GRADUATE STUDY AT THE LAMAR DODD SCHOOL OF ART
THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
FROM THE DIRECTOR
The students and faculty at the Lamar Dodd School of Art are engaged citizens possessing expertise and the highest levels of integrity. Every day, they dedicate themselves to discovery as historians, educators, designers, and artists. And, every day it is my honor to lead them into a future filled with challenges and promise, encouraging risk-taking in the name of achieving some measure of greatness. We are an artistic and intellectual community, but also an entrepreneurial one. We understand that significant innovation requires both obstacles and opportunity. Obstacles serve as catalysts for important questions and impactful solutions. Opportunities lead to ideas that take root and make a difference, now and for generations to come. In a climate that seems evermore transactional, it is vital that artists and scholars take a deliberate approach â€” one that is measured not merely in dollars and cents but in lives bettered and cultures renewed.
> MEGAN BURCHETT // MFA 2017
DIRECTOR, LAMAR DODD SCHOOL OF ART
> REID BRECHNER // MFA 2 017
The mission of the Lamar Dodd School of Art is to promote art and design as a significant means of inquiry, integral to problem-solving and the production of knowledge. Our faculty aim to train students to be empathetic and engaged citizens and prepare them for careers as creative professionals. We achieve these goals by addressing critical issues through innovative research in art, art education, and design.
> JAMIE DIAZ // M FA 2 017
GRADUATE STUDY AT THE LAMAR DODD SCHOOL OF ART
The Lamar Dodd School of Art is among the most distinguished art departments in the nation, drawing students and faculty from across the U.S. and the globe. Offering graduate degrees in studio art, art history, and art education, the School is home to dozens of students and faculty working intensively, often collaboratively, across a wide range of media, disciplines, and fields. Housed within state-of-the-art facilities on the campus of the University of Georgia, the Dodd is a porous but tight-knit community, dedicated to the rigorous production, analysis, and dissemination of visual culture. As this publication bears out, the School of Art believes in excellence across disciplinary boundaries and is committed to the idea that research in the arts is a profound method of inquiry â€” essential to the academic mission of the university and the production of knowledge. DR. ISABELLE LORING WALLACE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND GRADUATE STUDIES
The Dodd Galleries consist of five separate exhibition spaces, but together, they serve as a laboratoryâ€”a testing ground for innovation located amidst School of Art classrooms, studios, and offices. Committed to the idea of art-as-research, the galleries exhibit the work of students and faculty, but also feature internationally recognized artists whose shows are enhanced by interdisciplinary programming designed to question, educate, and inspire. It is the mission of the Dodd Galleries to challenge contemporary perceptions of art making and promote the idea
> COURTNEY MCCLELLAN // POST MFA FELLOW
> PAUL PFEIFFER // LAMAR DODD PROFESSORIAL CHAIR
that art is a form of wisdom in its own right.
> MICHI MEKO // VISITING ARTIST
> NICOLE PIETRANTONI // VISITING ARTIST
> RACHEL HAYES // VISITING ARTIST
> ALEX HODGE // UNDERGRADUATE
> SEAGAN MORAN // MFA 2016
The School of Art is housed in a spacious, eco-conscious building located next to the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, the Performing Art Center, and the Georgia Museum of Art. The Doddâ€™s facilities and equipment are state-of-the-art, and our faculty and graduate students are generously accommodated â€” all with their own dedicated studios. In addition to traditional classroom spaces, the School of Art has several fabrication labs and project spaces designed to facilitate collaborative, cross-disciplinary initiatives. The Dodd is also home to an art library and several galleries, and is located in close proximity to other facilities dedicated to the arts on campus including an extraordinary facility devoted to ceramics, completed in 2011.
> MFA CANDIDATE EXHIBITION 2017 // R E ID B R ECHNER
2017 MASTER OF FINE ARTS DEGREE CANDIDATES EXHIBITION APRIL 8 TO MAY 14, 2017
GEORGIA MUSEUM OF ART
Clues VICTORI A CAM B L I N E DI TO R & A RTI STI C DI R ECTOR ART PAP ER S
“T HE ART CONNOISSEUR AND THE DETECTIVE MAY WELL BE COMPARED,” wrote Carlo Ginzburg in “Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes: Clues and Scientific Method” (1980), “each discovering, from clues unnoticed by others, the author in one case of a crime, in the other of a painting.” In late 2016, I was invited into the studios of MFA candidates at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, ostensibly as the “connoisseur.” My plan was to observe their work and identify a pattern—to “diagnose” it with a common thread or thematic concern around which I would write this essay. What I found was that diagnosis itself was the impulse underlying a great deal of the work in production: graduate
students in multiple artistic disciplines at the School of Art are engaged in procedures resembling symptomatology and investigations in which archival and biological materials, found objects and readymades, are variously gathered, catalogued, and presented as evidence. I found myself referri ng, for various reasons and in various studios, to Ginzburg’s attempt (cited above) to offer a fresh approach to the historically “difficult area” of the “borderline between natural sciences and human sciences” and his efforts to articulate a paradigm for the construction of knowledge capable of taking us beyond the sterile contrast between the rational domain of hard science and the irrational realm of the arts. One thing to emerge from this hands-on approach was a focus on the body, or, more explicitly, touch, researched not only through the observation, but also the experience of repeated physical action. Stephanie Sutton’s work addressing the fat body includes video documentation of recursive, intense labors, executed by the artist herself. In one work, she paces endlessly as she mows a seemingly boundless lawn; in another, she makes her way through what appears to be a large salt lick, the skin of her face and hands reddening as she grips and sucks, while an adjacent video channel shows her engaged in the detail-driven and consuming process of making a salt mandala. Another video zooms into her neck and décolletage; as beads of sweat roll down her skin, a robotic voice-over reads a clinical list of observations about the bodies of overweight people, subjecting her body to scrutiny, to pseudo-medical inspection. Sutton is both exposed and in total control; her viewer is AT ONCE VOYEUR AND SADIST, ANALYST AND PATHOLOGIST.
THE RESULTS OF, Ellie Dent’s Souvenirs of Humiliation series appropriates clinical tools such as rolls of medical exam paper, absorbent sit pads, and IV poles and EXERTION, OR, stains them with blood-red ink and cut- and bruise-hued make-up powders, re-creating the restrained atrocity that is a visit to the doctor’s office. Dent’s PRODDING OF, Dead Weight is a silken curtain suspended over a bucket from which it absorbs thick red fluid; her Soiled Spoils is a grouping of hanging rolls of paper delicately MALLEABLE, smeared with signs of injury—physical testimony to the sinister volatility and MATERIALS. universal exposure of our flesh (and psyche). Dan Vu’s Test Subjects are bruised as well. Their formless, pinkish bodies, made from iron oxide-tinted cement stuffed into rubber balloons, are the results of the manipulation, exertion, or prodding of malleable materials— experiments carried out in an apparent effort to observe an imprint, to capture and preserve a physical memory. Under Pressure to Breathe forces these somehow vulnerable bodies between glass slides, squeezing and holding them there; Biopsy slices them bilaterally to reveal the memory-marks inside and presents them as though for observation under a microscope. Here and elsewhere, the materials used not only contain forensic evidence; they are endowed with emotional history and intelligence. Ariel Lockshaw’s mixed-media works on panel are semiotic investigations: studies of real and imagined landscapes through the signs and symbols that define them and make them memorable. American places and moments — A BEACH DURING A HURRICANE, A BAIT SHOP ON A COUNTRY ROAD —are conveyed in their entirety only through clues, fragments of traditional landscapes that nonetheless convey a kind of totality, a history, a “big picture.” Megan Burchett’s investigative practice is, to a degree, a material one: her paper-based works apply techniques and media native to the realm of textile art; her sculpture incorporates found objects that share an unintentional vocabulary with weaving and book making. In one work, a shattered glass windshield is adroitly draped over a pipe-structure, like a beach towel on a rack; in another, art supplies and everyday stuffs—cotton balls, breakfast cereal— are vacuum-packed and bound like a book or color swatch samples, a diary of material experience. Jamie Diaz’ slipEXPERIMENTS dipped porcelain casts of branches and dried teasel flowers seem to function as a catalogue, too—a skeleton taxonomy CARRIED OUT IN AN of seasons passed. Her more recent porcelain investigations ...EFFORT TO OBSERVE include large vessels piled precariously together on a seemingly too-small platform as though atop an ancient crypt, to AN IMPRINT, TO CAPTURE be buried and forgotten, and perhaps someday rediscovered.
