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The union of new art and art history in new installation at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Todd Pavlisko, Crown, 2012. Brass cube, 24 x 24 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Samson (Boston, MA).
CINCINNATI, OH.- Experience the union of new art and art history at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Todd Pavlisko's Crown, March 15 through June 15, 2014. Crown is an installation based upon a staged action that took place in the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2012 in which a hired sharpshooter fired projectiles through the Schmidlapp Gallery into a brass cube placed in the center of the Great Hall. The action was captured with high speed cameras and edited into an 8-channel video that will be presented in the Schmidlapp Gallery along the same path of the projectile. This piece collapses art history into a millisecond and then expands it again, slowing down the footage as the camera travels past icons of the Cincinnati Art Museum's collection.

An abstract soundtrack composed from the slow motion recording of the rifle shot will provide a sonic undertone to the space. The act of walking through Schmidlapp at approximately the same speed as the slow-motion projectile will give visitors a sense of moving through both physical and metaphorical space. With Crown, Pavlisko is compressing art history and the history of the Art Museum into a singular work of art.

Todd Pavlisko is an Oxford, Ohio native based in New York. He is a graduate of Miami University and has exhibited extensively throughout the world. Pavlisko’s work for this exhibition references the work of Harold Edgerton, whose photographs capturing bullets passing through fruit and the shape of droplets of milk showed that art could record action and turn it into a presentation of something invisible to the naked eye. In this case, the contrast between a bullet, caught in mid-flight by high-speed cameras, and iconic quality of the masterpieces in their niches behind the flying object will heighten this contrast. The brass cube where the bullet comes to rest (with a “crown” created by the impact) references the sculpture by the American artist Donald Judd currently on display in The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Gallery. Judd was interested in perfection while Pavlisko makes us aware of the beauty of imperfection and transgression.

“This exhibition will highlight our iconic works by Warhol, Gainsborough, and others,” said Cincinnati Art Museum Director Aaron Betsky, “The contrast between the speeding bullet, caught in flight, and those works of art, will be breathtaking.” In addition to his exhibition in the Schmidlapp Gallery, Pavlisko will install another work in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Dutch Galleries, that also addresses the plasticity of time. In All the Money I Found in a Year, Pavlisko saved every coin he has found on the ground for the past 10 years. Each coin has been gold-plated and catalogued by the year it was found. The coins thereby become a marker of the passage of time and a wry commentary on the economics of art.

Crown has been organized by Matt Distel, Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

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