After about 10 hours of installation time, the show is up! I think it looks pretty good but I'm a bit biased of course. I was just reminded that tonight another show with a DC connection opens in Richmond: the WPA\C's DC-Richmond Exchange at Gallery 5. I'd like to extend an invitation to any DC folks heading south for that to stop by Red Door Gallery and see my show. The reception is from 6-10pm tonight! It's located at 1607 W. Main St. which is about 1-2 miles from Gallery 5. Red Door is located near some of the top galleries in Richmond such as Reynolds Gallery and Page Bond Gallery. They have great shows up right now.
As a preview for my show, I wanted to put up the postcard image again (namely because I haven't gotten the rest of the photographs from the photographer yet) and also post the show statement I drafted.
Nature|Nurture: A Show Statement
For the past three years, my work has been primarily focused on the inherent beauty of wood. It is a material that surrounds us in our daily lives and is so common that I believe it is too often overlooked. From our dining room table to the hardwood floor in our living room, the color and grain composition of wood is a work of art. Maybe I shouldn’t go quite that far. Let’s say that wood is what I call “art-able.”
In the body of work from which the exhibition Nature|Nurture was culled, I used many different types of exotic woods. Moradillo, Wenge, Canarywood, Bloodwood, Padauk, Lacewood, etc… these are words that my word processor fails to recognize. And perhaps that is what’s required to achieve my goal of making the viewer aware of the natural beauty of wood. Maple, Poplar, and Oak are common woods and can be purchased at the nearest Home Depot (granted, I use these woods, too). We’re familiar with them… maybe too familiar. But I’d wager that you’ve never seen Moradillo before.
Nature surrounds us and no one would question its beauty if asked. We take for granted the beauty of a goldfish but we’re speechless when we see the exotic fish that swim deep in the seas. We’re thankful for the divers and explorers who bring us the images of these unknown fish, but ultimately they are still just fish, right?
The genesis of this body of work came from the death of the fantastic artist, Agnes Martin. Her grid paintings exude a subtle beauty that can’t easily be described and her death brought her work to the forefront of my attention. I had been looking at the industrial, minimalist work of Donald Judd as well, and I’ve always appreciated the gestures of Abstract Expressionism. My self-imposed challenge was to leverage the gestural qualities and natural beauty of wood; combine that with an ordered structure of hand-drilled holes that transforms the wood from “art-able” to Art; and create a warm, naturalistic approach to reductive (quite literally in this case) art.
To create this body of work I entered a process of exploration. Though I had clear goals in mind, I wanted to challenge the art-making process as well. I wanted to question the importance of the artist’s decision-making. To do so, I created a random number generator that would assist me in determining the placement and size of holes to be implemented in the defined grid. Sometimes I did not use the generator and created my own pattern, other times I used it just for placement, other times for size, and other times for both. I hesitate to reveal which pieces were aided by the computer as I question if it really matters. It’s still an unanswered question who, if anyone, created nature, and it’s up for debate if civilization has enhanced its beauty in any way. Perhaps there’s an unknown level of nurturing involved that made it as beautiful as it is. Perhaps not. My hope is that the work in this show is beautiful and challenges the viewer’s assumptions about what they see. Does it matter how it became that way?
Is it nature, nurture, or a bit of both?
As I did with my last show, I will be posting images of the 15 pieces in the show, 8 pieces that didn't make the show but are part of this body of work, and installation photos.
Again, I hope some of you can make it out.