Thomas Lyon Mills on John Udvardy May 25, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists.
Tags: RISD, sculpture
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In April 2011, the Jewett Art Gallery will be presenting “John Udvardy: A Sculptor’s Vision”, a solo exhibition of RISD Professor Emeritus John Udvardy’s work. Below you can read a statement written by RISD Professor Thomas Lyon Mills, about John’s work as a preview for the exhibition.
From the essay, “John Udvardy’s Cabinet of Art and Marvels”
Better to stop speech here.
This language is not for people.
Blessed be jubilation.
Vintages and harvests.
Even if not everyone
Is granted serenity.
Czeslaw Milosz, from A Poem for the End of the Century
“John Udvardy’s sculptures, drawings, and collages invite me into one of the most rarified of experiences – an unforgettable vehicle for contemplation. His work is masterfully crafted and imbued with secrets, like our own elusive memories and dreams that we forget at our peril. John’s work is one of the strangest and most satisfying visual experiences one can have: it is as if his work transports all the senses: giving sight, smell, proportion and silence a raw, unpolluted collective power, like wisps of the seemingly lost yet re-discovered essential. I see things as I never have before, where forms go transparent, disappear, then seem wholly re-born.” -Thomas Lyon Mills, May 2010
Video: Transformations Gallery Talk May 24, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists, video.
Tags: drawing, painting, RISD, sculpture
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The gallery talk given by RISD Professors Thomas Lyon Mills and Ken Takashi Horii from the “Transformations” exhibition a few months ago is now available for viewing on the Jewett Art Gallery’s new Youtube channel. Click on the links below to view all 6 segments of the gallery talk.
Studio Visit: John Udvardy April 16, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists, sculpture, studio visits.
Tags: cast iron, RISD, sculpture, tools, welding, wood
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As Gallery Director, I’m constantly looking around for potential artists, themes, and ideas that can be assembled and brought together to form future exhibitions and events at the gallery. I look specifically for artists who I think would be a good fit for the intellect, diversity, and range of ideas in the Wellesley College community, especially in terms of crossing fields and disciplines. One of the most exciting and stimulating parts of this process is doing studio visits with artists. Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to visit John Udvardy’s studio in Warren, RI. Udvardy taught Three-dimensional Design in the Division of Foundation Studies at RISD for 34 years, and retired from teaching in 2008. Since then, he’s been working steadily on his sculptures in a space that used to be an auto repair shop that he’s converted into his studio space.
Put simply, Udvardy’s studio represented a lifetime of collecting objects: Udvardy explained that he’s on a constant search to find and collect objects for his “palette”. What astounded me was the incredible range and quantity of objects in his studio, and his choices and selections. Many of the objects were clearly recognizable: a gourd, a spoon, the leg of an old table, a piece of scrap wood, part of a fence, a branch, etc. What especially intrigued me were the objects that were not instantly recognizable, that ask you to question what their original purpose was and what kind of history they visually demonstrated. At several points during the visit, I would pick out an object and ask Udvardy what it was, to which he would reply that he had no idea. As diverse as all of the objects were, it was clear that they all demonstrated a passion for surface, texture, and form which was beautiful, subtle, and bold. I was amazed at what Udvary saw in each object, that in a piece of old broken rusted metal that most of us would toss into the trash, Udvardy saw a form ripe for placement in one of his sculptures.
Seeing Udvardy’s tools was a wonderful way to get insight into his work process, which is driven almost entirely by the use of manual tools. Looking at his collection of tools, it seemed that every possible tool or adhesive that one could possibly harness was available to him. The enormous range of materials and objects that he works with requires him to be very innovative and creative in terms of the putting the sculptures together. In his tools and sculpture, it was clear the profound understanding and sensitivity to materials and tools Udvardy commands in creating his work.
One room was entirely dedicated to cast iron objects that Udvardy has collected over the years. The cast iron works are done separately from the other objects because they have to be welded together. Udvardy has welding equipment that he uses outdoors to create cast iron sculptures.
Cast iron objects, waiting to be assembled into a sculpture.
Video: Nathalie Miebach April 10, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists, sculpture, video.