AND PRESERVE A PHYSICAL MEMORY
her viewer is at once voyeur and sadist, analyst and pathologist. Arron Foster has combined printmaking with installation and new media in a work that considers multiple views of a house: double-sided, blue-green prints bearing a photograph of a home are hung like drying laundry in front of a projection of filmed footage of the same AN INVESTIGATIVE domestic structure. If repetition is inherent to the process of ETHOS THAT PRIORITIZES printmaking, Foster exaggerates this with his chosen method of display, which gives innocuous imagery an obsessive METHOD OVER quality, as though the house is being stalked, and its recurring representation is the product of surveillance. Amanda PRODUCT, AND INQUIRY Scheutzow’s work also manipulates the way we see, through a kind of illusory doubling: she stages miniature, dreamlike OVER CONCLUSION environments worthy of a Jim Henson production, then photographs these sets to produce stereographs. Distorted in scale, the images are displayed in ORNATE, HAND-MADE STEREOSCOPES that seem native not to our world, but to the fantasy realms they capture. Thomas Bosse seeks to return touch and function to the art-object and its display with BOSSE Bar, an interactive installation that encourages viewers to remove his metal work from the proverbial and actual pedestal, to hold and to use it—to feel the temperature of the vessel change as liquid is poured into it, for instance, then to toast with and drink from it. This institutional critique questions the distinction between art and craft, high and low; whether Bosse is elevating one or casting down the other seems less important than the generosity and humor of the delivery—qualities evident in such objects as his RED SOLO CUP, ENCASED IN AN EMBELLISHED PEWTER CARAPACE . It seems particularly appropriate that artists emerging from UGA should have been drawn to investigative methods of artistic production: the university is renowned for its research in biology and the natural sciences. Despite a variety of disciplinary interests and material paths, these graduating MFAs share a commitment to research, to rigor, and to the scientific method. Perhaps this focus is an unconscious attempt to treat the harmful effects of the current climate of “post-truth” and “fake news”: pervaded by an investigative ethos that prioritizes method over product, and inquiry over conclusion, the artist studios at UGA contain an understanding of the value of rigor in the pursuit of knowledge and a curiosity about a truth that is still in progress—a pre-truth, perhaps, THAT INDICTS THE CYNICAL HYPOTHESIS THAT WE MIGHT BE FOREVER PAST IT.
THOMAS BOSSE’S CAREFULLY CRAFTED HOLLOW VESSELS BRING JOY TO THEIR USERS. WHILE IT IS TEMPTING TO ADMIRE SUCH ARTISTRY FROM AFAR, THESE ARE FUNCTIONAL OBJECTS MEANT TO BE USED. INDEED, IT IS PRECISELY THIS HISTORY OF USE AND CREATION THAT INTERESTS THE ARTIST MOST. When his vessels are displayed in a gallery setting, Bosse turns our attention to how they were created. Executed in a variety of materials, the exhibited cups appear identical — a fact that attests to the artist’s technical skill and ability to seamlessly recreate the same crafted object by hand. Next to these cups are diagrams cataloging the process by which they were made: which hammer was used, the hammer’s weight, the energy necessitated by this weight, the angle at which the hammer was applied, how many hammer strokes were required. In this way, Bosse not only documents the objects’ beginnings, but also intimately ties himself to their inception, proclaiming the presence of the artist’s hand. If Bosse is interested in the prehistory of his vessels, he is equally invested in the lives these objects lead upon completion. Those who attended the opening reception of the MFA exhibition were met by a welcome sight: the Bosse Bar. Familiar to many because of its temporary presence a few by Cicely Hazell months earlier on campus, the Bosse Bar served as a much needed respite after long classes, a place where students, professors, and other visitors mingled, periodically swapping cups to gleefully admire the cast metal dinosaurs surrounding the base of one cup or the mustache guard on top of another. Returning visitors fondly reminisced about their first cup, all while Bosse regaled his guests with stories, inspirations, and difficulties surrounding specific vessels. At the Georgia Museum of Art during the opening of the MFA thesis exhibition, visitors could imbibe at the Bosse Bar before and after visiting the show upstairs, where Bosse’s cups and diagrams were exhibited amongst the work of his peers. More significant than the drink, though, is the vessel from which it is drunk: a tall vessel of pewter complete with handle, resembling those displayed in the museum. For Bosse, this marks an important continuation of the vessels’ lives. Rather than relegate these meticulously crafted functional objects to a pedestal, he instead imbues them with their intended purpose, inviting visitors not only to use them, but also to partake in a unique conviviality. From the artist’s hand, hammered from a small disk of pewter, to the bartender’s hand, filled with aromatic bourbon, to the visitor’s hand, enthusiastically admired, gripped with sweaty palms, and perhaps now rimmed with a red lipstick until washed, the vessel’s history of use continues through various users. As their design, weight, and texture evidence the artist’s unique hand, so too will their eventual patina, dents, and dings evidence a rich life after their creation.
The Bosse Bar (INSTALLATION VIEW) 2016 LEFT
Casey (Mother) WOOD, STEEL 36 X 24 X 24 INCHES 2017
XXX PORCELAIN 11 X 7 INCHES 2016 RIGHT
Gotham PORCELAIN 9 X 9 INCHES 2016
COMPRISED OF GEOMETRIC SHAPES THAT SHINE WITH GLAZE, REID BRECHNER’S CERAMIC WORK STANDS OUT AGAINST THE WHITE BACKDROP OF THE GALLERY. THE OBJECTS THAT BRECHNER CREATES RANGE IN SIZE FROM SMALLER, ABOUT FOUR BY SEVEN INCHES, TO LARGER, ABOUT EIGHT AND ONE-HALF INCHES BY ELEVEN INCHES. THEY ARE EITHER SQUARE OR RECTANGULAR IN SHAPE, AND WHILE SOME OF THEM LAY FLAT OR HAVE CURVED SURFACES, OTHERS ARE BUILT UP AND HAVE THREE-DIMENSIONAL FORMS. Brechner creates his ceramic works as if he were building up paint on canvas, and he displays them in ways that accord with the conventions of both media: either flat on pedestals or hung on the wall like paintings. He reacts to the pieces after each step of the firing and glazing process, adding etched lines, shapes, and glaze incrementally as needed. The colors that Brechner chooses are often earth tones as well as different shades of blue and green. While some works are comprised solely of lines and colby Augusta Gailey ored glazes, others consist of a large, singular shape that takes up the majority of the composition. The former evoke early works by Frank Stella, which likewise emphasized straight lines and geometry. A student of both mathematics and art history, Brechner favors mathematical designs and relates his method to the sequential process of solving mathematical problems, which rewards repetition and commitment with understanding. He embraces the contradiction of attempting to display the process of mathematical computation, relishing in the tension it creates. He also embraces the tension between use value and aesthetic value. The objects Brechner creates can be displayed as an object of fine art or used as plates and dishes. Indeed, like an elegant equation, Brechner’s objects are both beautiful and functional. Brechner considers his current ceramic works evidence of a new chapter in the evolution of his painting practice. With a painted work, Brechner typically spends hours of planning, emphasizing the importance of his use of reclaimed materials and his dialogue with art history. Working in clay appeals to him for his lack of control over the medium. In fact, his turn to ceramics derived from a desire to experience something new and build his process from the ground up. The unpredictable nature of ceramics, given the artist’s relative inexperience and the unpredictability of the firing process, has allowed him to let go of his instinct to control every element of his work. For Brechner, the process of working with ceramics is thus a chain of reactions with no attempt to influence or alter the outcome of his work during any stage outside of his reactionary process of adding glaze and markings. Each step is, in some respects, a separate piece. This level of individual attention to each step allows him to create work that he feels is freer, looser, and more complex. This process of creating ceramics is something that he looks to continue as he slowly returns to painted works and his older conceptual battlegrounds, building up each layer in a complete and intentional way, much like how systems are built in mathematics. 21
JULIA MEGAN BURCHETT
Psychic Fortress Terrestrial Tantra Wave HANDMADE PAPER OVER WOVEN COTTON & COPPER WIRE TEXT 30 X 38 INCHES 2015
Sex Attic 2 HANDMADE PAPER, WOOD, COPPER WIRE, ACRYLIC 30 X 36 INCHES 2016
