TRANSCENDING THE MEDIUM
Cumberland Gallery / 4107 Hillsboro Circle July 15, 2017 - August 12, 2017
Cumberland Gallery will kick off the summer with Transcending the Medium, the first of two group exhibitions this season. From July 15th through August 12th, the focus is on six artists who have overcome the challenge of working with different types of mediums using their idiosyncratic vocabulary and signature style. Brad Durham, Kurt Kemp, Bob Nugent, Andrew Saftel, Marko Spalatin and Andrew Winn, each present one large unique piece alongside a grouping of smaller works on paper, i.e. a portfolio of prints, a series of drawings or a book of etchings. While showcasing the contrast in size, technique and material, the work remains continuous, instantly recognizable and fundamental to the artist’s oeuvre.
Essential is the strong conceptual nature that motivates and thrives through the art-making of these six featured artists. Each of them has their own idiosyncratic way to solidify abstract ideas and assign meaning, regardless of the medium. For instance, Andrew Saftel and Kurt Kemp use symbolism to explore the human condition. Whereas Saftel echoes emblems of fruit and a running man to emphasize the flow of time and a carpe diem attitude, Kurt Kemp draws from experiences related to music, literature and family to tell absurd stories and expose a dark, unknown part or our existence. Brad Durham and Bob Nugent on the contrary, rely on stylistic effects rather than representation to translate their ideas. Durham evokes the dialogue between the known and the unknown with an ethereal, ambiguous hovering of shapes. Bob Nugent’s mysterious vibrancy of color and darkness suggests the unlimited richness of nature, specifically the Amazon. Finally, both Marko Spalatin and Andrew Winn question the way we observe the world. By means of optical illusions, Spalatin points out the relativity of color and the mystery of light while Winn deconstructs the wholesome experience of seeing by incorporating the outlines of letters and building blocks.