Abstract works by urban artists working in the U.S. will be on view in the Mesaros Galleries at the Creative Arts Center during Oct. 15-Nov. 20, as the traveling exhibition “Concurrent” makes its way to West Virginia University.
Painter Tim McFarlane, of Philadelphia, is one of the artists represented in the exhibition, and he will give an artist lecture about his work on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) of the CAC. It will be followed by the opening reception at 6 p.m. at the Mesaros Galleries. All events are free and open to the public.
“Concurrent” features the paintings of Natalie Alper, of Boston; Tim McFarlane, of Philadelphia; Larry Webb, of New York City; and sculpture by Diane Simpson, of Chicago. Each artist will be represented by six to nine works, so that the viewer will have a comprehensive experience of each. Additionally, a small exhibition of the artists’ drawings will complement the large exhibition and will provide further insight into their working processes.
The common link between these artists, who have never met, is the impact of the urban environment on their art – whether in Chicago, Boston, New York City, or Philadelphia.
“The predominance of linear compositions in my paintings is the result of observing various grid systems of my surroundings, including, but not limited to permanent and temporary architectural structures which provide ample opportunities to explore color, light and composition,” McFarlane said. “I’m drawn to the beauty of patterns created by the linear quality of much of the man-made world. I’m also interested in what happens to our perception of a space when the order created by intersecting lines and colors is subverted, or altered, whether intentionally or not.”
The exhibition was organized by the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University, the Ewing Gallery at the University of Tennessee, and the Mesaros Galleries at WVU.
Contemporary abstract painter Agnes Martin said “The adventurous state of mind is a high house. To enjoy life, the adventurous state of mind must be grasped and maintained. The essential feature of adventure is that it is a going forward into unknown territory. The joy of adventure is unaccountable. This is the attractiveness of art work. It is adventurous, strenuous and joyful.”
With this “adventurous state of mind,” Dan Mills, director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University, proposed an exhibition of a select few artists who had devoted their careers to abstraction and who had been making strong, consistent, and highly developed bodies of work for a number of years. He decided to include artists from different geographic locations whose work represented distinct individualistic, yet compatible, approaches to achieving that “joy of adventure” that abstraction can provide.
When Mills contacted colleagues at other venues to invite their participation in the project, they developed a novel curatorial approach. A representative of four of the participating venues arranged a studio visit with one of the “Concurrent” artists and then wrote an essay and made the final selection of the works to be included in the exhibition.
The curators also selected several drawings by each artist to provide further insight into their works.
In addition to Mills, “Concurrent” is curated by Bob Bridges and Kristina Olson at WVU; former WVU art professor Paul Krainak, now chair of the Art Department at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.; Nancy Einreinhofer, director of the Ben Shahn Galleries at William Paterson University; and Sam Yates, director of the Ewing Gallery at the University of Tennessee.
Managed and programmed by Curator Robert Bridges and the WVU Division of Art, the Mesaros Galleries organize a diverse and exciting schedule of exhibitions throughout the year. The galleries are committed to showing experimental work that is innovative both in terms of media and content. The Mesaros Galleries also host contemporary artists of important or growing reputation who work in all media in its visiting artist program.
For more information, contact Robert Bridges at Bob.Bridges@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-2312.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu