GENTLEMEN OF ODDITY
Barry Underwood, winner of the 2011 Cleveland Arts Prize Mid-Career Award (Visual Arts), will create an installation in the Euclid Avenue Gallery, complemented by the work of sculptor Steven Jones of Baltimore, MD, in the adjacent The Platform. The artists have chosen a light hearted presentation of the challenging intellectuality that underlies their work, headlined with Gentlemen of Oddity/Look! See!/Marvel of Marvels.
Underwood, known for photographs of uncannily illuminated landscapes, describes this artistic output as installation or sculpture based, “documentations of dioramas and full-scale installations that are built in-site in the landscape.” For the first time, Underwood will create an installation that exists temporally and can be physically experienced beyond its photograph. Viewers will experience corporally what Underwood describes as the steps of “immersion, apparatus, and evidence. The exhibition will explore and make physically apparent the tensions between illusion and reality – potentially inherent qualities of every photograph and specific qualities that each of Underwood’s photographs cause the viewer to consider.
Jones’s recent sculpture, cast pieces of bronze or iron and other materials, also confronts reality, while being couched in a highly humorous and ironic affect. Jones writes, “My current body of work reflects on false memories of simple rural life as I live in urban areas, and a created history of myself identifying with chickens. I use whatever methods are necessary for the final narrative to happen, mostly cast metal, some glass, some fiberglass, some concrete.”
about the artists
Barry Underwood is Assistant Professor and Head of photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He received his Masters in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has been an artist in residence at the Banff Center for the Arts, in Canada, I-Park in East Haddam, Connecticut, and the Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin Co., CA, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, Utah. Articles on Underwood's work have appeared in the January '10 issue of Color Magazine, and in the London Times, Spectrum Magazine, The Shape of Things to Come: Images to Colour the New Decade, London, England, Photo+, Summer Nights, Seoul, Korea, Picnic Magazine, Tel Aviv, Israel, and in the Features Section What Makes My Life Simple of Real Simple Magazine. His work has been presented in several international art fairs including Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition, Photo Miami, Chicago NEXT, and Scope in Basel, Switzerland. Recent exhibitions have included Earth Engines a two-person exhibition at Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA, Summer Nights, a solo exhibition at Skew Gallery in Calgary, Alberta, and Land of Magic, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA. This summer Barry was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize for Visual Arts Mid-career, Cleveland, OH. He also just completed a residency at The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH.
Barry Underwood's photographs can be seen at the Akron Art Museum in SuperNatural: Landscapes by Bruce Checefsky and Barry Underwood(October 29, 2011 -March 4, 2012).
Steven Jones grew up in New Orleans, LA, in rural Mississippi, and along the river in southeast Louisiana. He has been in Maryland since 1995, and now lives in Baltimore and teaches at the University of Maryland, College Park. Earlier teaching has included Millsaps College and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, in the summers from 1997-2002. Underwood and Jones met at Interlochen. Jones designed and fabricated a cupola for casting iron at University of Maryland, College Park, and is a principal with Pat Burke of the bronze foundry Chester River Casting on the eastern shore of Maryland