NATURAL LANDSCAPES CAN BE SIMULTANEOUSLY PICTURESQUE AND TREACHEROUS. SIMILARLY, THE SCENIC ROUTE, NAVIGATED IN A FORD ‘52 CONVERTIBLE, COULD BE ROMANTIC OR TRAGIC. ARTIST MEGAN BURCHETT CAPTURES THESE CONFLICTING NOTIONS OF BEAUTY AND DANGER IN HER FOUND-OBJECT SCULPTURES. SHE DRAWS INSPIRATION FROM THE PERILOUS AESTHETIC OF INHOSPITABLE LANDSCAPES AND UTILIZES VARIOUS MEDIA TO CREATE NEW FORMS. Her materials are often unwieldy, like dog hair, or inherently dangerous, like shattered car windshields. Utilizing these unconventional, repurposed materials in combination with her knowledge of paper-making, Burchett creates life-size, organic, and functional sculptures that establish a relationship between destruction and repair. One recurring material in Burchett’s work is car parts. Vehicles, Burchett argues, are one of the few remaining ways in which humans face a dangerous “landscape.” Using technology and natural and man-made materials, by Jordan Dopp humans have survived in the most inhospitable landscapes, from deserts to the arctic. Burchett finds this phenomenon intriguing and studies some of the materials that have made this possible, such as paper, wool, thread, and metal. She then combines these found materials with destroyed car parts as a statement of man’s ability to similarly conquer contemporary, unknown landscapes. In one sculpture, Burchett wraps a broken car windshield around a metal plumbing armature, then connects wire through the apertures to make a glowing lamp. Due to the cracks in the glass, the windshield drapes almost like paper around the metal pipes. In fact, the graceful flow, curve, and transparency of the glass reminds one of a waterfall rushing over hard stone. In this example, Burchett repairs the broken object not by fixing all of the cracks in the glass, but rather by using the damage inflicted as inspiration to create a functional sculpture. Many of Burchett’s other sculptures are direct in their association with nature, but subtler in their use of medium. In a sculpture inspired by the deserts of New Mexico, where the artist lived, Burchett weaves newspaper, foil tape, and tire treads together to make a rug she then fitted onto three stair steps. The reds and browns of the rug as well as the rough texture of the piece immediately communicate the desert landscape. The foil tape and tire treads give a reflective quality to the rug, like the haziness caused by extreme heat. The sculpture, like the windshield lamp, is functional, and instinctually invites the viewer to traverse the steps, also mimicking the way in which one treads through hot sand. Through this sculpture, the artist shows how difficult this environment was to live in, but also how she found comfort in that challenge. Burchett would not call herself an environmentalist. However, her work does speak poignantly of the environmental crisis we currently face. The artist not only illuminates the process of damage and resolve through healing with her found objects, but also comments on the overwhelming need to further repair landscapes that serve to inspire. 23
Don’t Worry Your Head MIXED MEDIA ON MEDICAL EXAM TABLE PAPER WITH STEEL ARMATURES 120 X 18 INCHES EACH 2016 ABOVE
Don’t Worry Your Head (DETAIL) INK ON MEDICAL EXAM TABLE PAPER 2016
Soiled Spoils (DETAIL) INK AND ACRYLIC ON MEDICAL EXAM TABLE PAPER 2016
ELLIE DENT’S WORK EXPLORES ILLNESS AND BODILY INJURIES BY EXPOSING THE EXAMINATION ROOM AND THE PROCESS OF HEALING TO SCRUTINY. PRISTINE HOSPITAL PARAPHERNALIA IS DENT’S MEDIUM; PAPER FROM THE EXAM ROOM TABLE, THE BLANK PAGE ON WHICH SHE WRITES. SCARS, STITCHES, BRUISES, AND ABRASIONS DISFIGURE ONCE CRISP, WHITE STRETCHES OF PAPER SUSPENDED ON STEEL ARMATURES FOURTEEN FEET IN THE AIR. There are no bodies here, but their traces are palpable in these disembodied wounds, bringing the viewer face-to-face with what seems to be the physical evidence of punctured, sutured, and bruised skin. Splotches of red and pink stain the exam room paper, placed at irregular intervals along the scrolled display, making the scars appear seemingly infinite. The presentation of Dent’s two-dimensional works, collectively titled Don’t by Megan Neely Worry Your Head, forces the viewer into a state of voyeuristic inspection, as he or she peers at visceral details suspended from the wall, the contoured manifestations of contusions. The series exhibits the damaged remnants of an absent body in varying stages of healing, shaping the purple blots of bruised flesh with cosmetics (here the tools often used to conceal traumatic evidence instead create it). Untold & Unending encourages the viewer to inspect a frightful gash, illuminated within a plexiglass shell like an exhibited artifact. In their differing presentations, Dent’s work encourages her audience to experience and analyze the body’s fragile mortality. Dent’s sculptures and installations performatively negotiate the absence and presence of the body. Her displays remove a figure from view while simultaneously presenting its secret traumas and biological transgressions. Using surgical tools, ink, colored pencil, and cosmetics, Dent reveals and heals evidence of distress, mimicking the procedures of doctors and surgeons with the flourish of an artist, beautifying the grotesque evidence of trauma. Dent’s work is influenced by theories of abjection and engages the tension and anxiety that occur when borders between the inner and outer body are transgressed, revealing the viscera within. Dent emulates this transgression by inflicting pain on the paper and healing it, acting as both aggressor and savior. The performative aspect of her works is likewise extended to viewers, who both witness and examine, scrutinizing every laceration, bruise, and invasive microbe, sharing in the emotional, but quasi-scientific investigation of Dent’s abject bodies for an empathetic response. Just as Christians look to the gruesome evidence of saints in the throes of martyrdom with compassion and sorrow, Dent invites viewers to examine her works with sympathetic, scientific, and medical curiosity, her wounds creating windows into the hidden anxieties and physical manifestations of bodily harm.
WHEN I FIRST APPROACHED JAMIE DIAZ’S WORKS, I ENCOUNTERED AN ASSORTMENT OF QUIET, WHITE VESSELS SITTING INCONSPICUOUSLY ON THE GROUND. SOME WERE LARGE, REACHING OVER THREE FEET IN HEIGHT WITH A DEMANDING, YET CALM PRESENCE. OTHERS WERE SMALL DISHES THAT DELICATELY FLOATED INCHES ABOVE THE GROUND. A few were even damaged, with cracks or parts missing, and yet, their impact was in no way diminished. Although displayed together, each object maintained a sense of individuality related to its details and suggested function as a bowl, vase, or simple container. When viewing these objects, which are typically exhibited together, a physical response occurs. You sink down on your heels for a closer inspection, peer curiously into the dark recesses of their hollowed cores, by Kelsie Miller and fight the urge to reach out and touch their presumably cool, rippling surfaces. Though all different from one another, they are unified by their opaque, if soft and ghostly shade, as well as by their distinctive texture. At issue in Diaz’s objects is the act of making and the meditative state from which such objects arise. The vessels are constructed from porcelain, a material that is valued by Diaz not only for the purity of the clay itself, but also for its tactile properties. Diaz builds her forms through the method of pinching, which gives her works their dimpled, soft appearance. Each gentle, concaved impression refers to Diaz’s own pressure against the medium as she meditatively presses and pulls the walls of her works up and out into their varying forms. The objects are intimate manifestations of a moment, or series of moments in which her process intuitively yields a new and unique shape. For Diaz, this is the crucial idea that drives her work. In turn, the transformation the clay endures can be relatable to an individual’s own transformation and evolution in time. These individualized figures, with their shoulders, necks, and various sizes, read anthropomorphically. Diaz’s works encourage us to stop and consider not only our physical surroundings, but our internal, naturally-occurring responses. Diaz’s vessels, because of their appearance, immediately activate our imagination. We instinctively visualize how the artist formed each piece, and, in response, we relate this physical process to our own bodies. This engagement is enhanced by the presentation of Diaz’s works together upon the floor. The artist’s lack of attachment to her vessels is demonstrated in their vulnerability to the outside world. Diaz’s works make no claim to permanence and seem more like an acknowledgement of separate experiences in which change is an accepted inevitability.
Untitled 2 PORCELAIN, DIMENSIONS VARIABLE, 2016
Rumble While the Sun Abstains MONOTYPE, SINGLE CHANNEL VIDEO 107 X 72 INCHES 2016 RIGHT
By Four Walls INTAGLIO, ARCHIVAL DIGITAL INKJET, RELIEF 13 X 10 INCHES 2016
IT WOULD BE INSUFFICIENT TO CALL ARRON FOSTER A PRINTMAKER. WHILE PRINTMAKING UNDOUBTEDLY SERVES AS THE BASIS FOR FOSTER’S WORK, HE COULD JUST AS EASILY BE LABELED A PHOTOGRAPHER, VIDEO ARTIST, OR ANIMATOR. WHAT BINDS FOSTER’S OEUVRE—AND BY EXTENSION, THESE DISPARATE MEDIA— IS AN INTEREST IN THE CONDITIONS OF MULTIPLICITY AND SERIALITY. Prints that utilize photographic imagery, such as 9.17.62 (2016), the projected animations of a printed series in Rumble While the Sun Abstains (2016), or Foster’s Master of Fine Arts thesis, which includes an installation combining printed media and projection, all act as studies of the visual and conceptual possibilities of technological reproducibility. For Foster, seriality functions as a device with which to investigate time. In 9.17.62 and Rumble, monotypes are displayed in the progression of their making, highlighting both the sameness of each print, as well as minute differences—indexes of each print’s placement within a by Margaret Hankel run. Once compiled chronologically into a cinematic projection, typically superimposed on the prints themselves or displayed beside them, these differences become animated, moving about the screen like splatters happening in real time. Foster’s interest in the link between printing, photography, and cinema is perhaps most clear in Obituary Mambo (2016), where a series of evenly spaced, animated figures that twist, bend, and jump recall the movement studies of late nineteenth-century photographers Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey, whose work is often regarded as a precursor to early cinema. While Foster’s self-reflexive investigation of seriality and reproducibility has been the more overt focus of his work, an ambiguity lingers in the insistent use of combined media. Often, mixed methods are so entangled that they are nearly indiscernible from one another. Works like Taz, for example, combine serigraphy, intaglio, and digital inkjet printing. Darkened, deconstructed geometric forms weigh heavily against a sheer wash of color and are superimposed by a grid. The mysteriousness of these prints is reinforced by the confused functionality of its imagery; geometric forms appear to be pieces of a whole, and yet their uses are entirely unclear. Foster’s application of combined media becomes yet another way of engaging temporality. Outdated techniques are purposefully reconciled with new ones to draw focus to the perpetual evolution of mass media. Perhaps the resulting tension between forms is symptomatic of a greater insecurity—one that anticipates the obsolescence of old technologies and their inevitable displacement by new ones.
