Reality Reorganized: Walter Askin and Wayne Kimball’s Mysterious Discursions
“Reality Reorganized: Walter Askin and Wayne Kimball’s Mysterious Discursions”, will be on display in the Jones-Boshard Gallery at the BYU Museum of Art from April 15 –August 27, 2016.
Walter Askin walks the line between memory and imagination with pictures full of artifacts, archetypes, and whimsical inventions. He dwells in an ahistorical space, in mysterious dreamscapes where recognizable figures perform strange deeds. Like Kimball, he is a collector, though not of stuffed birds and sculptures; he favors trophies and totems, objects that may wield power but often linger in dusty anonymity. His totems offer no immediate meaning yet remain visually profound. They are proud stacks of stones, figures, and faces – effigies that challenge gravity with their silence while providing a strong vertical axis for many of his works. His people are no more transparent. Historical figures act alongside stock characters in scenes that don’t want to be easily explained. Askin celebrates the nonsense of dreams and the confusion of recalling old memories now fading from the mind. His paintings dangle memories and artifacts like strings that will never be traced to a single source but that meet in a tangled web both beautiful and perplexing. His pictures stir the mind to playful rumination creating an intellectual experience of joyful disorientation.
Kenneth Hartvigsen, curator of the exhibition, explains, “Both of these artists thrive on absurd humor. Their pictures are full of quirky and unexpected associations that playfully disrupt history along with the typical heady trappings of ‘culture’ and ‘fine art’. Visitors will encounter realistic figures and forms reorganized in delightful ways.” The world of art, especially contemporary art, can seem a bit stuffy and serious for some, but this exhibition proves that there is room for wonder and whimsy in that world as well. Askin and Kimball’s artworks clearly show their belief that humor is central to the human experience.
Says Hartvigsen, “I’m excited to bring fresh voices to the MOA audience. What an incredible opportunity to lighten somebody’s mood, to bring playful laughter into the museum.”
15 bytes review by Ruth Christensen: "Don't Jump to Conclusions - The Works of Walter Askin and Wayne Kimball Invite Interpretive Play."
Daily Herald review by Court Mann: BYU MOA’s ‘Reality Reorganized’ shows contemporary art’s infectiousness