Tags: sculpture, weather, weaving
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Video: Ken Takashi Horii April 8, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists, sculpture, video.
Tags: buddhism, psychology, RISD, sculpture
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Gallery is closed March 20-29 March 21, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists, sculpture, video.
Tags: drawing, RISD, sculpture
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The Jewett Art Gallery will be closed March 20-29 for Wellesley College’s spring break. Our current exhibition, “Transformations” featuring artists Ken Takashi Horii, Crudelle-Janello, Thomas Lyon Mills, and Nathalie Miebach reopens on March 30 and runs through April 10.
Transformations: Installation, Opening, & Gallery Talk March 8, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists, drawing, Gallery Talks, Installing Exhibitions, Opening Receptions, painting, photography.
Tags: drawing, painting, photography, sculpture
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Last week was a busy week in the gallery: on Monday and Tuesday we installed the exhibition “Transformations”, Thursday was the opening reception, and on Friday we had a gallery talk with Ken Takashi Horii and Thomas Lyon Mills.
(left to right) Thomas Lyon Mills, Gallery Director /Curator Clara Lieu, Nathalie Miebach, and Ken Takashi Horii discuss the installation plan.
(left to right) Thomas Lyon Mills, Gallery Director/Curator Clara Lieu, and Nathalie Miebach discuss options for how to install the exhibition.
Figuring out the layout for the exhibition was complicated due to the fact that every artist had both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work. All of the exhibitions we’ve mounted since I started directing the gallery in 2008 have largely featured two-dimensional work, so this was a first for the gallery to have so much three-dimensional work in a single show. Other important considerations were how to distribute and balance color throughout the gallery. Nathalie Miebach and Thomas Lyon Mills both had works which were heavy in color whereas Ken Takashi Horii and Anthony Crudelle-Janello had largely black and white or monochromatic works.
Each artist had their own pre-determined system for hanging and arranging their works in the gallery. In Ken Takashi Horii’s case, his large sculpture arrived in several pieces and was installed piece by piece into the wall. Nathalie Miebach had sculptures and also several audio components which went along with her musical scores. Thomas Lyon Mills had a simple and effective hanging system for his paintings which allowed them to hang on the wall unframed. Anthony Crudelle-Janello’s sculpture was constructed on a set of wheels, allowing it to be wheeled right into the gallery. Crudelle-Janello’s photographs were hung on the wall using strips of velcro stuck to the back of the photographs.
The opening reception was well attended by both members of the Wellesley College community as well as several people from off campus, many of whom were visiting the gallery for the first time. A live jazz performance with piano, flute, and bass was provided by the Wellesley College Music Department.
The following day the gallery hosted a gallery talk by Thomas Lyon Mills and Ken Takashi Horii. Hearing their insights and thoughts about the work provided a whole new level of depth and understanding of their work in the exhibition. View all of the photos from this exhibition and events on our Flickr account.
Thomas Lyon Mills speaks about his work.
Ken Takashi Horii speaks to the crowd about his work.
Delivery of Artworks: Anthony Crudelle-Janello February 23, 2010Posted by claralieu in artists, photography, sculpture.
Tags: photography, RISD, sculpture
Artwork for the “Transformations” exhibition, which opens next Thursday, started to arrive today. Anthony Crudelle-Janello came up from Providence to deliver his photographs and sculpture. Tony has a series of photographs of the sculptures he creates, and he also brought a large sculpture which will be displayed alongside the photographs. The sculpture is a large piece which goes on top of a wooden stand that inserts onto another wooden stand with wheels. We unloaded all of the parts from the sculpture, assembled them together, and then wheeled them into the gallery storage area.
From there, Tony and his studio assistant Natalia worked to arrange and place the cloth that surrounded the sculpture. The cloth around the sculpture obscures the various wooden structures underneath the sculpture.
Tony works to staple together various parts of the cloth to hold them in place.
Join us for the opening reception next Thursday, March 4 at 4:45-6pm. You can RSVP to this event on our Facebook page here.
Studio Visit with Anthony Crudelle-Janello December 21, 2009Posted by claralieu in artists, photography, sculpture, studio visits.
