his personal vision, and the process of extracting images from reality.


Dandelion Collision 2003 inkjet print 20” x 24”

During a compositional study of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Kelly Shaw became fascinated with creating a tangible representation of sound waves. In this series, the artist works to represent Rachmaninoff’s entire orchestral suite by manipulating light and color. Taking her visual clues from the romantic rise and fall of Rachmaninoff’s music, the raw image produced a composition of mountains that could then be manipulated to resemble light poles, clouds, or even people walking down a rainy city street. Also taking into account the theme of decay from the original movement titles (Noon, Twilight, and Midnight), the artist extends the series into four separate but connecting pieces. By using Plexiglas and translucent paper, the work is able to stay true to the progression of the day through its use of light and color. Typically displayed in a light box or music stand, this presentation allows for the day’s natural light to play a part in the whole composition.

Dies Irae 2009 digital print 13.5” x 20.5”


So much of what we are—as a family or species— is similar, that the tiny bit that makes us unique is what interests Stewart Watson. Her work is about time and decay, celebration and fear, balance and suspense, humor and family, mysteries and solutions, genetics and codes, pain and propping, dropping and arching, failing and succeeding. Recent installations include objects that are balanced, pinned, prodded, or propped in ways that accentuate the precarious nature of elements in space. Some seem to defy gravity; others revel in its existence. Honesty in presentation and material remains vital to Watson’s work—there are no secret hangers or safety nets keeping the work from toppling over. The precariousness is real, as is the potential for a kinetic event. Constant adjustments and concessions are made during construction to accommodate previous placement of elements, such that the installations often create unexpected compositions.


Twice Removed: Harry Smith 2009 steel, tin, guinea fowl feathers 52” x 60” x 1”

obscurities Christopher Attenborough Lauren Brick Karl Connolly Eric Dyer Mark Eisendrath Michael Farley Kyle Freeman Leslie Furlong Alexander Heilner

Justin Kelly Joanna Kopczyk Nate Larson Andrew Laumann Michael Northrup Kelly Shaw Marni Shindelman Stewart Watson

August 30 – October 16, 2011 artists’ Reception: Thursday, September 22, 2011, 6-8 p.m.

The Silber Gallery | Goucher College Athenaeum The Rosenberg Gallery | Kraushaar Auditorium Directions

Gallery Hours

Baltimore Beltway, I-695, to exit 27A. Make first left onto campus.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday. 410.337.6477

Both galleries are free and open to the public.


12045-J652 08/11

Goucher College art gallery programming is funded with the assistance of grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of Maryland and the NEA; the Lahey Fund; and the Baltimore County Commission on the Arts and Sciences.

Profile for Goucher College


Obscurities features the work of 17 artists nominated for the 2011 Baker Artist Awards in Baltimore, MD.


Obscurities features the work of 17 artists nominated for the 2011 Baker Artist Awards in Baltimore, MD.