The New Weird America

Page 1



R Ame ica Dana Art Gallery Wellesley, MA

the new weird america

The New, Weird America Exhibition Catalogue

Copyright © 2010 The Dana Art Gallery All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. All artwork © the artists. Unless otherwise noted, all reproductions courtesy the artists, their galleries, or their collectors. Poems © Alexandra Mattraw. Introductory essay © Erica Plouffe Lazure.



painting drawing collage new media machines

Ame Rica february 8 - march 12, 2010

the dana art gallery, we llesley, ma

Featuring work by:


Curated by Michael Frassinelli Essay by Erica Plouffe Lazure with poetry by Alexandra Mattraw

and Photographs by Pat Cassidy Mo


Matt Krawcheck

Construction diagram for Single Reel Pixadigigiga-mitigator

Ink on paper (drawing folds up into a pamplet) 2009



New. Weird. America. Depending on whom you talk to, these words

don’t have as much meaning as they used to. In this Digital Age, something thought of as new holds that title for a few weeks at best, until, with lightning speed, the “new, new”

overtakes it. With virtually every bizarre image available on the internet, the concept of weird has also gone through a bit of a change. What was once thought of as outlandish/

radical/outrageous/offensive, whether it be in art, fashion or music (or politics, for that matter), can, in a matter of years or even months, become acceptable, fashionable, and eventually passé. With a changing demographic, fluctuating values, behavior-altering

technology and a steadily mutating popular culture, America in 2010 is certainly not the place mom and dad remember as kids. Often it appears to be less like a melting pot and more like some kind of hybrid pressure-cooker/atom-smasher that is in the middle of creating a new form of matter/country/experience entirely.

The inspiration for this exhibit came about from this idea of suddenly waking

up, looking around at the changing cultural landscape and saying, “You know what? I think we are living in some strange future.” It was put together as homage to/rip off of the wonderful touring art exhibit entitled The Old, Weird America, recently held

at the DeCordova Museum.1 While the artists in that exhibit found common themes

looking back at the peculiar American past, the artists in The New, Weird America find 1. The title was taken from the title of Greil Marcus’ book about Bob Dylan and the various inspirations and parallels to American history and culture found in the Basement Tape recordings of 1967.

themselves looking ahead, looking behind, and looking around at this brave new world we suddenly live in.

Their inspirations are varied, their approaches to art-making different. The things they share are some serious surrealist tendencies, a dash of obsessive-compulsive work methods and a unique vision that allows them to create engaging work in a highly personal style. And, for the most part, the “average person” (Jane Q. Public,

your uncle, Joe the Plumber, take your pick) would probably look at their work and say, “That’s interesting ... but a little weird.”

(As it happens, after I chose the title The New, Weird America, I soon found out that the phrase had

already been coined years earlier--specifically by David Keenan in the August 2003 issue of the British avant

guard music magazine The Wire. The article was about the Brattleboro Free Folk Music Festival in Brattleboro, Vermont, where a new psychedelic folk (or “freak folk”) movement was bubbling up.2 Coincidentally, I was

introduced to the artists in this exhibit--Neil Bender, Brent Fogt, Sean McCarthy and Matt Krawcheck--when

we all met just up the road from Brattleboro in Johnson, Vermont, as artists-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, in the summer of 2009. Isn’t that weird?)

I’d like to thank the artists for their help in creating this exhibit and also fellow VSC writers/artists-in-

residence for their contributions: Erica Plouffe Lazure (for her thoughtful essay), Alexandra Mattraw (for her

wonderful poems, which are interspersed among these catalogue pages), and Pat Cassidy Mollach (for allowing us to include her portraits of the artists and several other photographs). I’d also like to thank the Vermont

Studio Center, the Dana Hall School for continuing to support the gallery program, and finally to Mr. Al Gore

for inventing the internet. Without e-mail, web searches, on-line servers and Facebook communications this exhibit and catalog--and the world as we know it--would not exist.

2. “New Weird America.” Wikipedia.

--Michael Frassinelli Curator

Collage in the New, Weird America and the (un)Making of a Mallard Matt Krawcheck Detail of scroll

Mixed-media on paper 2009

By Erica Plouffe Lazure I’m thinking of a mallard. The writer Donald Barthelme once wrote that collage is the “central

principle of all art in the twentieth century.’’ If Barthelme were alive today, he’d no doubt be surprised that his collage theory has spanned well beyond the creative

arts, as well as the twentieth century. For in these times, our lives play out in a sort Boston-based

mash-up singer Katie Enlow

of collage. Daily we deal with paradox and juxtaposition, placing in context—in collage, if you will—the oftentimes disparate and bizarre elements of our lives. I’m thinking of a mallard in Vermont whose wings have been clipped.

