The Silber Gallery
Goucher College Athenaeum
â€œAlthough the trace remains, the world from which it came is absent. The trace thus has the unique ability to represent time as neither past nor present but as both simultaneously.â€?
In Temporal Topographies, Becky Alprin, Amanda Burnham, Samantha Gainsburg, Alexander Groshong, Hannah Naomi Kim, Evan La Londe, Cathy Last-Mann, Elena Volkova, and Adam Weir explore the space where time intersects with created and natural environments. Each artist uses distinct methods of inquiry, drawing from physical space and psychology, examining how the two come together. They study place. They map the shapes and surfaces of mountains, rivers, and forests. They scrutinize exterior constructionâ€” the features of cities, buildings, highways, and fences. They explore interiors, homes, doorways, fireplaces, and windows. They translate these elements into small segments, and remove them from a larger context. Time passes as their buildings dissolve and crumble or are consumed by nature. Structures become fragments, visible traces separate from specific setting or time. These remnants create open-ended narratives and suggest a sense of uncertainty and wonder. Time and space become inextricably linked, ever-changing, shifting, fleeting.
Laura Amussen, curator
“Only in Marco Polo’s accounts was Kublai Khan able to discern, through the walls and towers destined to crumble, the tracery of a pattern so subtle it could escape the termites’ gnawing.” Italo Calvino
Moving through a city, citizens are confronted with shape. Grids of windows rise up and expand beyond peripheral vision. Concrete street lines are drawn askew and swing out of sight. The ground plane shifts at every turn. One vista boasts roads at nine distinct elevations above sea level, and each road seems like the ground to the person who walks there. Colors and reflections flash everywhere. Time is also in play, as the city is its own living fossil. Decay and growth eye each other from adjacent lots, while entire cities lie beneath the ones currently visible. It is overwhelming, and sensory perception threatens to fracture into a million glinting shards—the city could shatter at any moment. What we call home, and, by extension, civilization, is brittle and disintegrating. It is also expanding, daily adjusting the boundaries where the manmade and natural worlds meet and blend. Though human constructions are fleeting, they are also revelatory, showing a full spectrum of desire and intention in an ongoing relationship with land that is carved, covered, and designed. Becky Alprin’s sculptures and installations focus on the brief moments when things break apart, and the frozen moment in between. Time plays an increasingly important role in her recent work, in which she contrasts geologic and human time scales in an effort to see our species in a greater context.
Reclamation 2, 2010 Approximately 6' x 6' x 6' Airplane windshields, plastic, steel
Amanda Burnham makes drawings and drawing installations based on her exploration of and encounters with the city. She often works on site, outside, or in her car, reading the landscape and recording (with ink and other water media on paper) the poetry of vacant lots, moveable-type signs, billboards, and row houses. Burnham pieces fragments together in a way that echoes how the urban landscape is authored collectively over time. Her drawing installations expand on these explorations: she layers and stitches elements from the landscape; uses paint, artificial turf, concrete, sand, and trash directly on the wall; places fragments in conversation with the site where they have been displaced.
Agglutinate (Detail), 2010 Dimensions variable Mixed media
Samantha Gainsburg explores interior doorways from the places she has lived. The doorway is important as a passageway, a liminal space, and Gainsburg is interested not only in the architecture of these spaces and forms, but also in their inherent, and often disregarded, beauty. In drawing these thresholds, she is able to create new environments, new ways of seeing beautiful forms. Her exploration is based in history and the layers of time and memory that have altered these spaces. Also crucial are light and shadow and the way they show these levels through chunky and layered molding. Gainsburg uses silverpoint technique over light oil wash paintings, causing each drawing to tarnish in its own wayâ€”the work is literally subject to the consequences of time. The tarnishing is a processâ€”it does not happen immediately, allowing the drawings to create their own history.