ST UD E N T P RO FILE:
LAURA LAKE SMITH PHD CANDIDATE IN ART HISTORY, EXPECTED
> BY LINNEA WEST // MA ART HISTORY, 2015
Laura Lake Smith arrived at the Lamar Dodd School of Art with a clear goal. As stated in her application to the PhD program, it was her intention to write a dissertation on the work of contemporary American artist Richard Tuttle. Entitled Imaging the In-between: The Serial Art of Richard Tuttle, that dissertation is now near completion, the culmination of a long and rewarding journey toward understanding the work of one of the century’s most enigmatic artists. Smith came to the Dodd with a Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and having held a position as Assistant Professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville. It was during her time at Lipscomb that she met Richard Tuttle, who was giving one of the university’s annual lectureships on contemporary art. She became intrigued by the unfinished aesthetic and seeming incoherence of his work, and, in fact, it was Tuttle’s curious art that compelled her to pursue further study in the field of art history. As Smith puts it: “My coursework in art history had focused on ancient art to early 20th-century European and American art, but Tuttle’s work seemed to exceed the methods of art-historical interpretation in which I had been trained. I believed that coming to terms with Tuttle’s puzzling art would require a new intellectual framework, which the program at UGA certainly afforded me. Ranging from classes on ancient Indian art and religion, to modern and contemporary art, theory, and philosophy, my coursework at the Dodd was broad in scope and introduced me to new and different ways of thinking about the long history of art. Importantly, too, my coursework honed my thinking about Tuttle’s art, and in a graduate seminar on contemporary art taught by my advisor, Dr. Isabelle Loring Wallace, a set of formative questions about
RICHARD TUTTLE, I DON’T KNOW: THE WEAVE OF TEXTILE LANGUAGE, 2014. INSTALLATION VIEW, TATE MODERN. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF LAURA LAKE SMITH.
Tuttle’s work began to emerge. This seminar and the research paper I completed for it eventually led me to explore Tuttle’s oeuvre in terms of a paradoxical and unorthodox mode of seriality.” Ultimately, Smith’s research connects Tuttle’s serial process with contemporaneous movements in the field of philosophy and concludes that; “Tuttle’s serial art depicts something that is not unlike philosophical inquiry, which is also an ongoing means of investigating the nature of knowledge and the circumstances of life.” The originality and significance of Smith’s research was recognized in 2015 by the American Council of Learned Societies, which awarded her
| a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art. A highly prestigious award, this fellowship is granted to ten scholars annually in an effort to support the most promising research in the field of American art. No less impressive are Smith’s accomplishments in the classroom. As a doctoral student, she often taught the introductory art history survey course, inspiring dozens of students to major in Art History. Moreover, in 2014 she received a teaching award in recognition of her pedagogical gifts and was invited to teach a course at Emory University in Atlanta. With an eye to training the next generation of professors, the School of Art asked her to assist in the
development of a new course on pedagogy for incoming graduate students. “I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had these past years to teach and to hone my abilities as an instructor,” said Smith, “but I was also incredibly fortunate to have had professors in the program who modeled what it means to be an engaging and stimulating teacher. What is more, they are also exemplary scholars who have produced challenging work in their respective fields. As I embark on a professorial career, I hope that my future teaching and research will reflect something of what I have been privileged to learn from my mentors here at the Dodd.” 31
White Hall Yarn Mill East Faรงade 2D IMAGE INCLUDING CAD FLOOR PLAN 11 X 8.5 INCHES 2017 RIGHT
White Hall Yarn Mill Exterior Walkthrough 3D ANIMATION OF THE EXTERIOR OF WHITE HALL YARN MILL 1:30 MINUTES RIGHT
Stakes of Wood Boards BOARDS COLLECTED FROM THE MILL AND RECYCLED MATERIALS 5 TO ~6 FEET
A CURSORY GLANCE AT INTERIOR DESIGNER MEIRAV GOLDHOUR’S STORY BOARDS DOES HER DESIGN LITTLE JUSTICE. INSTEAD, AS ONE IS DRAWN IN BY THE IMAGES DISPLAYED ON THE BOARDS, MYRIAD QUESTIONS ARISE. WHY ARE SOME IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHS, WHILE OTHERS ARE ARCHITECTURAL PLANS? WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THESE TWO TYPES OF IMAGES? WHY HAS THE ARTIST CHOSEN TO DISPLAY THESE IMAGES ON DILAPIDATED WOODEN BOARDS? WHILE HER CHOICES MIGHT SEEM ARBITRARY, THEY ARE ANYTHING BUT; RATHER, ALL OF GOLDHOUR’S CHOICES ARE EXTREMELY PRECISE, BOTH AS THEY PERTAIN TO THE DISPLAY AND TO THE CONCEPTION OF THE PROJECT ITSELF. Goldhour’s work is heavily influenced by her personal history. The artist completed military service in Israel, and her husband, also a soldier, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after the 2006 Lebanon War. Goldhour gratefully acknowledges the Israeli program that treated her husband for his PTSD by disconnecting him from home and sending him to a different country to heal with others. Inspired by this idea and experience, by Cicely Hazell Goldhour decided to design a center for PTSD healing. Instead of creating something from scratch, however, she instead looked to another interest of hers, historic preservation, a field in which she has a corresponding certificate, and for the culminating project of her graduate studies in interior design, she worked on a proposal that would rehabilitate the White Hall Yarn Mill in a poignant echo of the purpose she has proposed for it: rehabilitation. Since little formal research has been conducted on the effects of architecture on those suffering from PTSD, Goldhour researched psychological aspects of the disorder and attempted to incorporate her findings into her design. The most striking aspect of her plan is the large, curved, opened courtyards flanking the entrance. Significant research has been devoted to the benefits of healing gardens and the light and colors they afford, so it is appropriate that these two courtyards are centrally located. Their unique, curved shaped is echoed in the rest of the plan, as Goldhour strives to avoid sharp angles, replacing them with the kind of walls that allow for greater visibility. Additionally, the exits are larger than usual, again demonstrating Goldhour’s commitment to creating a space where those healing from PTSD might feel comfortable. Observing Goldhour’s story boards, her precise choices become clear. If one follows the progression of images, they begin with photographs of the White Hall Yarn Mill as it exists today and flow into Goldhour’s illustrated plans for different aspects of the rehabilitation center. Resonating with this transformation, the boards, hand chosen by the artist from the White Hall Yarn Mill, move from the disarray evident in the mill’s current state to the ordered precision of her design, perhaps in anticipation of the healing her design might facilitate.
ZACHARY HARRIS CUTS CHALKY, LIGHT GREY CONCRETE TUBES INTO SECTIONS THAT ELONGATE AND MULTIPLY THEIR ORIGINAL, CYLINDRICAL FORMS, CREATING ELEGANT SHAPES AND LINES THAT RISE TO IMPROBABLY THIN PEAKS AND FLOW DOWNWARD IN HEAVY, CURVED SWEEPS. WHILE UNADORNED, THE CONCRETE IS SMOOTH AND THE CUT EDGES ARE PRISTINE. AS ONE MOVES AROUND THE WORK, THE EMPTY CENTERS OF THE TUBES SEEM TO SHIFT AND BEND LIKE THE SLOPING CONCRETE EDGES. In their precarious position, balanced atop marble-topped pedestals, they are unmistakably sculptural. And yet, Harris makes no attempt to obscure the nature of his material or the original form—there is no refining varnish to draw out the shine of concrete — and while cut and manipulated, the original tube-shape remains largely intact. Manifestly, these are recycled construction materials with a functional purpose. For all their aesthetic beauty, Harris’ curved concrete tubes are tools, and the evidence of their functionality is displayed in relation to simple wooden measuring instruments called Range Poles painted white and tipped with aluminum. As with all of Harris’s objects, these measuring tools slip between the functional and artistic. Harris’ concrete work is not confined to the gallery, as their pedestaled position might imply. Instead, they are iterations of similar tubes that Harris places outdoors as interventions in the landscape. In an ongoing project, Incised Allegory of Transmute Epistemology, done in collaboration with College of Environment and Design, Harris placed a series of cut concrete tubes in the headwaters by Claire Dempster of the Lilly Branch Watershed, located in a historic, old-growth forested area on the University of Georgia campus. Shifting the tubes from a horizontal to a vertical orientation, Harris used these forms to create a system that would combat the erosion caused by the inevitable gush of hardscape runoff following a rainstorm. By carefully monitoring the area over a series of months, Harris was able to track a distinct change in the original environment, confirming that he had successfully used the tubes to redirect the flowing water and thus alter exterior space. While Harris’ intervention has a utilitarian purpose, it also recalls the aesthetic interventions of land artists like Walter de Maria, whose work, Lightening Field, uses a grid of stainless steel pools to attract lightening across a wide desert plain. Harris and de Maria both use the functionality of simple construction materials to create minimal interventions in the land that achieve maximal visual effect, physically altering the surrounding environment to shift viewer’s perception of the landscape. While Harris’ work engages in environmental activism and recyclability, Harris is largely concerned with the material properties of concrete as a common historical and global building tool. For Harris, the long material history of concrete makes it compelling both as design tool and marker of humanity’s geological impact. Revolutionizing building in the Roman Era, the composition and use of concrete as a building material has changed very little in the subsequent two millennia. In our contemporary era, concrete operates frequently in dueling worlds, as a pervasive, everyday construction material and as a defining feature of the popular industrial aesthetic often favored by contemporary art galleries. Harris’ tubes, whether inside or in the landscape, articulate the tension between the material’s utilitarian purpose and aesthetic potential.