Now more than ever—between musical mash-ups and “auto-tune” web

videos that meld techno beats and newsreels with spoofed, digitized versions of

a politician’s catch phrase—collage as an experience of life is in full-force, moving far past the possibilities afforded by grade-school scissors, oak tag, and a few

old magazines. How else could a McDonald’s hamburger franchise thrive in cowloving India? How else can we account for the flourishing success of reality TV

shows and self-outing online social networks in a culture obsessed with privacy? And how is it, with our nation at war, that the President of the

United States can receive the Nobel Peace Prize? Perhaps it’s fitting that he did: each of us knows the difficulty of diffusing hostile situations with the people in our lives. Setting the tone for peace may be just what we need.

The lone mallard quacks. He swims in a river swollen from two days of rain. He quacks to no one. It makes sense, then, that collage—as an art form, as a narrative

strategy, as an experience of life in this particular moment in time—holds relevance. We live and work in the cut-and-paste. We take fragments

of ideas, fragments of sentences, and synthesize them into a seemingly coherent whole. Collage—taken from the French word for “glue”—

celebrates appropriation. It takes an existing idea or object and mixes it with imagination. It reinvents what is into what might be. Borne of this

energy, collage yields something new, something never before considered or seen.

Crossing the bridge above the swollen river is a woman on her way to lunch. She stops to watch the mallard. She notices a note of panic in his quack. He won’t stop quacking. She sometimes sees a flock of mallards on the river, but not today. She looks upstream, then downstream. Where, she wonders, is his family? The work in the “New, Weird America” exhibit offers an experience

of this kind of collage: an amalgam of invention, appropriation, playfulness, and spontaneity. For Sean McCarthy, it emerges in the pen-and-ink birth of

creatures never before imagined—part spooky, knowing camel, part sweet

demon, part winged fish. For Brent Fogt, it surfaces in patient, topographical

Sean McCarthy Uvall Ink and graphite on paper: 9½ x 8½ inches. 2007.

undertakings composed of a hundred thousand meticulously drawn circles. For Matt Krawchek, it is a mission to paint an epic personal

narrative that ricochets from Big Bird to the boom box, from Mini Me to a new take on PowerPoint. For Neil Bender, it is a sexploration of eros in hot gummy pink flashes through the lens of pop culture and cutouts of wandering pheromones.

The mallard’s smooth green head moves left, then right, as though it is searching for something along the shore. The woman holds an umbrella in the crook of her arm, convinced the rain will return. She also is convinced that the swollen river has swept away the other mallards and he alone is the sole survivor, now looking in vain for his loved ones.

Brent Fogt Longshore Drift ink on paper, 60” x 96” 2007

As creators, we must experience juxtaposition in order for a

connection to be made. For within these seeming bifurcated spaces lies the gift of connectivity. In recognizing that the links between objects and ideas can be as important as the objects and ideas

themselves, we are able to experience the nature of relationships. We are able to see within ourselves how juxtaposition can reside, how that which we view as “other,” as “not me,” can become me with a

little thought and compassion. It is in the recognition of the energetic interface of two seemingly separate entities that enables us to care about something “other” as our own, and to make it ours. Matt Krawcheck Gear-synchronized Pixadigigiga-Mitigator Plywood, hardware, lenses, lights, etc, ink on acetate 2009

The woman on the bridge continues to watch the mallard maneuver through the swift, swollen river. His yellow webbed feet kick and kick against the current, the sheen of his green feathers gives a blueish hue. They are both waiting for another mallard to show, she thinks. But none do. After a time, it begins to rain. She opens her umbrella and crosses the bridge for lunch.

Whether we are artists or scientists or writers, we are

continually at the forefront of imagining what could be. What might be. In the studio or in the lab, we fly by the seat of our patched-up

pants, trying to find connection between the known world and the unknown. Between the life we have and the one we envision for

ourselves and others. We examine the static between two or more ideas in the hope of generating something new.

At lunch, the woman tells the table about the panicked mallard, about the swollen river. She speaks about the mallard’s frailty, his anxiety, his aloneness. Where is his family? she says. She realizes as she speaks she is no longer talking about the mallard, but about herself. For a moment, the table falls silent. There must be something sacred in the act of noticing,

something in the desire for connection, for meaning, that gives birth to art. For in that moment of noticing forms an experience of truth. Is it

a brush with the divine? Or does the divinity come from the value the observer assigns to the situation?

