"Material Concerns" Exhibition


poster for "Material Concerns" Exhibition

This event has ended.

RARE Gallery is pleased to present Material Concerns, a group exhibition of three-dimensional work by artists Reade Bryan, Travis Childers, Bradford Kessler, Jay Kissel, Frederick McSwain, Noah Olmsted, and Jasper Pope. The show runs from February 14 through March 21, with an opening night reception on Thursday, February 14.

The common link among the works of all seven artists is the unexpected use, application, and/or manipulation of materials not usually associated with art-making to create three-dimensional objects that invert the common usage of the materials employed. While great strides have been made over the last several decades in the utilization of "non-paint" materials to make paintings, in sculpture the predilection for non-traditional elements has become even more pronounced - so much so that one may understandably hesitate to apply the ancient word "sculpture" to describe the contemporary end product.

What also distinguishes the work in Material Concerns is that whether the utilized materials are mundane or unusual, they are not intended for shock value, but rather to compel and hold viewers' attention so content and meaning can be studied and absorbed. Through Reade Bryan's use of pink Fiberglass insulation, rubber, and plywood we are encouraged to contemplate the most basic nature of the human body, while Travis Childers' transformation of equally run-of-the-mill materials such as pencils and pen caps allows us to examine our relationship to nature vis-à-vis the man-made environment.

In contrast, Bradford Kessler's bizarre and menacing take on a garden, complete with African mask, surfboard, and metal chains, transcends current earthly concerns by offering a way back to paradise. Noah Olmsted's equally off-beat mobiles - one a zombie made of foam core, silicone, duct tape, and cell phone stickers; the other a recapitulation in guitar picks of the underwater infant from the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind album - ask us to ponder the American preoccupation with violence associated with a technologically- and fame-obsessed culture.

Frederick McSwain's Die II is an optically resonant portrait of celebrated Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta in the form of 13,444 plastic dice that serves as a reverent nod to a deceased individual as well as a commentary on self-identity, time, and the role of chance in the ultimate disposition of one's fate. A different kind of portrait emerges from Jasper Pope's wristwatch, whose liquid mercury face reflects viewers' visages as they contemplate the passage of time and are reminded of its side effects, which are akin to mercury exposure - insecurity, nervousness, irritability, and fading memory. Time's passage is also addressed by Jay Kissel, who shapes sheets of paper into three-dimensional abstract objects and then randomly writes and draws on the surfaces, equating his stream of consciousness approach with the wanderings and meanderings of time.

Bryan (Brooklyn) has exhibited at PACS Gallery (Brooklyn), Brooklyn Fire Proof, and PS 122 (Manhattan), and is currently participating in the Artist in the Marketplace program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Childers (Wash., DC) has had solo shows at Pentimenti Gallery (Phila.) and the Greater Reston Arts Center (VA), and was included in New Waves 2011 at the Virginia Center for Contemporary Art. Kessler (Brooklyn and Beijing) has several one-person exhibitions in Beijing and Japan to his credit, and will be participating in group shows in Rotterdam and at The Geffen Contemporary (LA) in 2013. Kissel (Baltimore) has been in several group shows at the Howard County Center for the Arts (MD). McSwain (New York) has exhibited at Triode Gallery (Paris), Museum of Vancouver (British Columbia), DesignJunction (London), and Gallery R'Pure (NY). Olmsted (Los Angeles) has shown at Annie Wharton Los Angeles and Land of Tomorrow in Louisville (KY), and in various group exhibitions in Los Angeles. Pope (Brooklyn) made his New York gallery debut in a two-person show at RARE in 2008, and has had work included in The Wrong Store (curated by Tobias Wong for Kantor/Feuer Gallery, NY) and in Future Forward (Henry Art Gallery, Seattle).

[Image: Noah Olmsted "Nevermind" (2013) Fender Heavy guitar picks, flexible CA glue, 7" x 9" x 5"]



from February 14, 2013 to March 21, 2013

Opening Reception on 2013-02-14 from 18:00 to 20:00

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