October 1st – October 31st, 2010
Closing Reception: Saturday October 30th, 2010 6-10pm (w/ LIVE Performances)
Hours: Free – by appointment
Vanishing Point aims to present work that confronts the notion of a “new abstract”. Inclusive to all medium, the exhibition presents abstraction as a means of reconciliation to the dislocation of self in modern life.
Engaging concepts of science, personal histories, politics and beyond, these artists build upon the histories of abstract art to fashion a sense of stability in an environment ever changing, ever updating – an environment built upon a constant feed for more information, with its reference point focused evermore on the self in synthetic environments.
Through this visual “storm” these artists have honed their use of abstraction not only as a means to understand their world, but as a mechanism to locate themselves as an individual in a sea of turbulent messages and meaning. Our understanding of our self becomes more abstract each day – these artists represent a direction where abstraction is no longer universal, but an intrinsically personal understanding.
Below – Excerpt from the curatorial statement by Alexander Conner
In Holland Cotter’s February New York Times article entitled, “The Boom is Over, Long Live The Art!”, he poses a variety of rhetorical questions:
“Will the art industry continue to cling to art’s traditional analog status, to insist that the material, buyable object is the only truly legitimate form of art, which is what the painting revival of the last few years has really been about? Will contemporary art continue to be, as it is now, a fancyish Fortunoff’s, a party supply shop for the Love Boat crew? Or will artists — and teachers, and critics — jump ship, swim for land that is still hard to locate on existing maps and make it their home and workplace?”
These questions touch on an aspect of revolution through parsing escapism that we at Adaptation have noticed for some time in work by early-career artists today. This is not an ascetic endeavor, but one which has relegated itself beyond the realms of objective inclusion and into subjective collusion. Artists who have graduated from academies into the world of day jobs experience the comfort of camaraderie with so many others like themselves. However, this large amount of makers, competing with one another tooth-and-nail for exhibition, residency, and grant opportunities, leads to a more competitive and complex field of advancement and play within individual’s art-making practice.
Abstraction, as a conceptual entity within art-making, is a handy vehicle for the artist to attempt to make sense of, as well as obfuscate, the quickly approaching future (or for the nihilistic, perhaps end) of their art-making. These artists treat the abstract with a sensibility of engagement and distance that is dependent on the manifestation of their own belonging within different contexts. And it is this constant hindsight, this nostalgia without irony, that is particularly indicative of their individual interpretations of their collective revolution.
Jenna Hannum / Katie Hinton / Simona Josan / Michael Kalmbach / Adam Lister / Caroline Santa / Phillip Scarpone / Cullen Stephenson / Matthew West
Curated by Brookes Britcher and Alexander Conner
1137 Braddock Avenue
UnSmoke Systems, a project of Braddock Redux, is housed in a repurposed Catholic school building. The auditorium has been refashioned into a gallery/events venue, with the classrooms converted into artist studio spaces.
Inspired by the industrial character and the historical importance of Braddock, the project seeks to further open the community to those with unconventional and forward-thinking notions about the reuse of urban space. In a town where dilapidation and neglect have scarred the landscape, UnSmoke Systems contends that Braddock is fertile ground for creativity.
(To Be Announced) / Katie Hinton
“I work intuitively. Responding to images I create with paint and other materials is a spontaneous act, and it simulates the process of my own perceptions. I combine gestural abstraction with mechanical reproduction to emphasize the sensual process of painting and the objective images the camera produces. I use photography as a reference point to evoke a sense of the familiar to which a viewer can relate. These photos are often deconstructed to become formal elements of color and line. Repetition of lines throughout the artwork produces a systematic order that quiets the surrounding unruliness of paint. Although there are recognizable images in my artwork, I use abstraction to transform objective images into a sensorial experience. The reflective surfaces employed mirror proximate areas and are altered depending on where the viewer stands and lighting conditions at that moment.”
Katie Hinton’s installations are aesthetic playgrounds. They begin by her extrapolating from one central tenant of visual thinking (such as a color or a static form) a subjective impulse. These works amalgamate the artist’s intimacy and distance from her point of departure and project her internal, yet holistic, structuring of the latter. Her lack-of-interest in synthesizing an approach that allows the viewer a clear-cut insight into the originally conceived basis for the work, allows for her, a degree of anonymous spatial engagement.
Katie Hinton received her MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI) and her BFA from Millikin University (Decatur, IL). Ms. Hinton has created and exhibited her installations as part of solo and group exhibitions around the world.
Sugar and Rage / Adam Lister
Adam Lister’s installation’s use of magnetic attractive force employs not only the notion of a functioning system, but also the potential failure inherent in any system. The space around them, which the viewer attends as emptiness, provides the enveloping submissive force which he as a maker must constantly be aware of. Starting with an idea and a general knowledge of the space in which he will create his work, Lister’s installations transform from initial conception to adaptive and seemingly inherent structures.