A few days later, a sculptor who’d heard the woman’s story at lunch invites her to his studio. He presents her with a sculpture of a panicked mallard made out of pieces of a hundred-year old piano. She holds in her hands the reconstructed mallard and smiles. Just earlier that week, she’d watched the sculptor take a sledgehammer to the piano. He poured water in its seams to soften the ancient glue of an animal that for so long had held the instrument together. The artwork that has been collected for this catalog and exhibit

could not be more different. The artists, all of whom convened in

Neil Bender Primavera (detail) painted installation 2007

residency in July of 2009 at the Vermont Studio Center, have together in these pages formed their

own collage. Their experience of the world makes possible art from mutated colonies of tiny circles. It shows how a flip-through of US Weekly—or even a battle with a university’s IT department—can

inspire the next great painting. It produces imaginary creatures so realistic, and wielded with all the studied precision of a field guide, that you are convinced they must exist somewhere. And perhaps they do.

Leaving the sculptor’s studio that afternoon, the woman thinks, If there were no mallard and no river and no bridge, there would have been no lunchtime story. Without the mallard, the core of her own panic about isolation, about being alone, might have remained dormant. Her story would not have yielded a sculpture of a panicked piano mallard. It would not have yielded this essay. Think about it. This is a story. Do you care about the fate of the mallard and his family? Do you

care about the woman? Do you care what the sculpture of the panicked mallard looks like? Do you care about the destroyed piano? What about the connections among them? If you do, I’ve done my job.

And if you don’t, then it’s up to you to make

the collage—to search for the connection in the

juxtaposition—whether through this story, or one

you develop on your own. Consider this sentence as your jumping-off point:

I’m thinking of a mallard.

Pat Cassidy Mollach Nikia from House and Garden, 2004, archival pigment print, 24� x 24�

Artists / Works


Pat Cassidy Mollach Neil Bender from Cartes de Visite gelatin silver contact print, 4� x 5� 2009

Neil Bender N*pples are In Mixed media on paper, 13� x 9� 2008

Neil Bender My work is the epitome of Boucher’s quote: “I detest the natural world because it is too green and poorly lit”. The aim of the work is to seduce and give pleasure through imagery that is social and accessible, that loves the idea of surface as a way of picturing honest yet mischievous belief systems. The work is a communicative device that takes imagery that is exploited by our popular culture and forms a new interface for open dialogue, with an interest in pleasure, sensuality, and black humor as the starting points. Through a restructuring of provocative images, I hope to open up new contents that are potentially morally questionable. To suspend the viewer’s interaction with the work, I tend to deploys ‘hooks’ such as graphic imagery and lurid color to create an overflowing, lascivious world of flowering, fluid fragments that are theatrical and explore many possible genders and sexual situations. Pink is used as a color of identification, which is descriptive of all of our internal bodies. Its feminine connotations are embraced and simultaneously upended to create aggressive images. Installation has become a way to create stages for the many characters of that emerge from my work; small theatres within larger theatres.

Primavera (Installation view) Latex on wall with paper pieces approx. 12 x 20 feet overall 2007

Randy (Detail, installation view) Latex and silk screen on wall with framed works on paper 2008

Since a typically-American adolescence of pop residue (such as baseball, pro wrestling, He-Man, hip-hop and shopping malls) in urban New Jersey, I have looked to image–making as a way of negotiating biological drives and urges with culture’s beautifully decorative facades, social norms, and stilted morality. Most of our humor revolves around the obscene; my work aims to use humor as a start to open up other far-reaching and probing investigations. Without having rigid expectations from the viewer, I hope they can use these objects for the alleviation of anxiety and the eradication of desire to reach a welcoming space where every fantasy and fetish is potentially fulfilled.

Pheromone Spiral 125-8 x 10 inch paper pieces on floor 2006

Punditocracy Oil, acrylic, collage on canvas 70 x 107 inches 2008

Female Mixed media 17 x 14 inches 2007

Male Mixed media 17 x 14 inches 2007

Mash-up Mixed media 17 x 13 inches 2007

Four Prigs Ink and acrylic on marbelized paper 22 x 27 inches 2008

Floating Dresses Mixed media 22 x 30 inches 2004

Dallas Acrylic on paper 14 x 17 inches 2005

White Boy Acrylic on paper 14 x 17 inches 2005

Inside the Construction : The Reason for Painting A poem by Alexandra Mattraw

Your paintings like a rocking horse, or the story where a boy rides his death every night. Gambles his colors for a soul. Back roads stretch cacti push and prick. Taste cattails

and trains. Gardens hang beer bottles and broken Spanish.

Every shard a thread— a puppet I hold. To mimic you

mimicking. Tightly our fleshy palms sweat the jukebox

wine. Coughs swill elms and reddened wolves that paint

you painting them. Nicotine incisions. Hank Williams. Hot dog cart bells rounding each window. New moon slants lean two children in a yard. They laugh. Brown fenced wet

newspaper and birches weep their skins. My sticky hands.

