Reception Saturday, March 29, 2008 7-9 PM
Curated by Amy Brandt and Melissa Messina
Featured: Ju Young Ban, Judith Braun, Janice Caswell , Richard Garrison, Bridget Lewis, Rita MacDonald, David Pierce, Patrick Schmidt,Tina Schneider, Eliza Stamps
Serial Meditations highlighted artists whose emerging body of work operates within a minimalist aesthetic and uses the language of drawing and sculpture to investigate the meditative properties of repetition and seriality. It sought to create a contemplative environment that offered the viewer insight into the intuitive and, at times, entrancing art-making process. Certain modes of contemporary art reflected the brackish, often confrontational character of commodity culture and our technocratic society. The artwork included in this exhibition stood in direct contrast to this stylistic choice, instead presenting a more serene, reflective aesthetic. It underscored another vein of today’s art-making practices which are indebted to the New York and California-based Minimalists of the 1960’s and 70’s, many of whom scholars have come to recognize were greatly influenced by Eastern traditions. This contemporary group of emerging artists were a few of yet another generation with a strong focus on geometry and an interest in rationalism as well as elements of Eastern philosophy and Zen Buddhism.
Like many minimalists, these artists recognized the strength and individuality of line. By focusing solely on non-representational sculpture and drawing, they showed ways in which the distinctiveness of a line remains a sustainable and valid artistic pursuit. The artists in Serial Meditations charted a larger philosophical process in their work, either intuitively or with careful planning, by repeating a simple gesture. Through this process, these artists created work that stands for more than the sum of their parts. In doing so, the work becomes a larger means of exploring the inner essence of existence. The repetitive line, whether drawn, fabricated, or sewn is used to reference larger concepts such as memory, growth and decay, and the multitude of small acts that encompass our daily existence. At the same time, the unique subtleties of each artist’s work offered a contemplative and often meditative experience for its viewer. The singular, repeated acts shown in the final outcome displayed each artist’s significant creative investment.