This is what happens when you have two shows happening at the same time and you promise a piece to one venue then decide it needs to go to the other. Frankly I've never had this problem (?) before, I try to schedule shows with months (or a year) between them. The invitation to show at an art museum with only about 6 weeks notice was too good to pass up. What artist doesn't want an art museum line for their resume? The other show was planned for in 2013. As similar as these two pieces are they each feel a little different. I thought it was interesting to see them side by side.
Reception and Artist Talks Thursday April 9th 6-9pm
With sculpture, drawing and painting, Eric Carson, Mark Daughhetee, and Jenny Fillius each work with found mythology to suggest themes of reclamation and devotion in our contemporary world.
Eric Carson uses the format of the mandala [the Hindu/Buddhist ritualistic design that organizes a spiritual experience in visual terms] to symbolically connect the world’s religions to each other, and to comment on the intersection of those beliefs with political and cultural issues. The way these line-based drawings are made—as well as their content—suggests a hybrid of references, from Western cartoons to Hieronymus Bosch to Hindu devotional painting. Carson writes, “These pieces present insight traditions around the world as petals of the same flower, not creeds to divide by or kill for.”
Mark Daughhetee’s Stations series of assemblage sculptures pay homage to old TV shows like Bonanza and The Lawrence Welk Show. Plastic cowboys stand stoically among clumps of hobby shop moss under a peaked roof. The format is reminiscent of compositions from the Renaissance and inspired by roadside memorials, as well as Thai spirit houses. Humor, child-like reverence for TV, and manhood (as defined by old Hollywood) are the main characters. Daughhetee writes, “Like one’s journey through life, each television program, in its turn, occupied center stage for a while and left when the curtain fell for the last time.”
Describing her process, Jenny Fillius writes “Being observant, anything can trigger an idea—an overheard expression, something on the street, an experience, the metal, a broken tin toy; literally anything.” Fillius finds and repurposes decorative sheet metal in the form of broken toys and used tin food containers to make sculptures suggestive of the retablos of Mexican folk art. Since most of the metal Fillius uses appears to have come from one’s childhood, or one’s parent’s childhood, the narratives that ensue are partly-articulated hints that nostalgia has gone awry in some way that we in 2015 are privy to.
"Tin as an artistic medium is fairly unusual even though it has surrounded us for many decades. With the surge in interest in environmental conservation, it is no wonder artists have found their way to contribute by recycling tins into artistic expression.
Each of the artists in this show have their own stories of becoming attracted to tin, discovering their own very personal methods of dealing with a difficult material, and, in the process, developing their own styles. In learning more about these artists, it seems most of them are “obsessed” to some degree with the material. They seem to love the process of searching out tins and collecting them (hoarding?). They see some promising detail or color scheme that resonates with their personal vision, but not sure when or where any particular tin will come into “being” as an artwork.
Tin Art, in the hands of these artists, while already being manufactured with bright graphic images, comes through as a reflection of our cultural and social past, though filtered and projected by each artist’s individual vision. We all have a relationship with tin. As we look closely at these artworks, we will also tend to find our own past buried deep within these works."
- Bill Baran-Mickle, Guest Curator
Exhibit runs until June 7th.
To listen to a podcast interview of Jenny Fillius click here