Untitled (Doorway), 2010 42" x 50" Silverpoint and oil on paper
Alexander Groshong’s work reflects his conflicting desire to reside in both the city and in nature. Using collage and print, he creates landscapes, overlapping and camouflaging forms and shapes. Groshong wishes to be consumed by overwhelming yet peaceful space—all while referencing the buildings where he lives and works. In suggesting that each intrudes on the other, he allows nature and architecture to coalesce, creating fictitious environments that work together to form a utopia—his ideal habitat.
epic, 2009 24” x 18” Screen print
Hannah Naomi Kim works from collected media, archival, and textual sources to question the memory of an image. By capturing the gesture of a figure and inverting its silhouette, she paints to remember a particular human identity that has been removed from layered landscapes of specific coordinates of space and time. She aims to create a space of slowed speed and imagined places in her paintings, a place where the actors within become their own characters and define the narrative.
Okombahe Dream, 2009 27.5" x 39" Oil and ink on canvas
Hannah Naomi Kim
Evan La Londe is interested in external landscapes—constructed from tangible objects and surfaces—and internal ones—constructed from intangible elements and given form by emotion, association, and memory. He is also interested in realizing the relationship between the two, especially in the moments they intersect and merge. This intersection is apparent on a theatrical stage—the combination of space, props, and light produce a magic that exists even while the players are absent. The audience anticipates when something is about to happen, and can still feel the magic after it does. The theatrical set is a catalyst for the audience, it fuses together those moments that are real, felt, and imagined. Through photography, drawing, sculpture, and installation, La Londe explores, finds, and creates these moments.
Donnatsburg, 2009 68" x 126" Graphite on paper
Evan La Londe
Cathy Last-Mann’s drawings on paper from 1972 are technical architectural studies—beautifully rendered with precise measurements of size and scale, noting small surface details and decorative elements. Historically, architects’ drawings were made painstakingly by hand; however, with the advent of the computer, manual drafting has become almost obsolete. Last-Mann’s architectural fragments become remnants, recalling a past era and a lost art. A trace of what once was.
untitled, 1972 12" x 9" Pen on paper
Where to draw a line between the ocean and the shore? Several concepts come to mind when thinking about liminality: uncertainty, as well as openness; potential, and the state of becoming; between-ness; transition; neutrality. The liminal surrounds us. It is the periphery of every moment, the behind-the-scenes. It makes no judgments and no assertions. It is simply there. In the liminal state, boundaries and features dissolve, bringing to attention what is often overlooked. In her recent work, Elena Volkova juxtaposes life-size photographs against the environment where the photos were taken. The intent is to question real and imaginary space, as well as invite contemplation of the surroundings so one can become aware of the mundane and often unnoticed details of an environment.
Proofs, 2010 Approximately 20" x 24" Inkjet print
Adam Weirâ€™s works on paper explore displacement, consumption, and the environments in which we live. By combining everyday experience, nostalgia, and urban visual cues, he creates absurd constructions within his paintings in an attempt to understand the complex interactions between people, spaces, and things. Recognizable imagery surrounded by a vast expanse of white creates a dreamlike space that may or may not exist. By placing such quotidian objects in unnatural or fantastic situations, Weir questions the reality of the world in which they reside.
Untitled, 2009 18" x 24" Gouache on paper
Temporal Topographies Becky Alprin Amanda Burnham Samantha Gainsburg Alexander Groshong Hannah Naomi Kim Evan La Londe Cathy Last-Mann Elena Volkova Adam Weir
September 21 â€“ October 24, 2010 Opening Reception
Thursday, October 7, 6-8 p.m.
The Silber Gallery
Goucher College Athenaeum Directions
Baltimore Beltway, I-695, to exit 27A. Make first left onto campus. Gallery Hours
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday â€“ Sunday 410.337.6477 The Silber Gallery is free and open to the public. The Silber Gallery program is funded with the assistance of grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of Maryland and the NEA, and the Baltimore County Commission on the Arts and Sciences.
Published on Feb 2, 2011