Tags: crayon, drawing, paper mache, photography, RISD, sculpture
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This past Friday afternoon I drove to Rhode Island for a studio visit with Anthony Crudelle-Janello, (more widely known as Tony Janello) who will be one of the four artists exhibiting in the upcoming show “Transformations” in March 2010. We first met in 1998 when I was a student in his painting class in the Illustration Department at RISD during my senior year. I now teach Drawing at RISD in Foundation Studies and he’s continued to teach Painting and Drawing in the Illustration Department since then. We’ve kept in touch over the years since I graduated, and it was very exciting to visit his studio and get some insight on his thoughts and creative process.
Crudelle-Janello’s process involves many phases and transformations in a range of media. He creates essentially paper mache sculptures which are then lit and photographed, with the sculpture as a means to the photography. The role of photography as the final result allows him tremendous visual flexibility with the sculptures that he would otherwise not have. I was impressed by how much his photographs looked like paintings; they had an incredible atmosphere and depth that transcended the sculptures themselves.
What is astonishing about these sculptures is how low-tech they are in terms of construction and materials. For the interior structures of the sculptures, he uses sonotubes, which are extremely strong cardboard tubes that are used in construction for pouring concrete columns. You can see in the photo below on the sculpture on the far left an example of one of the sonotubes that he’s sawed into a ring to hold the sculpture up. On top of the sonotube structure, he uses paper towels dipped in elmer’s glue to sculpt the heads into more detail. These materials also allow the sculptures to be highly durable, yet lightweight at the same time.
Below is an example of how Crudelle-Janello uses backgrounds and creates sets for his sculptures. The backgrounds are created from thin sheets of plywood which are then painted to reflect surface, texture, and writing. Several of his backgrounds feature the visual look of a chalkboard which has writing layered over itself continuously.
Below are some experiments for adding yet another phase in his process: after he photographed the sculptures, he drew on the digital prints using crayons. In this series below, there is a progression in the images where he is “healing” the “injury” in the sculpture’s head by drawing with cross-hatched marks on the images with crayon. Crudelle-Janello was a portrait painter for many years , and it seems like this is a perfect way to work in his experience in drawing into his current work. These pieces above are still very early in their development, but we discussed the possibility of creating works with this process for the “Transformations” show.
The back of this sculpture seen in the photo below reveals the interior structure of the sculptures, created from sawed up strips of sonotubes.
Below is a close up view of one of his sculpture heads, where the painting process and surface texture of the sculptures is apparent. For more information about Crudelle-Janello’s work, you can visit this previous blog post which features his artist statement.
“Transformations”: Ken Takashi Horii December 1, 2009Posted by claralieu in artists, sculpture.
Tags: buddhism, psychology, RISD, sculpture
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“Transformations“, an exhibition scheduled for March 2010, will examine artists who work between 2-D and 3-D media. Today’s post is a preview of Ken Takashi Horii’s thought provoking works which explore the idea of opposites both in terms of his engagement with materials and subject matter. Horii is a Professor in Spatial Dynamics at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Division of Foundation Studies. Below you can read his artist statement.
For over thirty years my work has been concerned with the reconciliation of opposites. The objective of resolving dualities is a conceptual framework that permeates my process and all related outcomes by informing my choice of materials, techniques, forms, and historical references.
I continue to prefer working in thematic series. Recent exhibited series include: Biformities (2003) and Vestigium (2005). Biformities, is a series of thirty-four painted wall sculptures related to the “Jatakamala” (4th century parables of Buddhist incarnation). Vestigium, is a series of twelve painted wall sculptures each representing a dialog between presence and absence. In an exhibition in 2006 I included a series of wall sculptures using solid, liquid, and atmospheric landscape references within panels that contrasted shaped surface and cut opening, with reflected light and cast shadows.
Work exhibited in September, 2008 at the Chazan Gallery at The Wheeler School in Providence Rhode Island, is collectively titled “Of Mind And Matter”. This series of sculptures and drawings incorporate three-dimensional forms and pictorial formats of two branches of Tantric Buddhism, and reference ink-blot psychological profile tests, for an inquiry into allusion and illusion in Eastern and Western concepts of perception.