You mouth swollen dahlias from drunk sidewalks. Morning punctures your front door hinge. Sunlight hems the skirts between our hands. Every photograph you tried to paint. Even the dirt under your own nails that grow even after—

Pat Cassidy Mollach Sean McCarthy from Cartes de Visite, 2009, gelatin silver contact print, 4� x 5�

Sean McCarthy Andrealphus Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Sean McCarthy The work in this exhibition is made up of two kinds of drawings: portraits of demons and biomorphic abstractions. First, although demons show up often in the history of art, they seem to be rarely taken seriously as subjects of inquiry; when I was an undergraduate, I had to sit in art history classes listening to hour upon hour of comparisons between depositions or depictions of the Madonna or treatments of drapery, but when demons or monsters showed up, their presence was merely noted, sometimes with a condescending acknowledgement that they suggested “imagination” on the part of the artist. I can’t think of any attempt to develop a morphology of demons, or to unpack their individual meaning with any specificity. So I present demons in a portrait format, giving them the same kind of individual attention one might give to human subjects. I am also interested in demons because they’re often depicted as animal hybrids, which have long been subjects of my work. When animal forms are used to represent demons, they have a specific relationship to human morality as embodiments of evil. I assume this happens because wild animals are things we fear (that might maul or eat us) or desire (this is the origin of visual art: hunters painting, on cave walls, animals they wish to catch and eat), and fear and desire are elements of human experience that moral systems, in part, are meant to control. Like the demons, the abstractions are also hybrids, in a sense; they just haven’t been resolved into individual figures. They evoke or suggest different forms without pinning them down as signs or symbols. With the way the drawings are made, I want the representations of organic forms to be convincingly corporeal, but I also want them to be delicate and apparitional. Even when the images are resolved as figures, I want to suggest that they’ve just barely materialized and may yet transform into something else. In the abstractions, this metamorphic quality is more obvious.

Anastomosis Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Botis l Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2009

Botis ll Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2009

Astaroth Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Amon Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Belphegor Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2005

Flehmen Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2006

Doppelganger Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Haborym Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Proposition Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2004

Bullhead Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 11 inches 2007

In the Gray Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Remission Ink and graphite on paper: 8½ x 7 inches 2007

Every Figure 1 : I : is concentric :

: melts ice left in the glass :

: stakes faith in the impersonal : : will say, It’s fate!

: associates yellow flickered highway curve with thought but not the car behind :

: is damp :

: confuses a tender for tenderness that gives way to swallowing : : writes down what’s eaten :

: perceives television flash and bicker as a synonym for space : : chalks the nightstand with aspirin :

: mistakes shredded highway tire treads for dead crows :

: swallows :

Pat Cassidy Mollach Mama from House and Garden, 2004, archival pigment print, 24” x 24

: will reply, The tumbleweed barbs the rumble strip hills

: believes the deer will migrate through the deer underpass and live into the other side : : buys green bottles to empty them : : has a turbulent smile :

: talks alone in the Kum and Go gas station bathroom but does not wipe the toilet: : can argue, Mushrooms and stones are currency : : thinks the heart has a smell :

: does not see window sunlight archetypes :

: repeats whiter hitter whiter hitter alone so leaving while sleeping : : hides why :

: grows a root canal as words do, inside decades : : believes the river has a beginning :

: will pay for it :

Alexandra Mattraw

Detail, sketches for story development (machetes and boomboxes) Mixed media on paper towel 2009

Matt Krawcheck

Pat Cassidy Mollach Matt Krawcheck and Matt + Yawn from Cartes de Visite gelatin silver contact print, 4� x 5�, 2009

Detail of Prototype # 1: Single Reel Pixadigigiga-mitigator with projection Dimensions variable 2009

Matt Krawcheck and the Pixadigigiga crisis ‘Pixadigigiga Crisis’ refers to the wholesale abandonment of reliable and accurate 35mm slides in favor of pixadigigiga-ray emitting devices, the harmful effects of pixadigigiga-radiation on both humans and electronics, the widespread ignorance thereof, and the conspiracy behind it all. Pixadigigiga radiation has a wavelength of 10 to the -14th power and comes right after Gamma rays on the electromagnetic spectrum. I’m part of an organization dedicated to publicizing the truth about pixadigigiga rays and the digital projectors that emit them. Currently, we’re working on another mechanical projector that projects from four different scrolls of acetate simultaneously. The goal is to create a presentation that will more clearly and concisely explain the ‘Pixadigigiga Crisis’. There will also be a pamphlet, summarizing the presentation, that unfolds into instructions on how to build your own pixadigigiga-ray free projector. Our organization is the Supreme Council for Revolution Necessary