Umbrella Dwellers OIL, ENAMEL, ACRYLIC, SPRAY PAINT ON PANEL 48 X 60 INCHES 2016 RIGHT
Live Bait ACRYLIC ON PANEL 48 X 48 INCHES 2016
ARIEL LOCKSHAW’S WORKS ARE POPULATED BY PALM TREES, URBAN BUILDINGS, AND SWIMMING POOLS, ALL HALLMARKS OF A FUN SUMMER SETTING. HOWEVER, HER INCLUSION OF ACIDIC COLORS, BARREN SPACES, AND NOXIOUS LOOKING CLOUDS QUICKLY DISPELS ANY NOTION THAT THE VIEWER IS LOOKING AT AN IDYLLIC SCENE. TO CREATE HER PAINTINGS, LOCKSHAW USUALLY EMPLOYS A MIX OF REMEMBERED AND PHOTOGRAPHIC SOURCES. Before beginning her work, she either manipulates photographs, some of which she takes herself, in Photoshop, or paints small studies of elements that will appear in the final painting, such as the flags that hang above a pool. Even after the final painting process has begun, Lockshaw continuously edits her work and remains flexible, not bound by previous studies. Her choice of materials, which range from spray paint to subway tiles, speaks to her works' industrial subject matter. Although none of her paintings has explicit markers of place beyond those known by the artist, the majority of her work is tied to Southern California, from where the artist hails. The essence of summer is more ascertainable in her paintings than any specific geographical location, with recognizably kitsch summer objects such as the umbrellas in Umbrella Dwellers (2015) or the lawn chair by a pool-like form in Broke-Ass Chair by Kendra Macomber (2016). Yet, there is always something off about these objects: the umbrella has no pole, the lawn chair is missing its leg, and the water in the swimming pool looks flat and solid. Moreover, because the artist places these signs of summer within barren landscapes, the sense of community they might otherwise conjure is replaced by a sense of emptiness. The incompleteness of the objects and the artist’s acidic palette create the impression that the viewer is stranded in some sort of toxic, dystopian summer. The repetition of palm trees in her work serves as a particularly striking representation of the theme of artificiality. Initially, I thought they were meant to function as a pleasant reminder of her home state, but Lockshaw informed me that she hates these trees. As she explained, palm trees are strategically placed in Californian cities, and as a result, they are legible as contrivances, as man-made attempts to alter the landscape. This notion carries over into Lockshaw’s work, where the palms often look like they do not belong in the settings in which they are placed. Indeed, the subversion of the landscape by society is a reoccurring concern in Lockshaw’s work. In her paintings, she questions how people affect the places they live. In Access (2014), manmade objects like a tennis court, a mesh fence, and cement walls are either damaged or subjected to entropic forces embodied by masses of paint. With no horizon or comforting space for the eye to rest, we are confronted with the consequences of our production.
FACULT Y P RO FILE:
> BY LINNEA WEST // MA ART HISTORY, 2015
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Marni Shindelman, Assistant Professor and Area Chair for Photography and Graphic Design, balances a career as an artist alongside a true commitment to teaching. She brings this first-hand knowledge of the art world into the classroom at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, where she teaches at the graduate and undergraduate level. As a photographer, she works individually and in collaboration with long-time creative partner Nate Larsen. She has exhibited widely, including at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas, the FotoFestiwal in Poland, the Houston Center for Photography, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Moscow International Biennale in Russia, and Conflux Festival in New York City; and her photographic projects have been featured in publications including Wired Magazine, Hyperallergic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the British Journal of Photography, among others. The past spring was busy and rewarding for Shindelman. She participated in the University of Georgia’s Franklin International Faculty exchange by traveling to Belfast, Ireland in March for a week of seminars and workshops with students at the University of Ulster. Correspondingly, Shindelman will host a photography professor from the University of Ulster at the School of Art this fall, during which he will do critiques and workshops with graduate students. Bringing an international viewpoint to the Dodd was of keen interest for Shindelman, who believes that such exposure is essential to developing students’ minds and work. In recognition of her continued commitment to excellence in teaching, Shindelman was offered and accepted a tenure-track position at the School in 2015.
MARNI SHINDELMAN AND NATE LARSON, #GRATITUDE GEOLOCATION SERIES, 2016
Looking ahead, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation recently selected Shindelman as a recipient of one of their prestigious residency fellowships. She will spend three weeks at Rauschenberg’s twenty-acre estate on Captiva Island, Florida in the company of artists, writers,
| and musicians this coming fall. Shindelman intends to work on a multi-channel video that traces technologyâ€™s effect on nature through birdsong. This is the second time that she has received the Fellowship, which she was first awarded in 2013. The School of Art considers
itself fortunate to have faculty engaged in broader artistic dialogues who, in turn, bring such perspectives back to its students.
SHUK HAN LUI
PAINTING AND PIANO ARE COMPLEMENTARY PRACTICES FOR SHUK HAN LUI: “WHEN I MAKE PAINTINGS, I PRACTICE MEDITATION. WHEN I PLAY PIANO, I TRAIN MY CONCENTRATION.” IN HER MIXED-MEDIA PANEL PAINTINGS SHE DEPICTS THIS MEDITATIVE WORLD, WHILE IN HER FOLD-OUT ACCORDION BOOKS SHE DEPICTS THE MELODIES OF CLASSICAL MUSIC. DRAWING AND PAINTING ARE HOW LUI ATTEMPTS TO STAY IN THE MEDITATIVE WORLD. Her mixed-media paintings express ephemeral moments in daily experiences. Her paintings are moderately-sized abstractions that she says represent a “quiet and meditative world between the real and unreal.” After painting the panel, Lui prefers to leave the wood behind the panel exposed and unfinished. This brings awareness to the boundaries of these physical and metaphysical worlds as well as to the materiality of the work itself. In her depictions of melodies on fold-out accordion books Lui creates a visual counterpoint to her musical subject. Descending from a height above the viewer, these paintings capture the non-representational beauty of music visually rather than phonically. With the notes of the melody punched into the accordion sheets on which Lui by Brent Cavedo draws, these paintings could be sung or played by a spectator who can read the notation, inviting different responses and experiences for each viewer. As in music, where harmony and polyphony are built around the central theme of the melody, Lui’s paintings provide the central theme for the viewer to interpret and build upon. Lui spends many hours a day in her studio and at least one hour a day practicing piano. She describes her working process in meditative terms, as one that involves walking around her studio for hours, not unlike Buddhist monks at a Stupa. This allows her paintings to be constructed moment by moment, over time. This practice is reflected in the content of her paintings: when painting melodies, Lui prefers pieces whose tempos are adagio, at ease, or andante, walking speed. She often experiments with the materiality of her subject and recently has begun painting her melodies on abaca sheets. According to Schenkerian theory, all music can ultimately be reduced to the same fundamental structures, semper idem sed non eodem modo, “always the same, but not in the same way.” The individuality of each piece of music comes from the unique way these building blocks are arranged. In this way, Lui’s paintings transform the subtle variations of common musical elements into visual constellations of melody.
