#2: David Smith has a fine eye for talent near and far, and that sets him apart from his peers. He works with some of the best names in the region (Sarah McKenzie and Don Stinson), but his focus is national, and that makes a visit to the showroom a treat. Plus, he’s been having fun lately, with must-see installations from artists like Michael Theodore and Mark Dean Veca. It’s his time, really.
Hong Seon Jang Untitled
Second Street Gallery
September 6, 2013 – October 26, 2013
Second Street Gallery, a nonprofit (501(c)3) artspace, is committed to offering Charlottesville and the central Virginia region leading-edge new art in perspective and context, and to fostering an active and open appreciation of this art by directly engaging the issues surrounding works by the best contemporary artists in the field.
SSG’s primary mission is to enliven Virginia through access to the best in contemporary art and artists and to inspire new ways of thinking, seeing, and doing. To this end, SSG promotes contemporary artists through the presentation of their work in a professional gallery and encourages an appreciation of contemporary art and culture by educating the public through exhibitions, lectures, workshops, classes, tours, and publications.
“When you enter your local supermarket, the door will most likely slide open automatically, welcoming you as it senses your presence. There’s nothing remarkable about that, you’re accustomed to the simple technology of motion sensors. What is remarkable is that technological fixtures such as motion sensors have become so ubiquitous that we scarcely notice them anymore. They are a part of your daily routine, a simple and unnoticed interaction with technology. It is that subtle relationship between man and machine that new media artist Michael Theodore explores in his solo exhibition organism/mechanism currently showing at David B. Smith Gallery in Denver.
At the entrance of the gallery stands the monumental sculptural piece, endo/exo (2013). Spanning most of the length of the darkened lobby and rising from ceiling to floor, a flow of ambient LED light reflects off organic clumps of yarn creating a James Turrell-like illuminated atmosphere. However, moving closer to the piece, one is able to see how it departs from traditional light and space work when rows of rods begin rotating in response to the presence of the viewer. endo/exo is similar in design to many of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s pieces that also utilize motion sensors to create kinetic sculpture. However, Theodore’s work ventures further into traditional media in addition to the technological formats. This creates an environment that enhances sensual perception through the use of light and sound as well as movement.
Further in the gallery, there are ten abstract works on paper with a very organic feel to them. Upon closer inspection, it can be seen that the lines are actually perfectly inscribed, created by an automatic drawing machine programed to produce patterns so complex as to appear organic. Underneath these lines, Theodore plays with the tension between man and machine by hand-painting delicate color fields that glow through the machine made line work. In addition, there are three sharply produced digital videos with accompanying video stills. Each video is a digital environment that mimics water, ice and clouds, organic forms that become abstracted in a digital world. They were created using software, but there is something organic and comforting about watching the gently oscillating waves of a digital ocean or a spinning cloud-like formation.
All of the works in the show explore the synthesis between the machine made and organic forms. However, it is when Theodore is creating immersive interactive environments that the artist is at his best. By blending technological tools with our biological perceptions, Theodore is opening up a world of new possibilities within the viewer/object relationship.”
“…It all fits together snugly under the banner organism/mechanism,” the show’s overall title. Theodore is exploring the intersection of technology and humanity. He’s letting the machines in for art’s sake, letting them work his hand and sometimes lead it. Are the machines taking over? Definitely not, but they are moving things forward. The technology makes it all new, the human touch keeps it interesting.”
Sumi ink on porcelain coated steel
48 x 96 in.
121.9 x 234.8 cm
This temporary Sumi ink painting in the project room will be wiped away in segments throughout the course of the exhibition. Please visit our home page for a real time view of this process.
Banner and photo from featured project Paintings for Satellites (2009-present) seen at the U.S. Pavilion of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Photos: Nuno Cera (left), Steve Amiaga (aerial right)
Molly Dilworth was featured as part of the U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale. On view from August 29 – November 25, 2012, the theme of the U.S. Pavilion is Spontaneous Interventions: design actions for the common good. Molly’s featured project, Paintings for Satellites, exemplifies the theme of this exhibition, as her large-scale rooftop paintings at once play with concepts of painting, fine art, and viewership and visibility, while simultaneously reducing energy costs for the building and greenhouse emissions over time.
Exhibition catalogue for Labyrinth at the David B. Smith Gallery
May 4th – June 16th, 2012
Hong Seon Jang: Labyrinth
Softcover, 10 x 7-1/4 inches, 80 pages, 45 color images
With contribution by Dr. JP Park, PhD, Department of Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder
Published by David B. Smith Gallery, 2012
Printed and bound in the United States
“The Hong Seon Jang’s Labyrinth exhibition at the David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, Colorado, showcases two unique collections curated specifically for the show, as well as a selection of his other work.
The New York-based artist traditionally forgoes the use of the usual artist’s materials of choice in favor of reworking mundane, man-made objects.
The ‘Black Forest’ collection, which Jang created as part of the exhibition, features multiple layers of overlapping, translucent tape pasted onto a black chalkboard. He makes another interesting material choice in his ‘Black Ruin’ project, which is also part of his solo show. By gingerly placing hot glue across a canvas, the artist adds flair to his work. Both of these projects fuse man with nature through the use of non-natural materials used to convey the environment which the artist is inspired by.”