to Stop the Spread of Technocratic Corruption (‘the Supreme Council’ for short) headed by my alter-ego his excellency, the honorable Dr. Matty Tang Tang PhDiddy the merciful, elected chairman of the above and champion of the causes thereof. Dr. Matty Tang has graciously appointed me head of the Division for Research on the Pixadigigiga Crisis, in charge of the current project. Without getting into too much technical detail, I will warn that pixadigigiga-radiation is highly sensitive to magnetic shifts. The Supreme Council predicts that in the year 2012 when the earth’s magnetic poles switch Digital (PDG-ray emitting) projectors will no longer be able to contain and direct the radiation. At this point PDG-radiation will burst forth from it’s host devices and travel for thousands of miles, around corners, through keyholes and up drain pipes, scrambling all circuitry in it’s path. It’s crucial that we do NOT panic. The Supreme Council has developed two prototypes for PDGray free projectors that can be built out plywood, computer keyboards and magnifying glass lenses. These innovations will allow us to communicate with and teach future generations as we did in the days of Powerpoint.

Studio view of Prototype # 1: Single Reel Pixadigigiga-mitigator and of mixed media scroll

entitled Notes for the Tales of the Supreme Council, the Champions of the Causes Thereof, and the Tradition, Honor, Discipline and Excellence Therein, 2009

The artist at work Vermont Studio Center July, 2009

Detail of scroll section Mixed media on paper 2009

Detail of Prototype # 1: Single Reel Pixadigigiga-mitigator with projections Dimensions variable 2009

The Pixadigigiga Crisis Pamphlet: printed paper and mixed media with writings 7 x 10 inches, folded 2009

Detail of reverse of unfolded Pixadigigiga Crisis pamphlet forming a construction diagram for Prototype # 2: Gear Synchronized Pixadigigiga-mitigator X4 Ink and mixed media on paper 20 x 28 inches 2009

Prototype # 2: Gear Synchronized Pixadigigiga-mitigator X4 Studio view Wood, lenses, lightbulbs, assorted hardware and wiring, ink on acetate, duct tape 2009

Stills from studio tour video Philadelphia, PA 2010

To Become Invisible I admit little deaths.

City lung-shards Dust, zero aperture.

pulp cigarettes.

So the causeway imitates

the dial of weathervanes.

Eyes as the reason

we can’t see, I toss

As if a penny can turn itself.

In a palm,

My caws’ red-combed sweeping. the seed into the river.

gleaming. I become an albeit.

A black cat licks

his eye-whites clean.

A gibbet moon

banana ugly.

guns skeletal

and fences nothing.

Cyclone metal

Smaller, my whine pines the taste of mud.

A tractor bleats and so we list ourselves.

Ribbed fern sway No returns, a hinge clamps

diesel rattle

mistakes breathing.

each shutter

In the garden, a woman

stuffs her mouth with quarters

I swallow to watch her.

I shiver back. to count them.

Alexandra Mattraw

Brent Fogt

Interspire Ink on paper 60 x 60 inches 2008

Intrepid Arbor Ink on paper 24 x 108 inches 2007

Brent Fogt

My current work is composed of large drawings and sculptural

installations. I build my drawings by amassing small units to create abstract forms that vary from the topographic to the decorative.

The ubiquity of circles appeals to me, as does the potential to read them as simultaneously microscopic and cosmic. Circles are also

infinitely flexible, making it easy to lay one next to another in multiple directions. The patterns in my drawings refer to, among other things, aerial photography, maps, turbulent water, live oak trees, coral reefs, ant farms, and paisleys. Though the drawings resemble fractals, the

shapes vary greatly depending on the viewer’s distance from the work. I begin with little or no idea what a drawing will eventually look

like, but by limiting my range of choices to a specific kind and size

of mark, I have enough information to proceed. These self-imposed

limits produce a high degree of repetition, but they also leave room for improvisation. As I continue to draw, I attempt to balance chaos

and order, positive and negative space, movement and stasis. I send

out paths of ink into blank space and build around them. Forms begin to emerge after two or three days of drawing. At this point, I lightly

sketch outlines for the rest of the forms, which become containers for further improvisation.

The result is a series of fantastic places—islands or continents

unoccupied by human or animal. I want viewers to imagine traversing these places, exploring their topography and pattern. I am also

interested in how the viewers’ experience changes as they approach or move away from the work.

My installations also rely heavily on repetition. I respond to the

“personality” of a site by manipulating and arranging simple materials in the space. For example, one recent basement installation involved

coiling miles of candle wicking. In another installation that referenced Roman aqueducts, I suspended a block of ice from the ceiling,

captured the melting water with vinyl tubing and directed the flow of water into a mold of identical size to the ice block, a task that I

repeated daily. Repeated actions are as much a part of my installations as they are my drawings.

