Cookies, Wires & Landscapes
John Clendening, Camey McGilvray, Joan Vaupen
November 29 - December 24, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3, 2011, 5-8 PM
American Landscapes, John Clendening
Combining still life images with landscapes in a form he calls the “Stillscape”, artist John Clendening forges a connection between the traditions of American landscape painting and those of European still life. As the former Smithsonian Chief of Design, Clendening has an intrinsic relationship with American art and history. His current show, American Landscapes, surveys American national parks, including Zion, Joshua Tree, Snow Canyon, and Indian Canyon. He reveals how the natural world can inspire on any scale, bringing the majestic together with the commonplace, juxtaposing monumental natural imagery with traditional still-life imagery. From stunning mountain peaks to crates of apples on a desk, John Clendening’s work emphasizes how the smallest detail is ultimately just as important as the larger whole.
Wired, Camey McGilvray
In WIRED, Sculptor Camey McGilvray challenges the multi-faceted, scattered, high-speed nature of contemporary culture. Using wires and wood in her kinetic constructions, McGilvray shows that twenty-four hour access to information is the blessing and curse of our time. A constant stream of communication may allow us to do more, send more, and process more, but ultimately, will expect more of us in return. While being wired informs our personal energy, it also limits the depth of our connections. By capturing individual slices of life in hyperdrive, McGilvray’s sculptures force us to realize that despite the benefits, digital communication is no substitute for the quality of an unedited, face-to-face interaction. While more words reach, fewer touch.
Fortune, Joan Vaupen
Fortune Cookies. Plexiglass. What do they have in common? Mixed-media artist Joan Vaupen revels in the two, in her new exhibit, Fortune at TAG Gallery. Vaupen brings the kitschy cookie into the realm of 21st century art - molding the the soft plastic of plexiglas into the hardened, sensual shapes of that frustrating, sweet paradox: the fortune cookie. We want to eat it, but we don’t want to eat it. We want to open it, and we want to keep it closed. The circuitous forms of Vaupen’s plexiglas cookies simultaneously hide and reveal, are feminine yet hard. Larger than life, they suspend themselves from the wall, requesting us to open them and discover the platitudes of life. Fortune forces us to recognize that even though the unknown shall always be unknown . . . it will always be enticing.