Untitled 0117 MIXED-MEDIA ON PANEL 14.5 X 23.25 INCHES 2017 LEFT
Untitled 1115 MIXED-MEDIA ON PANEL 34 X 48 INCHES 2015
PLANS AND SMALL-SCALE ARCHITECTURAL STRUCTURES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTEGRAL TO JON NOWELL’S PRACTICE, BUT IN ONE RECENT PROJECT, OBJECTIVE UTILITY STRUCTURE TEST, HE ELECTED TO FOCUS ON BOTH. BY GENERATING PRECISE PLANS CREATED IN ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR, NOWELL HAS BUILT A MODULAR STRUCTURE THAT CAN BE USED FOR A VARIETY OF UTILITARIAN PURPOSES. MADE FROM THE DURABLE BUT ADAPTABLE OUTDOOR MATERIAL OF COTTON DUCK CANVAS AS WELL AS WOOD AND STEEL, IT CAN SERVE AS A SHELTER, OR, GIVEN ITS ELEVATION ON A MAKE-SHIFT PLATFORM AND ITS VARIOUS WINDOW-LIKE OPENINGS, A PLACE FROM WHICH ONE CAN OBSERVE. Nowell has said that his practice is a metaphorical endeavor that aims “to lay structure over confusion.” In part, this is why many of his recent structures have included some type of elevated platform; it is a means for Nowell “to gain leverage over complexity” on the ground. To be sure, there is much about this project that is built on in-depth study and preliminary drawings, and the artist insists that such by Laura Lake Smith preparatory work and careful planning are central to the production of his art. In addition to the precision of the computer-generated plans, in his structure’s overall trapezoidal shape, Nowell has quoted aspirational architecture of antiquity, primarily the ziggurats, which were themselves built on mountain-like platforms and aspired likewise to bring structure and clarity to an unknown cosmos seemingly full of confusion. Yet in spite of his ambitions for coherence and order, things emerge that are unforeseen, possibilities for which there are no plans. In keeping with his recent works set on wheels or tripods, Objective Utility Structure Test is also mobile, and this is significant: Nowell’s structures are made to be nomadic, exposed to different physical conditions and deployed in different experiences. As his title suggests, this structure is a test of sorts; it is, as the artist says, a means through which one might test certain things about both art and life. Notably, it is a test this structure partly fails given the impossible goals of objectivity and mastery. But failure is useful. For, the confusion Nowell’s project aims to tame can never be fully allayed, and this is what Objective Utility Structure Test ultimately helps to make clear: that the circumstances of life are largely unpredictable and much like the mobile structure within the project, we too are always moving, subjected to various conditions and experiences that rarely go according to plan. Indeed, there is always a distinction between what one plans and what really happens, between objective structures and their subjective circumstances. What we need, Nowell’s project encourages, are plans and structures that move with us and, likewise, keep us moving. After all, the dominant material in his work is cotton duck canvas. While known today as durable workwear fabric, this canvas is akin to the material once used for the sails of boats as well as sailor’s outerwear. Made to weather the elements, this canvas was intended to endure voyages and explorations, indeed, adventures into the unknown.
JOHN POWERS, LOCUS, OAK, POPLAR, STEEL, BRASS, PLASTIC AND ELECTRIC MOTOR, 4 X 22 X 22 FEET, 2015. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.
ALUM N I PROFIL E :
JOHN POWERS, LOCUS (DETAIL) OAK, POPLAR, STEEL, BRASS, PLASTIC AND ELECTRIC MOTOR 4 X 22 X 22 FEET, 2015 IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.
What does an artist who is also a studio art professor want most? If you ask School of Art alum John Powers, the answer is a year devoted to making art. As a sculptor, Powers often makes complex, large-scale assemblies of moving parts that work in a kinetic whole while illustrating qualities such as the passage of time. Powers has said: “I am engaged in an investigation of what lies at the intersection of cinema, computation, music, and physical space.” Such projects are time-consuming. Powers might take as much as a year to finish one work. Thus, his wish for a year focused solely on making—a wish that was granted when he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016. Guggenheim Fellowships, often characterized as prestigious midcareer awards, are grants awarded to scholars, artists, and scientists who have produced exceptional scholarship or creative work. The fellowship will allow Powers to take a year off from teaching to work in the studio. “My proposal was simply for time to dedicate to my work,” Powers says, “The main premise of my proposal was that I make large, complicated objects and was at a place in my career where I could benefit greatly from the time to focus on ambitious new works.” A Guggenheim Fellowship is among the highest honors in the field, and truly a well-deserved one in the case of Powers. Powers has established himself professionally as an artist and teacher since graduating with a Master of Fine Art degree in Sculpture, with distinction, from the Lamar Dodd School of Art in 2008. He now teaches at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as Associate Professor of Sculpture. He has exhibited his work nationally at venues including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the MIT Museum, the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art, and Cue Art Foundation, and his work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Sculpture Magazine, Art Forum, The Huffington Post, and Art in America. Given all that Powers has accomplished so far, it will be exciting to see the results of a year of focused making by this talented School of Art alum.
> BY LINNEA WEST // MA ART HISTORY, 2015
Howlers ALUMINUM, NICKLE, BRASS, FINE SILVER, GLASS, MAPLE 6 X 8 X 6.5 INCHES 2016
13th Hour â€“ Clockwerks BRASS, NICKEL, WOOD, WET PLATE COLLODION, ALUMINUM
Howlers (INTERIOR VIEW) WET PLATE COLLODION, ALUMINUM 4.25 X 3.25 INCHES 2016
22 X 11.5 INCHES 2016
AMANDA SCHEUTZOW’S WORK TOYS WITH SOCIETY’S INNATE NEED TO COLLECT AND DISPLAY PRECIOUS OBJECTS. SHE LOOKS AT HOW, WHY, AND WHAT PEOPLE COLLECT, INVESTIGATING THE NEED TO CURATE AND DISPLAY AN INTIMATE PERSONAL COLLECTION. HER STUDIO IS PACKED WITH HER COLLECTIONS; SMALL OBJECTS AND SCULPTURES FILL EVERY SHELF AND AVAILABLE SPACE, WITH EACH PRECIOUS OBJECT TUCKED AWAY IN SEMI-PERMANENT DISPLAY. HER INSTALLATION FOR THE MFA THESIS EXHIBITION CONSISTS OF INTRICATE AND SURREAL STEREOSCOPE TINTYPES THAT ARE SET UP NEAR CAREFULLY CURATED CABINETS OF CURIOSITIES. HER COLLECTIONS EXIST IN A DISORIENTING STATE, CAUGHT BETWEEN FICTION AND REALITY, RESEMBLING UNCANNY AND HYPER-REALISTIC DIORAMAS. The photographic record of her intricate dioramas, Scheutzow’s tintypes transport the viewer to distorted worlds, filled with uncanny objects in surreal habitats. Each photograph is carefully staged to appear as if it is a happenstance snapshot of a surreal creature found in its natural habitat. The lifelike figures are a mismatch of species and body parts, seamlessly blended together, resembling botched taxidermy stunts like Barnum and Bailey’s infamous “Feejee Mermaid” of the 1840s. As you look at by Abigail Kosberg the tintype through Scheutzow’s hand-crafted stereoscope, you begin to wonder: when were these photographs taken? Where do they exist? How did she find these creatures? The ornate stereoscope and aged tintype obscure the dimension of time and blur fact and fiction, leaving the viewer completely enthralled. Her tintype Clockwerks depicts a family of five skeletal, bird-like creatures in a patch of tall, sparkly black grass. Each bird has elongated, veiny limbs with only a few sharp feathers extending from each forearm. As you look more closely, you notice strange mechanical objects dispersed throughout the tintype. There are wind-up knobs jutting out of each bird’s back, gears popping out of the dirt, and you soon realize that the birds have strangely mechanical hands. These subtle mechanic additions, the artist juxtaposes with the realistic rendering of the skeletal creatures—each limb painstakingly hand sculpted by Scheutzow. The birds are interacting with each other, each holding up a small lightbulb and looking to the largest creature, elevated on a pedestal. The image becomes almost religious, as if a snapshot into a strange, otherworldly ritual. These tintypes pair well with Scheutzow’s intimate cabinets of curiosity. Like her carefully curated studio, the cabinets display some of her most intriguing collectibles, which slowly reveal themselves to be the same objects used as props in her tintypes. The cross references between these aspects of her practice are subtle, but ultimately they cast doubt upon these alternative realities. At the same time, they leave the viewer all the more impressed by Scheutzow’s skill as a collector, curator, and artist.