In all my creative output, I am fascinated with process. To capture

how a piece changes over time, I document much of my work with photographs and video. I also record myself working. The result

has been a series of animations and videos that explore material transformation and the idea of artist as worker. In addition, I am

constantly testing new ways of working. One work in progress is an eight-foot long scroll of paper. I limit myself to drawing on a small

section at a time to prevent myself from seeing the entire composition. I am intrigued with how constraints such as these can produce unexpected results.

Criminal Tombolo (detail)

Criminal Tombolo Ink on paper 96 x 60 inches 2007

Transplant Ink on paper 60 x 60 inches 2007

Persistent Traveler Ink on paper 96 x 60 inches 2006

Persistent Traveler (detail) ink on paper 6 x 60 inches 2006

Criminal Tombolo Ink on paper 96 x 60 inches 2007

Projection: The Proposition You must break it to use it. Rain stutter, hesitation of leaves. Rain sheets whitened by sky’s contrast. City, skylines turned pulp in fog, and the sudden question of entrance. To be astonished, we become mirrors resting inside freeway spines, our desire hidden inside the sound of wheels. Cement vertigo. The no inside alone. What color is an answer, with eyes edged coal, stomach of soured reds. What slopes inside vowel belly, rounded O and i is engulfed, still another— Where does the we go from here— even stitches recede to mere balding. Soon curtained moon, a fingernail pressed to fingertipped stars, a point to diameter beyond sea. Blue tissue folds skywards, in the blown weight of a darkness we invented. Alexandra Mattraw

Pat Cassidy Mollach Eugene from House and Garden, 2004, archival pigment print, 24� x 24�

Biographies + Notes

Alexandra Mattraw studied English at UCLA (BA), earning her MA in Humanities from University of Chicago and MFA in poetry from University of San Francisco. She was a poet-in-resident at Vermont Studio Center in July and lives in San Francisco. Her chapbook, Projection, is forthcoming this spring from Achiote Press. Other poems have also appeared in Seneca Review, Denver Quarterly, Verse, and VOLT. Brent Fogt is an Assistant Professor of Art at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. Born in Ohio and raised in Texas, Brent creates intricate drawings and installations that reference maps, aerial photographs and microscopic organisms. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. Brent’s work has been featured in New American Paintings, Art in America and the Houston Press. He holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a BFA from the University of Texas.

Erica Plouffe Lazure lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, where she serves as the 2009-2010 George Bennett writer-in-residence at Phillips Exeter Academy. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, the Greensboro Review, the North Carolina Literary Review, and elsewhere.

Neil Bender was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and currently lives and works in Florida. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, at the Front in New Orleans, the Boston Center for the Arts, the CUE Art Foundation in New York, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Palazzo Casali in Cortona, Italy, and many other venues. He received the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant in 2002 after getting his MFA from the University of Georgia.

Sean McCarthy (b. 1976 in San Antonio, TX) has a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from Yale University. McCarthy is represented by Fredericks & Freiser in New York, where he had his first solo show in 2008. His work has also been exhibited in a number of group exhibitions in New York, London, and Basel. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn and is Assistant Professor of Art at Lehman College of the City University of New York.

Matthew Krawcheck is a Miami-based painter currently attending the UPenn MFA program. Most of his paintings are figurative narrative. He is currently engaged in making work that attempts to expose the technocratic corruption underlying the ongoing Pixadigigiga Crisis, a theme that has dominated his work for the last five years.

Michael Frassinelli (Curator) is a sculptor, teacher and director of the Dana Art Gallery in Wellesley, MA. He received his BFA from the University of CT in 1982. His recent work, made entirely out of piano parts, chronicles the history and culture of the fictional Pianista tribe, and incorporates objects, writings, video, music and performance, exhibited in the style of a natural history museum. He has exhibited in California, Connecticut, and most recently in the Greater Boston area. Portrait by Pat Cassidy Mollach

Pat Cassidy Mollach: Evolving American Turn of the Century Photography-Based Artist Currently living in NY, her work is rooted in lifestyle choices that exist outside mainstream culture and the changing roles of image-making at the turn of the century. Color images in this catalog are from the “House and Garden” series made in pre-Katrina Louisiana. Portraits are from the ‘Cartes de Visite’ series, which explores ways to integrate local real time ‘friending’ with the web.


2002 1998

MFA (with Distinction), University of Georgia –-Lamar Dodd School of Art BFA, Rutgers University ---Mason Gross School of the Arts


Circa PR Contemporary Art Fair, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The New, Weird America. Dana Art Gallery, Wellesley, MA.


