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Fall sculpture series coming to GreenHill

by YES! Weekly staff

GreenHill presents Insistent Objects: Works byYoung NC Sculptors, September 2 – November 6, 2016. This is the firstsculpture survey organized by GreenHill in a decade, highlighting works in theround by 18 hand-picked young contemporary artists who work, teach, graduatedfrom a MFA program or participated in an artist residency in North Carolina.”True to GreenHill’s mission of promoting and advocating for NC artists, InsistentObjects offers visitors a chance to meet 18 emerging artists under 40 yearsold who are producing some of the most innovative and evocative work incontemporary sculpture today,” says Laura Way, Executive Director.

Participating artists include Ivana Milojevic Beck,Casey Cook, Andy Denton, Aaron Earley, Mario Gallucci, Rachel K. Garceau, PeterGoff, Joe Grant, Paul Howe, Kamal Nassif, Benjamin S. Reid, John Seefeldt,Austin Sheppard, Meg Stein, Frankie Toan, Kevin M. Vanek, Lu Xu and AshleyYork. Mediums represented include cast aluminum and clay, welded steel, carvedwood, paper, fiber and wax, many exploring contrasts between hand-made andmass-produced consumer objects. Kinetic and participatory works, alongwith works that incorporate found objects will be on display.

“All of the sculpturesin the exhibition have the power of establishing an ’emphatic presence,'”explains Edie Carpenter, Director, Curatorial and Artistic Programs, “whichengage the viewer in considering beauty as not divorced from the unruly orabject aspects of everyday life. Though certain artists in the exhibition haveartistic practices that include performance, video, and studio craft, theresurgence of the object in their work is a response to what one artist hascalled the ‘mental pressure objects exert on the subconscious’.”

Insistent Objects willshed light on sculpture as a medium that challenges and expands ways of seeingobjects or understanding ideas. Many of the artists are heavily influenced bySurrealism, the 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literaturethat sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind by thejuxtaposition of irrational images. Kamal Nassif and Meg Stein created tactileworks referencing Surrealism while also reflecting a post-feministperspective. Nassif’s refined, intricately crafted works presentthemselves as seductive fetish objects yet deliver a message. In Divulge(2014), the red interior of a pink dish glove is visible through voids cut inthe lattice work, embodying designs of traditional Arabic architecture used tosegregate or conceal women. Stein’s extroverted works contain drugstore staplessuch as cotton balls and make-up applicators recall the beasts and chimerasthat haunted Surrealist compositions—though here with a quirky, post-Animetwist. In addition, Stein will perform a witty take on livingsymbiotically with sculptures fabricated from domestic objects as part of 17Days, Greensboro’s Arts & Culture Festival in The Gallery at GreenHill onSeptember 14 at 5:30 PM.

Certain artists take alow-tech approach as in Casey Cook’s playfully monumental cardboard sculptures,one of which was inspired by a grocery list. John Seefeldt creates worksfocusing on familiar objects with technological interfaces not at once apparentin their design. Ordinary bottles on a ledge allow visitors to hearconversations from an adjacent gallery space, highlighting the shift inexperiential understanding of human relationships in our contemporary,media-focused culture.

Ashley York questionshow value is ascribed to objects in a hyper-mediatized world, thriving on”convenience, disposability and immediacy.” Her polychrome ceramic sculpturesexplore transitional states between digital and real spaces and refer tolandscapes based on memory or found on Google Maps. Mario Gallucci’s works inthe form of rocks and hanging plants have been called “counterfeit objects” andare seamlessly fabricated from digital prints on paper of photographs by theartist of everyday objects. Lu Xu’s Salt and Pepper in Time (2013), a workingalarm clock filled with salt and pepper that becomes intermingled with themovement of the clock’s hands, exemplifies how the simple “adjustment” of afound object produces poetic resonance.

Several artistsaddress the relationship between labor and the production of objects. KevinVanek’s cast aluminum works reproduce a sandbag and wooden pallet – objectsused in the process of casting molten metal. Their burnished forms, likecast baby shoes, have the effect of memorializing these common studio suppliesevoking a “poetics of materiality”. Ivana Milojevic Beck’s elegantprocess-oriented works in brick and wax, though non-representational evolvewithin a similar register by wedding the hand-made and man-made, soft and hard,transparent and opaque.

On October 6 GreenHillwill present a public lecture by Tom Moran, Chief Curator and Director ofArtistic Development of Grounds for Sculpture, Glenn Harper, Editor, SculptureMagazine, and Brooklyn-based artist Michael Ballou as part of GreenHill’s NCArt Outreach Project to facilitate connections between North Carolina artistsand professionals in their field. The opening reception will be held on Friday,October 7. GreenHill members are invited early at 5:30 PM for brief introductionsby several participating artists, and event opens to the public at 6:00 PMfollowed by a First Friday performance by Greensboro’s Shiloh Hill, amulti-instrumental band whose sound is a blend of folk and “indie.” The eventis free and there will be a cash bar.

Insistent Objects ispart of 17Days programming, Greensboro’s Arts & Culture Festival. GreenHill is located in the Greensboro Cultural Center in DowntownGreensboro. Parking available in both Davie and Church Street parkingdecks. To plan your visit to GreenHill go to www.GreenHillNC.org. For more about the exhibition and artists go to www.greenhillnc.org/insistent-objects.

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