The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) is currently showing “Introduction 2012” in the Widener Foundation Memorial Gallery at Moore College of Art & Design. The exhibit highlights works by the six new Career Development Program Fellows at Center for Emerging Visual Artists: Leslie Friedman, Daniel Gerwin, Rebecca Gilbert, Kay Healy, Heechan Kim and Johanna Inman.
Gerwin’s works are mottled mélanges of painted wood grain patterns. In his piece “Passage,” the segments are almost all painted, but at closer inspection, a tiny minority of the sections are in fact bare wood. The painted textures are in a way camouflaged to appear like sections of pressed plywood in shades of red, brown and yellow. Other works by Gerwin display these same areas over the reflective surface of a mirror, allowing thin cracks through which to see oneself.
Prints by Friedman picture pop cultural and technological images, as well as nude female bodies with starbursts strategically placed as censor-bars. Their faces are also hidden since, in place of their heads, they have film projectors, monitors or microphones. In “Musophobia” (the fear of mice), a woman with a television head hugs her legs on a chair as she withdraws from a pile of computer mice. There are strong themes of technological fervor and gender identity in Friedman’s work, and her prints are by far the brightest colors in the entire gallery.
There is only one piece in the show by Healy, but it is also an entire living room (kind of). Healy creates large-scale, screen prints of furniture and domestic settings. Her stuffed living room hanging in relief on a wall is somewhat reminiscent of Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures. The work of Kim acts as a sort of polar opposite of Healy’s construction. Kim’s sculptures appear abstract and simple — strips of wood and metal wire — but deal with complex issues, such as individual and group identity. We are all bound together regardless of what we would prefer, and his basket-like sculptures represent these ties.
Gilbert connects printmaking and science in her process through experimentation and trial-and-error. Some of her prints are parodies of superstition like horseshoes or lucky rabbits, but the most intriguing is definitely “Building the Perfect Worm House.” The two flat cutouts show a girl kneeling and placing sticks into a pile of dirt, presumably building some type of imaginative residence for some garden critters.
Using a scanner to capture old pages of books or paper, Inman blurs the line between the archaic and the technological. The prints are in sharp focus and color, but their glossy, photographic exteriors exist in place of the original worn and tattered bindings.
The “Introduction 2012” show is hopefully a precursor for a great 2012 season at Center for Emerging Visual Artists. The show will be on display through Feb. 25 at Moore College of Art & Design, 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Center for Emerging Visual Artists is located at 237 S. 18th St., The Barclay, Suite 3A; 215-546-7775.