Freaks, Privateer Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Group show. Beyond Picturopolis, (with Elisabeth Condon and Michelle Weinberg), ArtCenter of South Florida, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA. Selected work from ‘Painting’s Edge’. Curated by Peter Frank. University of Alabama --Huntsville (solo)



2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

The Lilt, The Front, New Orleans, LA. *(solo) Florida Friendly, Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL. Three-person show.

Picturopolis (with Elisabeth Condon and Michelle Weinberg), DACRA--Moore Space, Miami, FL. Bridge Art Fair, Catalina Hotel, Miami, FL. Concurrent with Art Basel, Miami, December 2007. Pick A Hole, Fuller Projects, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. (solo) Artists’ Books: Transgression/Excess, SpaceOther, Boston, MA. Circa PR (Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan, PR,. Group exhibition. The Violence Below, (with Chad Abel), Edge Zones, Miami, FL. Two-person show. Bridge Art Fair, Catalina Hotel, Miami, FL. Concurrent with Art Basel, Miami, December 2006.

The Drawing Show, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA Contemporary Queer, Shaw Center for the Arts, Brunner Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA. Pink for Miami, Edge Zones, World Arts Building, Miami, FL (Curated by Genaro Ambrosino).

Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL. (catalogue). New American Talent 19, Arthouse, Jones Center for Contemporary Art, Austin, TX. Juror: Jerry Saltz CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY. Mostra, Palazzo Casali, Cortona, Italy. Gender Acts, Roe Art Gallery, Furman University, Greenville, SC. Three-person exhibition. Scope Art Fair, Miami, FL. (Saltworks Gallery)Lust, Fe (Iron) Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA. Nether Regions, Fugitive Art Center, Nashville, TN.* Two-person exhibition. Heaven In Your Hand, London Gallery, Athens, GA.* Solo exhibition. Viscera: The Subjective Body, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, Athens, GA.

Gone Tomorrow: A Series of Ephemeral Installations, Atlanta, Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA. Rise and Fall, Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA.

Sean McCarthy


Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT Master of Fine Arts, Painting and Printmaking, 2001

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Art, with emphasis in Painting and Drawing, 1998 SOLO EXHIBITIONS

Fredericks & Freiser, New York, NY, 2010–11 (forthcoming)

Fredericks & Freiser, New York, NY, I Think of Demons, 2008 TWO-PERSON EXHIBITION

Fredericks Freiser Gallery, New York, NY, Nicholas Di Genova & Sean McCarthy, 2005


Peter Fingesten Gallery, Pace University, New York, NY, Insomnia, 2009 Privateer, Brooklyn, NY, Freaks, 2008

Fredericks & Freiser, New York, NY, They Fought a Running Engagement (Collaborations), 2008 Peter Fingesten Gallery, Pace University, New York, NY, Drawn, Hanged and Quartered, 2007 Jeannie Freilich Fine Art, New York, NY, 100 Artists - 100 Watercolors, 2006 New York Institute of Technology, New York, NY, DIY TLC, 2006

One in the Other, London, UK, Black Moon Island: Contemporary International Drawing, 2006 Fredericks Freiser Gallery, New York, NY, Graphic, 2004

Cubitt Artists Gallery, London, UK, Publish and Be Damned, 2004

Matthew Krawcheck


University of Pennsylvania School of Design, MFA expected 2010 Kansas City Art Institute, BFA, Painting, May 2006 Yale/Norfolk Painting Program, Fellowship, summer 2005 New World School of the Arts, high school, Miami, FL, 2002


Vermont Studio Center summer residency, awarded by vote of UPenn faculty Kansas City Art Institute commissioned a painting presented to donors of the new painting building


2006 2002-2006 2002 2002 2001

Featured in Irreversible Magazine Collectors Edition and Wynwood, the Art Magazine Art Basel Special Edition Named Best Emerging Artist 2006 by Kansas City art magazine, The Pitch Kansas City Art Institute, Competitive Scholarship Grand Prize winner, “Expressing Freedom,” VSA Arts Semi-finalist, Presidential Scholar in the Arts NFAA ARTS National Finalist, Level II

2009 2009 2009 2007 2007 2007 2006 2006 2006 2006 2005 2003 2003

“Or Is it?” 2nd Year MFA Show, PennDesign, Philadelphia, PA “AfterDark,” AD Projects, Chelsea, NY “Young Blood: New World MIXX,” Artseen Gallery, Miami, FL “Second Look,” Meyerhoefer Gallery, Lake Worth, FL “Exposed!” Art Formz Gallery, Miami FL “Young Guns,” Meyerhoefer Gallery, Lake Worth, FL “Whoop Dee Doo,” Rocket Projects Gallery, Miami, FL KCAI BFA Show, H & R Block Artspace, Kansas City, MO Grothaus+Pearl Gallery, Kansas City, MO (with review in “The Pitch“) KCAI Senior Thesis Show for painting department, Kansas City, MO Yale University, Norfolk Gallery “Home,” KCAI Living Center Gallery “Expressing Freedom,” Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, VSA Arts exhibition

