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Decidedly Ambivalent

Running from September 14, 2009 to October 25, 2009 in the Main Gallery

Curatorial Opportunity Program (COP) Selection

Curated by Lisa di Donato and Anna Mogilevsky.  Artists include Anna Mogilevsky, Rob Carter, Carin Mincemoyer, Steve Millar, Lisa di Donato, Sonjie Feliciano Solomon, Patrick J. Campbell, and Leah Beeferman. 

Decidedly Ambivalent brings together eight artists who address the paradox of society’s longing to experience nature in its purest form while simultaneously desiring expansion into and control of it.  Artists address the paradox from a number of perspectives: through an examination of cultural attitudes towards the natural world; through the commoditization of the natural world; and through an exploration of architecture and design informed by nature and vice versa.  The curators assert that the differences between the artists’ materials and approaches serve as a reminder that society, on a whole, remains ambivalent towards the environment.

Anna Mogilevsky creates collages of suburban and exurban frontiers, where animals ingeniously adapt in response to sprawling corporate industrial parks.  Her imagery depicts surreal situations where wildlife and humans mutually encroach on each others’ respective territories. 

Carin Mincemoyer creates small-scale ecologies in re-used plastic cups and Styrofoam containers to comment on the transformations in geographical landscapes affected by society’s patterns of consumption. 

Rob Carter combines photographic imagery with soil and seedlings which he then photographs and uses as sets for his stop motion animations that depict landscapes continually in flux.  Rather than moralizing reckless development, his films serve to remind us that despite our technological and architectural achievements, our own significance is just as fragile as the paper surface the animations are made from. 

Inspired by data extrapolated from satellite imagery, maps, census, and historical sources, Steven Millar recreates American towns and neighborhoods as abstract topologies in serialized shapes, colors, and materials.  His installation Enclave is made of hundreds of colorful laminated plywood blocks representing houses and apartment buildings scattered across colorful floating and interlocking planes. 

Lisa di Donato creates interactive sculptures that address how planning and development can strongly affect the dynamics of a community as well as societal development.   Viewers will be encouraged to rearrange cubes that are transcribed with architectural diagrams, revealing architecture and landscape as a language or set of visual signs full of both infinite possibilities and strict limitations. 

Sonjie Feliciano Solomon creates soft polyester organza sculptures that escape easy classification.  Carefully planned by industrial design software, the hand-sewn architectonic sculptures simultaneously appear as natural landscapes and artificial constructs. 

Patrick J. Campbell’s paintings function as dioramas that refer to existing locations, landscape model paintings, and 16th century European cabinets of curiosity.  These landscapes with folk-styled structures in deep frames explore the connections between humans’ current and historic inclinations to create and inhabit spaces. 

Leah Beeferman’s black and white drawings with text are both investigations and inventive narratives about real scientific structures such as radars that monitor and explore Earth’s landscape and atmosphere.

Anna Mogilevsky

Anna Mogilevsky

Lisa di Donato

Rob Carter

Steven Millar

Sonjie Feliciano Solomon

Patrick J. Campbell

Leah Beeferman

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