Social Structures March 18 – May 20, 2011
We all know that architecture reflects the values of the society that creates it. But can architecture and design prompt social change? How do the materials we use to make buildings and furniture reflect larger goals and ideals? What does it mean when we let architecture that we have long celebrated decay, or when structures that are supposed to be temporary become permanent? How can we take materials that are old or used and make something new of them, and what kind of meanings do these re-purposed materials bring to their new structures?
Visual Arts, Ketchum This exhibition explores architecture and furniture as reflections of our values, successes and failures as a society. Five artists use photography, painting, drawing and sculpture to examine the place where design, social history and utopian ideas converge. Francis Cape has created a body of work, Home Front, around the Utility Furniture Scheme, a British government-run program of furniture design and production from 1942 to 1951 that promoted functional, modernist furniture rationed both in terms of distribution and use of materials. The Utility Furniture Scheme was a response to post–World War II austerity but also an attempt to modernize society and reform taste through furniture production. Using original designs, Cape has built pieces of Utility Furniture (which he sees as government doing what it is supposed to do). The exhibition features Cape’s partially finished furniture alongside photographs of the devastation of New Orleans’ architecture following Hurricane Katrina (an obvious governmental failure). Cape also pairs his furniture with photographs of trailers, both the FEMA trailers that filled neighborhoods in New Orleans after Katrina and decrepit trailers in upstate New York, often nearly swallowed up by vegetation and forest. Theaster Gates is an artist and urban planner who often creates carefully constructed environments that become sites for social performance and interaction. This exhibition includes one of a series of shoe shine stands he has made, each uniquely constructed with carefully chosen materials; different kinds of found wood and upholstery give each stand an individual personality. His throne-like stand, paired with a sign that reads “SHINE,” evokes the socially charged interactions that take place during shoe shining. Gates honors the labor that goes into shining shoes while hinting at the power relations built into the architecture of shoe shine stands. And in his stands, something old, damaged or worn is made new again. The construction of the stand mirrors the idea of renewal inherent in shining shoes. Clay Ketter has long been interested in architecture, construction (and its opposite, destruction) and the use of materials. Gulf Coast Slabs, a series of photo-based objects, documents the devastation along the Mississippi coast following Katrina. With an appearance that recalls fresco painting as well as geometric abstraction, these works show both ruin and a slate wiped clean. Ketter’s Trace Paintings explore the physical construction of walls using actual building materials in quiet works that invoke minimalism and modernism’s obsession with the grid, from Mondrian to Agnes Martin. Eamon O’Kane makes paintings and drawings that explore the work of iconic mid-20th century architects and designers: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson. Often depicting houses engulfed in lush landscapes, his work considers the relationship between architecture and nature; the rigid geometry of the International Style houses he represents seems oddly incongruous with, and susceptible to, the natural world around them. Carefully and deliberately handmade, his drawings and paintings are part of a larger consideration of the disconnect between modernism’s industrial, machine-made aesthetic and its utopian ideals. Stephanie Syjuco’s work explores the relationship between design, mass-production, consumer culture and the handmade. This exhibition features a pair of sculptures focused on French designer Charlotte Perriand’s mid-20th century modernist furniture. Like many of her fellow designers of the period, Perriand sought to produce functional furniture in the hope that better design would help create a better society. Perriand initially worked with expensive materials like chrome, but after becoming active in leftist circles she began to create more affordable furniture using traditional materials like wood and cane. Syjuco takes Perriand’s use of widely available materials even further. Using cardboard, paper, glue and tape, she has reproduced shelving units Perriand created in the 1950s. She gives Perriand’s clean lines, geometric forms and sleek surfaces an intentionally handmade appearance, juxtaposing modernism’s utopianism with the social and political realities of the mid-20th century. Evening Exhibition Tours Thu, Mar 31 and Thu, Apr 14, 5:30pm Free at The Center, Ketchum Enjoy a glass of wine as you tour Social Structures with The Center’s curators and gallery guides. Free Exhibition Tour Tue, Apr 26, 2pm and by arrangement Free at The Center, Ketchum Trained gallery guides offer insights into the artwork on display in free tours of our exhibitions. Favor de llamar al Centro de las Artes para arreglar visitas guiadas en español.
Center Hours & Location in Ketchum: M–F 9am–5pm Sats in Mar 11am–5pm 191 Fifth Street East Ketchum, Idaho Center Hours & Location in Hailey: W–F 2–6pm 314 Second Ave. S Hailey, Idaho 208.726.9491 www.sunvalleycenter.org
Cover • Clay Ketter, Oden Jr. / Oden Sr., 2007, courtesy the artist, Sonnabend Gallery, New York, and Bartha Contemporary, London Inside • Francis Cape, Bed Model 6, New Orleans, LA, 2009, courtesy the artist and Murray Guy, New York • Eamon O’Kane, Barcelona Couch, 2010, courtesy the artist and Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco • Theaster Gates, Yukata, 2010, courtesy of Kavi Gupta, Chicago and Berlin; in the collection of Dr. Paul Marks, Canada; photo credit: Sara Pooley • Stephanie Syjuco, La Maison Tunisie, 2004, courtesy the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco
FROM LEFT • Bob Dix, detail photo of box furniture, 2011, courtesy the artist • Amy Jo Popa, Saffron Structure, 2009, courtesy the artist
Visual Arts, Hailey An exhibition at The Center, Hailey, explores the idea of taking old materials and making something new out of them through sculptures by Pocatello-based artist Amy Jo Popa and cardboard box furniture by Bob Dix. Popa works with found materials—paper, wood, tissue—to make delicate abstract structures with organic forms. Dix is recycling used cardboard boxes and turning them into functional furniture. The exhibition will also feature work made by participants in Dix’s Box Furniture class. Opening Celebration Fri, Apr 1, 5:30–7pm Join us for drinks and appetizers as we celebrate the opening of Social Structures: Amy Jo Popa and Bob Dix.
Social Structures: Amy Jo Popa and Bob Dix April 1 – June 3
Box Furniture Class with Bob Dix Tue–Thu, Mar 29–31, 5–7pm $80 members / $130 non-members, $15 supply fee The Center, Hailey, Registration deadline: Tue, Mar 15 Join local artist Bob Dix as he shows you how to turn an ordinary cardboard box into a piece of functioning highstyle furniture. Go green while using everyday materials to create something that is one of a kind and also easy on the pocketbook. This class is appropriate for high school students and older. Take the class and be part of the exhibition! Participants are invited to exhibit their box furniture creations at The Center, Hailey, in Social Structures: Amy Jo Popa and Bob Dix, from April 1 through June 3.
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U S POSTAGE Sun Valley Center for the Arts P O Box 656 Sun Valley, ID 83353
BOISE ID PERMIT NO. 679
Social Structures March 18 – May 20, 2011
Sun Valley Center for the Arts