2005 2005 2005 2003

Window paintings, Irving Building, KCAI Painting Installation, Vanderslice Hall, KCAI Cave Painting Installation, tunnels, Irving Building, KCAI Sculpture Installation, Vanderslice Hall, KCAI




Brent E. Fogt


2007 MFA in Art & Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1997 BFA in Studio Art with Highest Honors, University of Texas at Austin SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 2009



Mississippi Invitational, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Juror: Peter Plagens Accrual Method (solo), Visual Arts Gallery, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia Silent Topographies (solo), Lawndale Art Center, Houston, Texas Transplant (solo), The Fuller Projects, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana Faculty Show, Lewis Gallery, Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi Three By Five, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi

Runaway, Yacht Club Gallery, Detroit, Michigan The Velocity of Gesture, The Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Georgia Imprint of Place, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, Michigan CATALOGUES 2009 2007

Mississippi Invitational, Catalogue, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi Curator: Peter Plagens New American Paintings, Midwestern Region, Open Studios Press, Boston, Mass. Juror: Elizabeth Dunbar, Curator of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

REVIEWS 2009 2007

Peter Plagens, “Mississippi Yearning,” Art in America, November 2009 Dusti Rhodes, “Brent Fogt: Silent Topographies,” Houston Press, March 31, 2009 Scott Albert Johnson, “A State of Talent,” Portico Jackson, August 2009 John Carlos Cantu, “Map quest” Ann Arbor News, March 11, 2007


The Drawing Center Viewing Program, New York, New York


Visual Arts Fellowship, Mississippi Arts Commission Faculty Awards in Teaching and Research, Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi Artist Grant, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont


Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont



The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, Rabun Gap, Georgia Elsewhere Artist Collaborative, Greensboro, North Carolina


o t e s



[regarding poems by Alexandra Mattraw]

“Projection: The Proposition” was previously published in Denver Quarterly and “To Become Invisible” appeared in Cultural Society.

POET Alexandra Mattraw: WRITER Erica Plouffe Lazure: PHOTOGRAPHER Pat Cassidy Mollach: website:

Thanks to mashup singer Katie Enlow (and her brother dj/dt (a.k.a. Mr. E.) for performing at the NWA Opening Reception (that’s the New Weird America, not the other N.W.A...)

The New, Weird America February 8th - March 12th, 2010 Dana Art Gallery, Michael Frassinelli, Director

The Dana Art Gallery is located on the campus of the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It is open during the academic year, September to the middle of June, showing the work of faculty, alumnae, local and regional artists, and occasionally nationally recognized and international artists working in a variety of mediums and styles. For more information and to submit work for consideration for future exhibitions please visit:, e-mail the gallery at: or write to: Dana Art Gallery Attn: Michael Frassinelli Dana Hall School 45 Dana Road, Wellesley, MA 02482

Catalogue designed by Michael Frassinelli

Printed in America by

Copies of the catalogue are available at, or through the exhibit website: ...and soon on Amazon com. T-shirts also available.

A digital archive of this exhibit and links to the artists’ websites can be found on the website as well.

Pat Cassidy Mollach Gypsy from House and Garden, 2004, archival pigment print, 24� x 24� (manipulated)

Prayer (For No Metaphor) “All these things were out there/ waiting, innumerable, patient. How could I name even one enough,/ call it only a flower or a distance?”

-Robert Creeley, “Edges”

A pine cone tilts a hammock. A picnic tabletop I sweep a body

in its fall then groomed sand, combed each grain for a little

turned. Out. A pinecone? A name takes from trees

backwards. Suited tongues. But tongues don’t taste its core

sized broom. Not patient or impatient but sawed redwood. Mind contents

and geometrics. Edges. Cone meaning Latin “wedge” or peak, a Greek spinning top. So cruel to frame each

shingle, each fingernail pricks. Reaches without fingers but

lemonwood breached sapside and not wanting. It might’ve fallen straight and pointed maybe sideswiped a bed of fur

needles and a blue jay’s cackle greening. It might’ve tacked wind

knowledge. Pinecone hangs combs hangs triangles

like a plea. I give it telling. I force its windy greeting

as wave lap urgent is the shoreline finish. Yet not meaning, not opening for any one body to assume : How it fell or even how it formed such words in a human mouth.

Alexandra Mattraw

The New, Weird America Featuring work by:

Neil Bender Brendt Fogt Matt Krawcheck Sean McCarthy

Curated by Michael Frassinelli Essay by Erica Plouffe Lazure Poems by Ale�andra Mattraw Photographs by Pat Cassidy Mollach