Saturday, September 30, 2006

THE RAW AND THE COOKED


September 21 – October 29, 2006

Hampden and Central Galleries, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Victoria Calabro, Katherine Daniels, Marilla Palmer, Anna Pedersen Mark Power, Diana Puntar, Carol Salmanson, Gae Savannah

This exhibition explores the refinement of attitudes and ideas in the formation of a current sculptural aesthetic. It presents a physical argument on the merit of accepting the concept of sophistication as a qualification of artistic talent. How does the look of one art work versus another determine our ability to judge its value?

The title refers to a book by the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, which dictates how a certain degree of sophistication is necessary for wild men to raise themselves into a civilized situation, determined first by the use of language, especially in written forms, and second by whether or not food is cooked or consumed raw.

In art history, the language of sculptural expression has altered radically from its prominent usage as a means of expressing homage to heroes and civic leaders of bygone days, into a vernacular of specific statements on the value of appearance. It has relinquished its iconic status and become expressive, even dramatic.

Forms commonly mislead the viewer from reaching an immediate understanding of culturally tangent meaning. Works may be hard and heavy yet comprised of a substance that is usually regarded as fragile; they may follow the time-honored traditions of regional folk art but also ascribe to a mathematical cleanness and complexity; they may impose organic qualities that alternate discursively between the gestural and the visceral; they may resemble everyday objects yet ruthlessly impose a chaotic view of reality; they may use illumination to first motivate introspection but then dazzle and bemuse the viewer; and they may inspire deep meaning but do so through the use of materials that are transient, and intrinsically frivolous.

Both a specific choice of materials and effects, as well as the artist’s degree of intentionality in delivering a given aesthetic, have aided them in developing their individual statements. The Raw and The Cooked presents a cumulative perspective on the qualities which determine aesthetic accomplishment as a sui generis gestalt for the current era.



VICTORIA CALABRO



VICTORIA CALABRO



VICTORIA CALABRO



KATHERINE DANIELS



KATHERINE DANIELS



KATHERINE DANIELS



MARILLA PALMER



MARILLA PALMER



MARILLA PALMER



ANNA PEDERSEN



MARK POWER



MARK POWER



MARK POWER



MARK POWER



DIANA PUNTAR



GAE SAVANNAH



GAE SAVANNAH



GAE SAVANNAH



GAE SAVANNAH




GAE SAVANNAH






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