Fall 2011 Gallery Guide - Miami University School of Fine Arts

arts.muohio.edu

Fall 2011 Gallery Guide - Miami University School of Fine Arts

ambiguity of space, and aconnection with the environment istested by material, color, or the lackthereof. Sasha Kolin’s Cathedral(Going Up), for example, illustratesa minimalist exploration ofmaterials and the conceptualizationof space in and around the objectin relation to the viewer. NancyHolt’s Star-Crossed, located inthe East Lawn quadrant of the ArtMuseum Sculpture Park, blendsthe 1960s Earthworks Movementwith Minimalist sculpture, usingconcrete sewer pipes embeddedinto the landscape. Minimalismin concert with the landscape isbest represented by Maya Lin’smonumental 1975 installation ofthe Vietnam Veterans Memorial inWashington, D.C.As the 1980s progressed, womencontinued to explore texture, colorand movement, while expandingthe borders of contemplativeand profound expression in art.Although Installation Art as amovement began with Dada artistsof the early 20th century, and trulycame on the arts scene in the late1960s, the 1980s was a decadefilled with experimentation ofspace, sensory experience andviewer involvement. Many womenartists adopted the concept ofinstallation and literally createdrooms in which viewers were askedto navigate their way through aninstallation, not simply to view itfrom the outside. Judy Pfaff, forexample, combined the essentialconcepts of Abstract Expressionismwith the atmosphere of a landscapeand organic forms within a threedimensionalconstruct. Otherartists, such as Rebecca Horn,created minimalist environmentswith sensory experiences likesight and sound, while JennyHolzer pushed the limits of socialconsciousness through her fusionof technology and the written word.Over the past two decadestechnology and art have becomeintertwined through computergeneratedimagery, digital art,nanotechnology, video andfilm installations and computerinteractives. However, otherartists, including Anna VanMatre,Ann Hamilton and Ann Sperryhave continued to produce abstractworks through traditional mediaof painting and sculpture. Forexample, in WTC (Fire), VanMatrerepresented the tangible tragicdestruction of the World TradeCenter buildings on September 11,2001, through an abstract use ofcolor, line and shape. Ohio nativeAnn Hamilton, on the other hand,developed her large-scale, abstractdigital media image, titled bookweight tt (human carriage), fromsomething tangible, a series ofcut-up sections of paperback booksthat are bound and then digitallyscanned. In three-dimensionalform, Ann Sperry takes theapproach of a Dada artist in thecreation of sculptures for her MyPiano series. In My Piano 1 andMy Piano 22, Sperry deconstructeda piano and combined the partswith other found objects to createworks that challenge the traditionalassumptions about the physicalform of a piano.It was not an easy road to cross,but the past 30,000 years of trialsand tribulations finally providedwomen with moments of triumph.Feminism in art grew strong andwomen could explore their rightfulplace in the art world. TheyAnna Socha VanMatre (American, b. Poland, 1952)WTC (Fire), 2001Graphite and collage on paper; 40” x 20”Collection of the Artistexperimented with diverse mediaand new audiences.Abstraction in art provided womenwith an opportunity to break outof the mold cast by the maleestablishedart academies. Thedenial of accessibility to the studyof the human form that eludedwomen artists for thousands ofyears was finally broken downby the 1970s. Today, women arereaching new heights as purveyorsof visual culture, patrons, arteducators and art historians thatwill continue to evaluate the riseof women in art.15

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