LINCOLN , MA.- Each year DeCordova presents its eagerly awaited Annual Exhibition, an exciting round-up of regional talent in the visual arts. This show focuses on the quality and diversity of contemporary art created in the New England states rather than emphasizing any over-arching themes based on media, content, or subject.
For 2005, the following ten artists from four states have been invited to participate:
Jean Blackburn ( Barrington , RI ), Sculpture— Jean Blackburn deconstructs domestic objects by cutting, sawing, and reassembling them, transforming familiar, comfortable, reliable objects (such as chairs, couches, tables, silverware) into unstable structures. Her work subverts safe/nostalgic notions of home, as well as the object's original function.
Lalla A. Essaydi (Boston, MA), Photography—Born in Morocco and a resident of Saudi Arabia for many years, Lalla A. Essaydi combines Islamic calligraphy and the female body to address the complex reality of Arab female identity. Essaydi's work often involves a series of photographs depicting Arab women with intricate calligraphic writing completely covering the spaces and subjects photographed. The calligraphic writing, a sacred Islamic art form forbidden to women, constitutes an act of rebellion.
Milan Klic (Brookline, MA), Sculpture—Milan Klic creates delicate and spare three-dimensional structures out of bamboo and other organic materials such as wood and cotton thread, some of which measure seven and eight feet in height. His works refers back to the origins of travel, and many are winged vehicles with wheels. Light and delicate, they seem to materialize out of thin air, appearing as spatial drawings reduced to bare essentials.
Michael Lewy ( Jamaica Plain , MA ), New Media/PowerPoint— Michael Lewy has created an installation using a computer program everyone loves to hate: PowerPoint. Lewy subverts the bullet-point approach of the typical business presentation by creating absurd and nonsensical charts, graphs, and clip art that are both funny and ironic. The artist’s self- produced book of this work, “Chart Sensation,” accompanies the installation.
Sally Moore ( Jamaica Plain , MA ), Sculpture— Sally Moore uses natural materials such as stones, feathers, wood, eggs, and moss to construct her diminutive wall sculptures that look like miniature landscapes. Tiny landscape elements suspended by thin wires teeter, precious and precarious, resembling environments that address issues of balance, tension, and natural order.
Laurie Sloan ( Storrs , CT ), Printmaking— Laurie Sloan's process involves a number of detailed steps: She develops her imagery by making small ink drawings that she scans or cuts into fragments, alters on the computer, prints on acetate, and then arranges in various combinations. These combinations are then exposed onto photosensitive screens to make photo screen prints, which are printed on large sheets of paper. Sloan cuts strips from these sheets to form new wholes. She intends for her process to be apparent, and to resemble gene-splicing experiments gone awry.
Barbara Takenaga (Williamstown, MA), Painting— Barbara Takenaga's highly detailed abstract paintings are dense, swirling cosmic compositions comprised of countless small dots, squiggles, and spirals that result in pulsing centripetal and centrifugal vortices. Most of Takenaga's works consist of spherical shapes, conjuring up many associations such as op art, fractals, images from space, and microscopic organisms.
Nao Tomii ( Boston , MA ), Painting/Sculpture/Installation—Nao Tomii is a Japanese- American artist who creates sculptural installations of colorful pastel plants and creatures that inhabit his metaphorical parallel world. Tomii is interested in the relationship between the noises that are created by modern civilization and their effect on natural world. The artist has created a series of cast resin anthropomorphized “listening” plants called Plump, as well as a series of small bugs wearing headphones called Gossipers. These alien creatures are installed on pedestals, surfaces, and walls, mute, but always listening.
Nadya Volicer ( Marion , MA ), Installation— Nadya Volicer collects fragments of found and recycled wood painted a variety of colors and glues them together in jigsaw or mosaic shapes to create dynamic large-scale installations that often reference water, such as a rushing waterfall. She will construct a work titled Home Spun for our Fourth Floor Hallway that will span the length between the two café entrances, and cover the walls and ceiling. This work visually transforms solid into liquid and references the passageway of a surfer's “rip curl,” inviting visitors to walk through the work and experience a frozen moment—and the progression of a “wave” from a swell to the breaking point.
Mark Wethli ( Brunswick , ME ), Painting/Installation—Mark Wethli will create a large-scale painting for the elevator shaft wall of the Grand Staircase titled Elevator. The artist's massive abstract geometric painting installations cover walls with huge swatches of vibrant color, and for this exhibition, he will paint a wall of polka dots of various sizes and colors. Wethli's work investigates the interplay of color, light, and geometry within the surrounding architecture.
The 2005 DeCordovaAnnual Exhibition is organized by Director of Curatorial Affairs Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, Curator Nick Capasso, Curator of New Media George Fifield, and Curatorial Fellow Alexandra Novina.