Virginia-based artist Adam Lister received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts (Nyc, NY). He has created projects and exhibited his work extensively within the United States. Selected exhibitions include the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (Queens, NY), Rider Project (Nyc, NY), RAGA Gallery (Nyc, NY), Heokaumhang Gallery (Nyc, NY), White Columns Annex (Nyc, NY) and the CSV Cultural Center (Nyc, NY). Mr. Lister is currently the Gallery Director at the Adam Lister Gallery (Fairfax, VA).
Nostalgia / Simona Josan
Simona Josan’s installation, Nostalgia, incorporates photography, fibers, and installation to provide the viewer with an enveloping “reminiscing eye”. Her work engages the viewer by providing a environment which is at times both inside-out and foreign. Using images from her native Romania and her current home of Philadelphia, she creates conceptual veils which external light from windows transform into translucent rubrics of the internal and external, juxtaposing their true setting.
Simona Josan is a Philadelphia-based artist.
(To Be Announced) / Drew + the Medicinal Pen
Performance Date/Time: Saturday, October 30th, 2010 (9pm)
Various members of Drew + the Medicinal Pen will present an original “theatrical” performance in conjunction with Vanishing Point at UnSmoke Systems (Braddock, PA).
An energetic four-piece “band” and multi-disciplinary project from Brooklyn, NY, Drew + the Medicinal Pen is comprised of music (live/recorded), drawings, film/video, photographs, writing, painting, performance and curated screenings. The project has been featured in the New York Times, Beyond Race Magazine, on Japanese radio and the Independent Film Channel. Drew + the Medicinal Pen have recently created and participated in collaborative multimedia performances and installations at Rooftop Films (Brooklyn, NY), Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and the Museum of Modern Art (Nyc, NY). Beyond the creation of special projects they extensively tour the United States in support of their original music.
(Image Credit: Marcos Regalo)
Wood Fired Readings (Jim Tomlinson & Frannie Lindsay) / Gist Street Reading Series
Date/Time: Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 (8pm)
The Gist Street readings are held monthly and feature local and national poets and writers. The series focuses on emerging writers publishing their first or second books. Learn more about the authors reading on October 2nd here.
Gist Street Reading Series was supported by Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PA Partners), the regional arts funding partnership of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency. State government funding comes through an annual appropriation by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PA Partners is administered in Allegheny County by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
(Image Credit: Pittsburgh Magazine)
Artist Talk / Michael Kalmbach
Date/Time: Saturday, October 30th, 2010 (Time TBA)
Vanishing Point artist Michael Kalmbach’s grandfather spent 30 years working at the USS Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock. Mr. Kalmbach will discuss his offering to the exhibition, as well as the impact of his personal ties to Braddock on his current creative practice.
Michael Kalmbach, a Delaware based artist and arts advocate, received a MFA from the University of Delaware (Newark, DE) and a BA from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (Bloomsburg, PA). His work has been exhibited at the Meat Market Gallery (Washington, D.C.), the Zhou Art Center (Chicago, IL), Haven Arts (Bronx, NY), the Fe Gallery (Pittsburgh, PA), the FAB Galleries – at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) as well as the Delaware College of Art and Design (Wilmington, DE). Mr. Kalmbach is the Founder and Director of the New Wilmington Art Association in Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Kalmbach has previously been the recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship in Painting (2009 & 2010) and was granted the Christi Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts Advocacy (2009) from the Christina Cultural Arts Center (Wilmington, DE) and the 2010 Governor’s Award for the Arts (The State of Delaware).
“When Looking At the Art of Your Contemporaries” / Alexander Conner
Date/Time: Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 (Time TBA/In Conjunction with Gist Street Reading Series)
Vanishing Point co-curator Alexander Conner will extort from his personal viewpoint one way of looking at contemporary art.
Philadelphia-based artist Alexander Conner received a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ). Mr. Conner is an inter-disciplinary artist exploring people and their environments through drawing, photography, printmaking, technology, sound works, video and installation. Selected exhibitions of his work include, the Aferro Gallery (Newark, NJ), Apex Art (New York, NY), Reference (Richmond, VA), Wien (Vienna, Austria, EU). Mr. Conner’s projects are featured in Rhizome’s ArtBase Collection (Global) and the Newark Public Library’s Artist’s Books Department (Newark, NJ). His work was recently the subject of a New York Times story investigating contemporary artistic studio practices during extreme economic climates. (“The Recession Proof Artist” – May 2009). Mr. Conner is an avid cook, bread baker, an educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA) and a contributor to the international arts journal LAND MAGAZINE.