Movements SINGLE CHANNEL VIDEO 1 MINUTE & 43 SECONDS 2016 RIGHT:
Elephant in the Room SINGLE CHANNEL VIDEO 3 MINUTES & 50 SECONDS 2017
IN CONVERSATION WITH STEPHANIE SUTTON, THE ARTIST RECALLED THE LIBERATING MOMENT OF “COMING OUT” AS, IN HER PREFERRED WORDS, A “FAT PERSON,” AND THE RELIEF THAT CAME FROM REJECTING CULTURAL NORMS THAT PRIVILEGE THE THIN BODY. TO ELIMINATE THE ANXIETY ACCOMPANYING THE BURDEN TO LOSE WEIGHT, SUTTON STOPPED FOCUSING ON EXTERNAL PRESSURES, WHICH FOR HER COME LESS FROM GLITZY ADVERTISING IMAGES THAN FROM MORE SUBTLE MESSAGING: FOR INSTANCE, CONVERSATIONS ABOUT YO-YO DIETING AND IMPOLITE STARES RECEIVED AT THE GROCERY STORE. Instead, Sutton turned her attention inward. Most revelatory were her visits to a sensory deprivation tank, essentially a cavernous space filled with salt water in which the body floats and is deprived of stimulation like light and sound. In this buoyant environment, engulfed by by Brooke Leeton silence, Sutton could feel and hear her heart beating and her own drawing of breath. Detached from the garish noises of the outside world and weightless, no longer subject to gravity’s pull, Sutton was a blank slate. These moments of freedom were the impetus Sutton needed to redefine expectations of her body, to accept and celebrate her own body type. This enlightenment inspired a body of work that draws upon a reconstituted awareness of her body as it takes up and performs in space. The videos displayed in the MFA thesis exhibition disclose this acute body consciousness, specifically Movements, a work in which Sutton’s bare upper chest is revealed. In the aftermath of physical exertion, her bosom heaves as she breathes in and out, and sweat trickles down her chin and neck. Complementing the images is an automated voice that describes the way a fat body negotiates space. For instance, at one point the voice says “thighs make audible swishing sound as they rub together.” The robotic voice makes no assessment of the pronouncement by way of inflection, instead narrating the fat body’s movements clinically, devoid of the judgments that so often attend the human form. Sutton also affirms the fat body as a producer, equal in ability to that of a thin one. In her video Grass Piece, the screen is filled with bright green grass, accompanied by the familiar hum of a lawn mower. Emerging from the top left of the picture plane, Sutton pushes the mower across the grass, moving back and forth until the entire patch of grass has been mowed. The hypnotic side-to-side motion regulates the spectator’s gaze, urging the viewer to share the artist’s vision of an adept fat form. Sutton denies the stereotype of the fat body as one that is sedentary and lazy, instead presenting a fat body capable of work, of effort, of discipline. The triumph of Sutton’s work is not, most plainly, its appeal to change opinions about the fat body, but rather that she does so by shifting the burden of self-consciousness onto her audience. Using her own experiences as an example, Sutton’s work evokes the act of becoming aware, a liminal space fueled by the desire to both endorse and justify the body. 49
DAN BA VU
Test Subjects 001 CEMENT, IRON OXIDE, PASTE WAX, MIRROR 5 X 4 X 5 INCHES 2016 ABOVE LEFT:
Test Subjects 003 CEMENT, IRON OXIDE, MIRROR 8 X 6 X 3 INCHES 2016 RIGHT:
Untitled (Stack) (DETAIL) CEMENT, IRON OXIDE, MIRRORS, GLASS PANELS, HARDWARE 10 X 10 X 35 INCHES 2016
DAN BA VU’S SCULPTURES EXPLOIT THE MATERIALITY OF CEMENT, SUBTLY REVEALING THE ARTIST’S HAND AS A MEANS OF CONTRADICTING THE PRISTINE AND STERILE CONNOTATIONS OF MATERIAL OFTEN PUT IN THE SERVICE OF RECTANGULAR FORMS. BEST DESCRIBED AS FLESHY, HIS SCULPTURES CONFRONT THE VIEWER DIRECTLY, INDUCING ANXIETY THROUGH THEIR ABJECT FORMS AND COLORS, BUT ARE ALSO COMFORTING THROUGH THEIR SKIN-LIKE QUALITIES, WHICH ALLOW THE VIEWER TO RELATE TO THEM. His ambitious installation, Breathing Room, consists of a series of twelve-inch by twelve-inch glass- and mirror-panel sandwiches that jut out perpendicularly from the wall at eye level. Tightly pressed between the panels are bits of molded cement that read as fleshy, abject blobs, which Vu refers to as “Test Subjects.” “Test Subjects” are cement casts of the interiors of balloons to which Vu applied immense pressure, forcing the balloons to spill over the outer edges of panels between which they were compressed. According to Vu, the balloons stand in as vessels to replace the figure as representations of the interiority of the human body. The smooth latex of the original balloon casing thus acts as a surrogate layer of skin. After the cement has cured, the balloon is peeled back, revealing imperfections in the raw material underneath. Vu is commenting on the concept by Abigail Kosberg of overcoming and overlooking imperfections, an idea furthered by the permanence of the material; once the cement is set, there is little room for manipulation without permanently damaging the dense object—a fact that forces the artist and spectator to embrace whatever imperfections are revealed. Vu argues that cement, much like clay, and indeed like the human body, has a “physical memory” because every interaction with it leaves a trace of direct impact. By first revealing, then carefully singling out the cement’s imperfections, Vu puts his own vulnerabilities on display, directly transferring the imperfection of the artist’s mark on the cement. His purposeful arrangement of these abstract forms also pulls the viewer directly into the piece; each set of panels is made up of one glass and one mirror panel. The numerous sets are all placed at eye level, far enough apart so that the viewer can physically move in and out of the space reserved between the different sets. The resulting effect is almost like a funhouse mirror, and, importantly, it projects the viewer directly into the work. In this way, viewers are forced to accept the painfully honest forms, questioning not only what they are—the cement is obscured by its fleshy tone— but also the viewer’s own relation to these uncannily familiar objects.
F I E L D S T U DY P R O F I L E
| IMAGES OF THE 2017 ST. LOUIS SPRING BREAK FOR THE ARTS TRIP BY STUDENT NICOLE KIM (BFA 2017)
FIEL D STUDY P R O F I L E :
UGA alumna Susan Sherman graduated from the Grady College of Journalism at The University of Georgia in 1982. In recent years, she has enhanced learning at the Lamar Dodd School of Art with an innovative and personal model of philanthropy. Since 2014, Sherman has funded trips for small groups of students at the School of Art during Spring Break—a program now called “Spring Break for the Arts.” Sherman arranges access to institutions and people in addition to participating in the trips herself, lending a personal dimension to her philanthropy as she spends time with the students and faculty. As an example, this past year students went on a whirlwind tour of the burgeoning art and design scene in St. Louis, where Sherman resides with her husband, David. The 2017 trip is the third “Spring Break for the Arts” that Sherman has sponsored, having funded and organized similar trips to St. Louis in 2014 and to Dallas in 2015. A select group of ten students visited museums and private collections and had meetings with artists and art professionals over three days. The trip also focused on fashion, which relates to another philanthropic activity of Sherman. She is the Chair of the St. Louis Fashion Fund, whose mission is to turn fashion designers into successful entrepreneurs by giving them a two-year “incubator” space in which to live, create, and manufacture. The ambitious St. Louis Fashion Incubator program kicked off a two-year residency program this past January, and School of Art students visited the work space and met the emerging designers. From facilitating to supporting to actually joining the students on the mini-bus, Sherman provides a model for what involved philanthropy can look like. Her enthusiasm, and her instinct for connecting people and ideas, contribute greatly to the value of these trips. Students are encouraged to ask questions and learn first-hand about navigating different paths in the art world. Practical exposure to the world they are preparing to enter is very much the point; for Sherman, art, design, craft, and art history make the most sense when they are experienced in the world, not just in the classroom.
> BY LINNEA WEST // MA ART HISTORY, 2015
SPRING BREAK FOR THE ARTS
Brent Cavedo is a first-year MA student in art history specializing in Greek and Roman art. He holds a MA degree in Latin from the University of Georgia.
Claire Dempster is a MA student specializing in postmodern and contemporary art. Her current research focuses on Michael Heizer, Land Art, and contemporary memorial design. She holds a BA in art history from the University of Texas at Austin. Jordan Alexis Dopp is a first-year MA student in art history specializing in ancient art. Dopp received her BA in art history and religious studies with a concentration in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations from Furman University in 2015. Her current areas of interest are panel paintings, museum ethics, and archival work as well as the methodological conservation and non-invasive study of ancient materials. She has enjoyed studying Fayum portraits and plans to write a thesis on the ritual function of costuming and case wrapping of ancient portraits. Augusta Gailey is a first-year MA student in art history focusing on art criticism and contemporary art.
Margaret Hankel is a MA student in art history, who received her BA in art history at Columbia College Chicago in 2009. She worked as a freelance photographer for several years in Chicago before beginning her Masterâ€™s degree, specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, the history and theory of photography, and the art and politics of the Weimar Republic. Cicely Hazell is a first-year MA student in art history. She received her BA degree in art history and French from McDaniel College in 2015, after which she spent a year teaching in Turkey through the Fulbright Program. Her research interests are focused on postmodern and contemporary art, including spectacle art and architecture, relational aesthetics, and the dialogue between exhibitions and their exhibition spaces.
