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GreenHill’s fall sculpture exhibition challenges our view of objects

GreenHill presents Insistent Objects:

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

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

“All of the sculptures in the exhibition have the power of establishing an ‘emphatic presence,’” explains Edie Carpenter, Director, Curatorial and Artistic Programs, “which engage the viewer in considering beauty as not divorced from the unruly or abject aspects of everyday life. Though certain artists in the exhibition have artistic practices that include performance, video, and studio craft, the resurgence of the object in their work is a response to what one artist has called the ‘mental pressure objects exert on the subconscious’.”

Insistent Objects will shed light on sculpture as a medium that challenges and expands ways of seeing objects or understanding ideas. Many of the artists are heavily influenced by Surrealism, the 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind by the juxtaposition of irrational images. Kamal Nassif and Meg Stein created tactile works referencing Surrealism while also reflecting a post-feminist perspective. Nassif’s refined, intricately crafted works present themselves as seductive fetish objects yet deliver a message. In Divulge (2014), the red interior of a pink dish glove is visible through voids cut in the lattice work, embodying designs of traditional Arabic architecture used to segregate or conceal women. Stein’s extroverted works contain drugstore staples such as cotton balls and make-up applicators recall the beasts and chimeras that haunted Surrealist compositions—though here with a quirky, post-Anime twist. In addition, Stein will perform a witty take on living symbiotically with sculptures fabricated from domestic objects as part of 17 Days, Greensboro’s Arts & Culture Festival in The Gallery at GreenHill on September 14 at 5:30 p.m.

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

On October 6 GreenHill will present a public lecture by Tom Moran, Chief Curator and Director of Artistic Development of Grounds for Sculpture, Glenn Harper, Editor, Sculpture Magazine, and Brooklyn-based artist Michael Ballou as part of GreenHill’s NC Art Outreach Project to facilitate connections between North Carolina artists and 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 introductions by several participating artists, and event opens to the public at 6:00 PM followed by a First Friday performance by Greensboro’s Shiloh Hill, a multi-instrumental band whose sound is a blend of folk and “indie.” !

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