Semantics: IDEA

IDEA: replace the D with a K to decode the title to the show curated by Julia Ranz. Twelve artists have created works that look at IKEA through a variety of lenses.

As an example, In “Inter-IDEA Systems” William R Howe and L.A. Howe have created a series of counterfeit storage system assembly manuals. These manuals tightly conform to the IKEA template and seem like ready-mades at first glance. Upon closer inspection the viewer realizes that the systems to be assembled are stackable prisons, an all-in-one brothel stand, a highly profitable healthcare system, and a fully customizable relationship. By taking mass-produced, customizable storage systems and ascribing them to human institutions the Howes have interjected humor into poignant observation: institutions have the ability to dehumanize by treating people as commodities.
The observation is most blatant and not as nuanced in EFFECTIV (the stackable prison storage solution) and IVAR (the profit maximizing healthcare solution). In STOLMEN (the all-in-one brothel system) and BILLY ( the fully customizable relationship) the message is stronger by being more nuanced and personal.

In a diverse and thought-provoking show other IDEA artists explore themes from compulsive shopping to the store-bought aesthetic.
- David Jarred

IDEA, Curated by Julia Ranz, at Semantics, 1107 Harrison Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45214. Through Sept. 26. Saturdays or by appointment 513-207-5262.
Photo: William R. Howe and L.A. Howe, 'Billy' InterIDEA Systems, 2009. Print.
[Editor's note: I met David Jarred while reviewing his show (see two posts earlier than this one) and invited him to write for AEQAI ]


'Stitches in Time on the Olympic Peninsula' at NKU

Kevin Muente, painter, and Robert K. Wallace, writer, collaborated in the exhibition “Stitches in Time on the Olympic Peninsula” currently on view in the Third Floor Gallery of NKU through September 25th. The narrative elements of Wallace coupled with each painting make an exhibition in which the critical is integrated. Instead of a review of the show, we reproduce a fragment here. We encourage a visit; a book is in production:

Fragment from Wallace:

The Muentes’ software has a stitching function that can turn two, three, or four adjacent photos back-to-back into the single panorama we had seen with the naked eye. Each day, in this way, Kevin gathered images and impressions for the studio paintings he would be making back home. He completed the first of those paintings in August of last year, quite soon after our return. He completed the last of the nineteen in August of this year, two weeks before this show.

Muente strives to avoid the conventional “picturesque” postcard scene unless it absolutely hits you in the face and cannot be denied—as when sun is setting in a molten haze between huge seaside rocks at Ruby Beach, for example. Instead of exploring the gleaming beach to the south, we sat on a massive rock and watched as the sun took forever to set, seemingly on the other side of the world.
- Wallace

“Stitches in Time on the Olympic Peninsula. ” Paintings by Kevin Muente and Narrative by Robert K. Wallace” in the Third Floor Gallery of the Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University. August 24 – September 25, 2009.
In Photo: Muente, Kevin. Ruby Beach, 2009. Oil on canvas.


David Jarred, 'Drawamalg' at 1305 Gallery

David Jarred’s 3D Drawamalg 7, 2009 resembles a storage container, or perhaps some kind of waste receptacle. But its appearance as such is belied by the materials (cast paper, acrylic paint) and color. Hence it appears like a use-object only somewhat, an idiosyncratic split between its form and light materials.

This is the sense of his work; they recall everyday objects but with subtle variations that negate one’s first association. One feels as if the ‘everyday’ - sometimes even foreign or menacing - is here seen through a child’s eye: the ‘amalgamation’ to which the artist refers in the titles.

The works are either white or single-hued (with varying values). Secondly, they are almost all perfectly symmetrical. This symmetry plays with the handwork/mark-making - the evident modeling of the paper or light strokes of the brush. Thirdly, the compositions tend towards enclosed, monolithic forms, offsetting the softness of the color and material with an illusion of strength.

As per the artist statement, the works are ‘both recognizable and instantly strange, like deja vu or a visit to some lost place from your childhood.’ If so, the childhood referenced here was a happy one. Hence the viewer’s transport is positive.
-A.C. Frabetti

David Jarred, 'Drawamalgs' at the 1305 Gallery, 1305 Main St, Cincinnati, OH. Through Sept. 19.
In Photos: 3D Drawamalg 7, 2009. Cast paper and acrylic paint, about 6" tall.
Drawamalg 1, 2009. Acrylic on paper, 11.5"x9.25" framed.


Jymi Bolden: Perspective on 'Perspectives in Abstraction' at NKU

We invited artist and photographer Jymi Bolden, Director of the Art Beyond Boundaries Gallery, to use his artistic medium to respond to the current exhibition 'Perspectives in Abstraction,' in the Main Gallery of the Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University. He responded with the following images; paraphrasing his own words, they ground the work in realism. Please click on the slides below to enlarge the works:

“Perspectives in Abstraction, Paintings by Kim Krause, Frank Herrmann, and Jeffrey Cortland Jones” in the Main Gallery of the Fine Arts Center (August 24 – September 25, 2009), Northern Kentucky University