Abigail Kosberg is a first-year MA student in art history. She received her BA from Lawrence University in art history, German, and studio art in 2016. Her research interests circle around questions of authenticity and appropriation in Modern European art, with a focus on the art and politics of inter-war Germany, the art of the Dada circle, and mid-century American outsider and self-taught artists. Her thesis looks at the German artist Hannah Höch’s photomontage series From an Ethnographic Museum and examines the gendered and racial implications of Höch’s source material. Brooke Leeton received a BA in communications and political science from the University of Tennessee. She then obtained a MA in art history from the University of Louisville and is, at present, a PhD student in art history, concentrating in modern and contemporary art. Leeton’s current research examines Ryan Trecartin’s digital videos and their curious blend of traditional and new media strategies. Kendra Macomber is a second-year MA student in art history. She was awarded the Congress-Bundestag Fellowship after graduating with her BA in Art History and German from Berry College. Her current research examines depictions of class within Realist and early Impressionist art from the nineteenth century. Kelsie Miller is a second-year MA student in art history. She received a BFA from Auburn University of Montgomery, and her current research focuses on Italian Baroque printmaking.
Megan Neely is a PhD student in art history working in Renaissance and Baroque art. Her previous research focused on copied works executed as gifts for political gain and the role artists play in these exchanges. Neely’s interests have now extended to focus on works of mythological punishment and their thematic relevance to social and religious shifts affecting artists in the sixteenth century. She received her MA from the University of Georgia and her undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern University. Laura Lake Smith is a PhD candidate in modern and contemporary art history. A 2015–2016 recipient of a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art, she is currently completing a dissertation on the serial art of the American artist Richard Tuttle. Her research focuses on a wide range of interests that include nineteenth-century photography, twentieth-century abstraction, and the intersection of contemporary art and philosophy.
Thomas Bosse combines traditional metalsmithing practice with the principles of relational aesthetics in order to produce work that catalogues the inception and life of handmade metal objects. By keeping intricate records of the process through detailed logs, video, and tool inventories, he documents the labor and time involved in realizing these objects. In this way, he seeks to bridge the gap between object and maker and inspire thought about the role of the handmade in todayâ€™s society. Bosse has shown his work in numerous galleries across the United States and has received several awards, including the Tom Hollingsworth research grant. Bosse is originally from Florence, SC and received his undergraduate degree in art education from Winthrop University. Reid Brechner is a painter and ceramic artist. Primarily concerned with abstraction and color fields in both mediums, his work often incorporates repurposed materials and is informed by environmental concerns. Brechner received his undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University, where he was awarded the Jeanne Scribner Cashin Prize for outstanding work in studio art, as well as the Clayton V. Fowler Award for exceptional writing in art history. His undergraduate degree is in art and art history, as well as mathematics. Megan Burchett incorporates printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding, and textile processes into her practice. Her work examines creative labor and its relationship to danger, survival, and healing. Megan was born in Durham, NC and received a BFA in printmaking from Cornell University in 2008. She has worked in several print shops on the east coast including Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Asheville Bookworks, and Supergraphic in Durham, NC. Ellie Dent is an artist working in the mediums of painting and sculpture. Using appropriated materials from hospitals, her work explores the body, abjection, pain, and trauma. Dent was born in Baltimore, Maryland and received a BFA painting, drawing, and printmaking from Towson University in 2013. Dent has exhibited work in various group and solo shows in Baltimore and Georgia and exhibited with Satellite Projects during Art Basel Miami 2015. Her work has been published in Hyperallergic and SciArt Magazine.
Jamie Diaz is a ceramic artist interested in the history of ceramic material as well as its deployment within installation art and mixed media. Her work comments on ideas of collecting and repetition and relates to the concepts of solidarity, meditation, endurance, and transformation. Diaz has exhibited her work regionally within the United States in both solo and group exhibitions. She received her BFA with an emphasis in ceramics from The University of North Texas. Arron Foster is an artist working in the mediums of drawing, printmaking, photography, video, and installation. His work uses the visual and conceptual possibilities of technological reproducibility to engage with issues of obsolescence and temporality. He has exhibited his prints, drawings, artistâ€™s books, and videos both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include: TheÂ Southern Printmaking Biennial at the University of North Georgia; The Staunton International Film Festival in Staunton Virginia; Print 2016 at John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto, Ontario; The Print and Animation Showcase at White Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon; and The Atlanta Print Biennial at Kai Lin Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.
Meirav Goldhour is an artist and interior designer interested in historic preservation. Goldhour served for two years in the IDF (Israel Defense Force) as combat support in an elite paratroopers unit. Following her military service, Goldhour pursued her undergraduate degree in Interior Architecture in Israel. Her current focus is design for mental health, with emphasis on the effects of the designed environment on people with post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, she is keenly interested in adaptive re-use in historic preservations. Her thesis project is a design for transforming a historic yarn mill into a trauma and PTSD center. Goldhour has worked on adaptive reuse projects with the Archway partnership at the University of Georgia. She is a member of PHI KAPPA PHI and currently resides in Athens, Georgia with her husband Dotan and her one-year old son, Eden. Zachary Harris is a sculptor who received his undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University.Â Ariel Lockshaw is a California native and a visual artist working in the realm of painting and drawing. Her work explores the urban landscape and the dichotomy of enrichment and destruction. Overshadowing the landscape element in her work is a deep involvement in aquatics. Shapes, patterns, palette, and composition are derived from memories of being simultaneously in and under water. Lockshaw has shown her work regionally within the United States. She received her BFA in painting from Sonoma State University in Northern California. Jon Nowell is an artist and maker interested in learning and carrying on the cultural legacy of carving, constructing, crafting, and improvisation in a sculptural context.
Shuk Han Lui is an artist working in the mediums of drawing, painting, printmaking, and piano. She works predominantly in mixed-media painting but also makes sculptures and artist’s books. Concerned with the quiet moments that make up daily experience, she is interested in the process of art making in connection with meditative states. Her studio practice focuses on the spiritual journey in order to address ephemeral moments that are related to “art as way of being.” She also explores various connections between painting and piano. Lui has shown her work in various locations within the United States and is the recipient of numerous awards including: the Willson Center Graduate Research Award, the Mary Rosenblatt Graduate Scholarship, and the Looney Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Lui received her BFA in art from the University of Utah. Amanda Scheutzow is a collector and arranger of worlds. She takes objects sourced from the cluttered and dusty shelves of junk, antique, and thrift shops and transforms them into ominous scenes, replete with darkly humorous monsters and otherworldly creatures. Inspired by cabinets of curiosity, taxidermy, and the gothic imagination, her installations embrace the imagination and inspire curiosity in her viewers. Once photographed as tintypes, these meticulously-sculpted tableaux serve both as the expression of Scheutzow’s inner fantasy world and an occasion for the viewer to construct his or her own narratives using obscure clues placed within the images. Scheutzow received her undergraduate degree in metals and jewelry at Arizona State University. She is a recipient of a Willson Center for the Humanities & Arts Graduate research award grant, has had her work published, and has shown in numerous galleries. Stephanie Sutton utilizes photography, video installation, sculpture, and performance to probe transformative notions of discipline and pleasure. Employing herself as subject, she borrows from conventions of ritual and labor to embody ideas of self-control and complicate assumptions about the fat body. Sutton received the Best in Show honor in last year’s New Kids on the Block juried intercollegiate exhibition at Eyedrum Gallery in Atlanta. She received her undergraduate degree in photography from Georgia State University in 2009. Dan Ba Vu is a conceptually driven artist with a background in ceramics. Vu and his family moved from Ngo Xa, Vietnam when the artist was eight years old, and much of his work is related to this foundational experience of displacement, which led to the creation of Vu’s “Test Subjects” and organic forms. Vu’s work attempts to conjure various physical and psychological phenomena—empathy, sympathy, mental abuse, anxiety, vulnerability, suffocation—and stems from deep-seeded fears about confinement. Using sculptural pieces and interactive installations, Vu investigates questions of process, materiality, and perception, specifically in relationship to the body. He received his BFA from the University of Utah in 2014. 59
GRADUATE STUDY AT THE LAMAR DODD SCHOOL OF ART
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MARCIA ISSACSON, GAINESVILLE, FL RICK JOHNSON, ATHENS, GA MARSH KING, ATLANTA, GA DEL MARTIN, ATLANTA, GA
EDITOR ISABELLE LORING WALLACE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ART HISTORY AND ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, RECRUITMENT & GRADUATE STUDIES
JANET MASON, MADISON, GA
WRITER LINNEA WEST, MA 2015
MARY STANLEY, ATLANTA, GA
DAVID MATHENY, ATHENS, GA IBBY MILLS, ATLANTA, GA SHOUKY SHAHEEN, ATLANTA, GA
ART DIRECTOR & DESIGNER JULIE SPIVEY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GRAPHIC DESIGN SCHOOL OF ART COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR PHOTOGRAPHY SHAWN CAMPBELL, MFA 2019 ALLY BURNETT CHRISTMAS, MFA 2018 COVER IMAGE STEPHANIE SUTTON, MFA 2017 GRASS PIECE, SINGLE CHANNEL VIDEO, 8 MINUTES 36 SECONDS, 2016
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