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DeCordova Announces Artists Selected for The 2008 DeCordova Annual Exhibition

LINCOLN, MA.-Director of Curatorial Affairs Rachel Rosenfield Lafo announced the artists selected for The 2008 DeCordova Annual Exhibition. DeCordova’s Curators have selected 12 artists/artist teams—who work in a variety of media including painting, printmaking, installation, performance, sculpture, drawing, and photography—for The 2008 DeCordova Annual Exhibition. The selected artists are: Mitchel Ahern, Matt Brackett, Leah Gauthier, The Institute for Infinitely Small Things (founded by Catherine D’Ignazio Vita and Savic Rasovic), Niho Kozuru, Eva Lee, Yana Payusova, David Prifti, Kirsten Reynolds, Mark Schoening, Vanessa Tropeano, and Marguerite White.

The exhibition will be on view from May 10 to August 17, 2008 (public opening reception, Thursday, May 15 at 6 pm ) and will be displayed in DeCordova’s Joyce and Edward Linde Gallery, James and Audrey Foster Galleries, Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Media Space, Grand Staircase, Window Gallery, Arcade Gallery, and Fourth Floor Hallway.

Originally titled the Artists/Visions series, the DeCordova Annual has showcased the works of emerging, mid-career, and established artists since 1989. This exhibition highlights the work of a limited number of contemporary artists from the six New England states and emphasizes the quality and variety of works rather than any single or overarching theme. Each year the DeCordova Annual seeks to feature some of the best, most innovative and gifted artists working in the region.

The DeCordova Annual is the backbone of the Museum’s exhibition program, solidly reflecting our mission. The series also reinforces DeCordova’s commitment to regional artists, and its leadership position in celebrating contemporary art in New England.

The exhibition is organized by Director of Curatorial Affairs Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, Assistant Curator Dina Deitsch , and Koch Curatorial Fellow Kate Dempsey. The 2008 DeCordova Annual Exhibition has been funded by the Deborah A. Hawkins Charitable Trust.

For 2008, the following 12 artists/artist teams from three New England states will be featured:

Mitchel Ahern ( Swampscott, MA ) prints/performance/installation—Ahern is a multimedia performance and print artist whose work ranges from music made on Self-Invented Instruments, to performances involving large-scale prints and musical accompaniment. He creates a cultural frame of reference for his audience by drawing on political propaganda and popular literature. For the DeCordova Annual, Ahern will be working on an installation for the Grand Staircase.

Matt Brackett ( Jamaica Plain, MA ) paintings—Brackett is a figurative painter whose work examines themes of family, relationships, and isolation. His process begins with stream of consciousness sketches that evolve into paintings by building on photographs, computer-aided montages, and additional sketches. Always set in familiar surroundings, Brackett’s images depict unaware subjects, often engaged in surreal activities, making his paintings at once intimate and distant. Brackett has exhibited his work nationally in a number of solo and group shows, most recently in Worth a Thousand Words at The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Vermont.

Leah Gauthier (Chestnut Hill, MA) installation/performance art—Gauthier is an installation and performance artist and a socio-political activist, who works with agricultural and culinary elements to create an interactive experience for her viewers. Gauthier believes that “taste and smell are often neglected senses in art, yet they are powerful provocateurs of involuntary memory”. For the DeCordova Annual, Gauthier will invite Museum visitors to participate in the harvesting, preparing, and tasting of heirloom melons. Gauthier is a recent graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts , Boston and Tufts University , and most recently exhibited her work, Tomatoes, in a group show Art Ventures at the Revolving Museum in Lowell , Massachusetts.

The Institute for Infinitely Small Things ( Waltham, MA ) installation/ performance art—The Institute for Infinitely Small Things was founded by Catherine D’Ignazio Vita and Savic (Sasha) Rasovic, and collaborates with a group 10 to 20 artists on public performances. While their work is always infused with a sense of humor, it begs their viewers to question corporate marketing and political propaganda. For the DeCordova Annual, the Institute will create four installation pieces, including a lightbox with a photograph from their most recent performance, Corporate Commands, and several works based on the ongoing theme of post-9/11 fear.

Niho Kozuru ( Boston, MA ) sculpture—Kozuru uses cast rubber to create sculptures based on architectural details found in older New England homes. The unusual medium allows the mundane to become whimsical by virtue of the rubber’s translucency and Kozuru’s use of vibrant colors. Kozuru draws on her New England upbringing and Japanese heritage to inform her creative process. For the DeCordova Annual, Kozuru will create a sculptural installation that will extend from the Joyce and Edward Linde Gallery to the adjacent stairway area.

Eva Lee ( Ridgefield, CT ) video installations/drawings—Lee approaches her work from an interdisciplinary perspective and examines the correlation between art and science. Her videos of abstract landscapes and universes are generated by imaging tools employed by scientists, including fractals and electroencephalograms. For the DeCordova Annual, Lee will mount Discrete Terrain, a video installation of fantastical topography created by the EEG readings of 12 subjects undergoing a psychological study of five emotional states (anger, joy, fear, sadness, and disgust).

Yana Payusova ( Boston, MA ) paintings/drawings/mixed media collages — Payusova is a Russian-born artist whose work is informed by her Russian heritage and deals with issues of personal and collective memory, childhood experience, and the process of growing up in Russia. Her autobiographical paintings and drawings of cartoonish characters from her most recent series, When My Neighbor Told Me I would Die, are at once humorous and macabre. Payusova has been included in many individual and group shows, most recently in Sultana’s Dream at Exit Art in New York.

David Prifti ( Concord, MA ) photographs—Prifti is a portrait and landscape photographer working in a development technique invented in 1851. He creates wet plates, specifically tintypes, in which slow exposures are developed on steel plates. The combination of contemporary subjects and the antique development process lends a timeless quality to the photographs. In addition to creating and exhibiting his photographs, Prifti teaches tintype photography at Concord High School.

Kirsten Reynolds ( Newmarket, NH ) installation—Using contain architectural elements, sculptural pieces, and digital images, Reynolds creates installations that transform spaces into theatrical stages and their visitors into actors. Viewers are forced to interpret and negotiate the contrived spaces, which often include strange creatures and comical details. For the DeCordova Annual, Reynolds will create an installation depicting a “controlled disaster”. What You See is What You Get (working title) will span the rear of the Linde Gallery and extend onto the stairway leading to the first floor.

Mark Schoening ( Boston, MA ) paintings—Schoening’s paintings are a response to the dizzying pace at which technology forces us to process information. His abstract paintings are reactions to what he calls “information explosions”, and allow the viewer to enter and investigate a contained world of ideas pregnant with anxious energy. Schoening works in various media to create his images, including digital drawings and photographs, with the

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