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Contemplations and Conjectures: 12 Artists

Posted: 03/20/2012

Contemplations and Conjectures:  12 Artists, an invitational exhibition of drawings by 12 artists, opens Friday, March 23, at the Schick Art Gallery on the Skidmore campus.

The contemporary definition of drawing is generally broad in scope, encompassing works created with a variety of tools and on diverse surfaces. Contemplations and Conjectures presents works that range from rigorous representation, such as Michael Schall's graphite drawings presenting industrial architecture in surreal, ominous landscapes, to works that are unconventional in process or materials, like Judith Ann Braun's "Wall Fingerings" and Meg Hitchcock's drawings made from excised holy texts.

An opening reception is planned from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the gallery. At 5 p.m. Friday, the artists will engage in a gallery talk, also at the gallery. The public is welcome to all events.

Background on artists:

Sadaie Ayuko (Kyoto, Japan) is an emerging artist who makes detailed, sensitive pen and ink drawings of plants and insects in a style that is directly representational, yet echoes traditional Japanese painting methods. 

Judith Ann Braun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) makes "wall fingerings," site-specific, abstract drawings done directly on a wall with her fingers and charcoal dust. She often employs self-imposed limitations (governing the direction or pressure of each mark, for example) that determine the ultimate outcome.

Jeff Feld (Ridgewood, N.Y.) is a former social worker who draws, makes collages, and paints on inter-office envelopes, objects from the realm of offices and institutions. He works and reworks their surfaces, allowing uncertainties and imperfections to arrive at pieces that combine utilitarian and aesthetic qualities.

Meg Hitchcock (Brooklyn, N.Y.), collects holy texts from used bookstores and cuts them up letter by letter, in a labor-intensive process. She then reconfigures them in visually striking patterns to create passages from other religious texts. Her "cross-pollination" of different spiritual traditions implies their shared source, an abiding  sense of reverence.

Cynthia Ona Innis (Oakland, Calif.) makes abstract works that combine drawing, painting, and collaged fabric. Her art is inspired by the cycles of nature; elements in drawings may refer to biomorphic forms or to botanical study of growth stages.

Michael Schall (Brooklyn, N.Y.) makes highly detailed, labor-intensive charcoal drawings that depict industrial architecture in ominous landscapes, alternate universes that are both compelling and unsettling. He is interested in issues pertaining to the environment and to the "beauty and arrogance of technology."

Charlotte Schulz (Danbury, Conn.) creates narrative charcoal drawings that fuse historical catastrophes with domestic interiors, architecture, and otherworldly landscapes.  Her works often incorporate folds or bends in the paper as part of their structure, creating unexpected shifts in the perceived space of the work.

Ruijun Shen (Guangzhou, China) makes line drawings that use a stream-of-consciousness, Surrealist sensibility, and combine influences from traditional Eastern philosophy and contemporary Western culture.

Hiroyuki Shindo (Kyoto, Japan) is primarily a textile artist known for his use of indigo dye. Concurrently, he makes ink drawings that employ skillful brush techniques; their simplified, bold elements often have the impact of a Motherwell abstraction.

Lorene Taurerewa (Brooklyn, N.Y.) makes large-scale figurative drawings whose characters appear to enact theatrical narratives. Dramatic changes in scale and value are employed, evoking satire, dream, and danger. Taurerewa uses her own life and her childhood in New Zealand as a source for her imagery.

Antoinette Winters (Waltham, Mass.) reassembles remnants and leftovers from a decade of discarded drawings, exploring the variety of ways that disparate parts can achieve a new meaning. She uses a narrow horizontal format that echoes her interest in Japanese scrolls and visual narrative.

Sandy Winters (New York, N.Y.) makes work in which the biomorphic and the mechanical merge, becoming at once ominous and playful. She uses drawing, painting, relief printing, and collage techniques, and is interested in the tension between creative and destructive forces in nature and in human society.

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