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Delivery of Artworks: Anthony Crudelle-Janello February 23, 2010

Posted by claralieu in artists, photography, sculpture.
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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.

Anthony Crudelle-Janello

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.

Anthony Crudelle-Janello

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.

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“Transformations”: Exhibition events February 16, 2010

Posted by claralieu in drawing, Events, sculpture.
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Join us for these upcoming events associated with the exhibition “Transformations” at the Jewett Art Gallery.  The exhibition features Anthony Crudelle-Janello, Ken Takashi Horii, Nathalie Miebach, and Thomas Lyon Mills.  The show runs March 3-April 10; the gallery is closed March 20-29 for spring break. Read more about the exhibition here.

1)Opening Reception: Thurs., March 4, 4:45-6pm
Meet the artists!  Enjoy free wine & refreshments with a live jazz performance from the Wellesley College Music Department.
RSVP to this event on our Facebook page here.

"Transformations" exhibition poster

2)Gallery Talk: Friday, March 5, 1:30pm
Join us and hear Ken Takashi Horii & Thomas Lyon Mills speak about their work.
RSVP to this event on our Facebook page here.

"Transformations" gallery talk poster

3)Applied Arts Workshop: Sculptural Weaving: Saturday, March 13, 1-4pm
Nathalie Miebach will lead a free hands-on workshop in historical and contemporary weaving techniques. Open to the Wellesley College community.

Sculptural Weaving poster

Studio Visit with Anthony Crudelle-Janello December 21, 2009

Posted by claralieu in artists, photography, sculpture, studio visits.
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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.

Anthony Janello's Studio

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.

Anthony Janello's Studio

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.

Anthony Janello's Studio

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.

Anthony Janello's Studio

The back of this sculpture seen in the photo below reveals the interior structure of the sculptures, created from sawed up strips of sonotubes.

Anthony Janello's Studio

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.

Anthony Janello's Studio

“Transformations”: Ken Takashi Horii December 1, 2009

Posted by claralieu in artists, 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.

Ken Takashi Horii

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.

Ken Takashi Horii

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.

“Transformations”: Anthony Crudelle-Janello November 30, 2009

Posted by claralieu in artists, photography, 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 Anthony Crudelle-Janello’s photographs, shot from sculptures he creates out of paper mache.    Anthony Crudelle-Janello is an Adjunct Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Illustration Department.  Below you can read a short narrative about his artistic career.

My lifelong obsession has been with the human face, its endless variations, its extraordinary capacity for expression.  In the year and a half spent in art school, I learned two things; First, that I would not find what I needed there.  Second, I learned of the contempt many educators had for skills that came naturally to me.

Crudelle-Janello

“Painters paint” had become my creed.  I believed I could learn to paint, as so many artists had before me, simply through practice.  Financial reality drove me to choose jobs that allowed me to carve a few hours out of every day to paint.  Among my jobs of that period were sign painter, window washer, chimney sweep, gravedigger, tree surgeon, and apprentice jewelry designer.  I also began to develop a reputation as a portrait painter. In the mid-seventies I joined the faculty of the Continuing Education Department at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Crudelle-Janello

The RISD Illustration Department offered me an adjunct faculty contract. It is there I have taught drawing and painting on the undergraduate level for the past twenty-nine years.

Portrait painting is a strange profession. I wanted to create works which spoke to the uniqueness of the individual, works with depth and complexity, as had my heroes, Rembrandt and Velazquez. I found I had a clientele with little sophistication and very different objectives from mine.  I found they grew uneasy if their portraits were too revealing.  They were more comfortable remaining behind their masks.   Often when I captured something insightful I would have to destroy it in order to sell the portrait.  I felt tormented by commissioned work; I often deeply regretted my choice of careers. I came to recognize commercial portraiture as the art of correction. Slowly I turned away from the practice and began painting people I chose to paint, often professional models.  I was making art for myself, art which I believed would suffer no compromise.  However, I found as my work became more subtle, fewer and fewer people were able to appreciate it.  I found that my pursuit of artistic fulfillment was alienating me from the general public, fellow artists and friends as well.  It seemed no one was getting it.  I grew despondent and was unable to finish work.  Eventually I quit painting altogether.

Crudelle-Janello

It is out of this death of a long cherished hope that the Crudelle work arose.  The loss of painting left a great void.  My fascination with the human face did not change but the faces did.  These new, three-dimensional faces appear structurally unsound as if in the early stages of a slow implosion. Something at the center had gone wrong and was no longer offering stable support to the surface features. Sometimes the only cure for a great loss is to work with what remains.

“Transformations”: Thomas Lyon Mills November 16, 2009

Posted by claralieu in artists, drawing.
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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 Thomas Lyon Mills’ unusual and breathtaking artwork which deals with themes of memory, time, and mapping.  Mills is a Professor of Drawing at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Division of Foundation Studies. He recently completed a sabbatical where he is the only non-archeologist who has been granted permission to explore and work alone in the Roman and Neapolitan catacombs. This past November and December, he was on a grant to work in Kapadokya and underground cities in central Turkey. Below you can read a short excerpt from his artist statement.

Thomas Lyon Mills

“No.63 from the series 73 Prayers in the Underground”, 2001 – 2006
40.75” x 35.75”, watercolor, charcoal, conte crayon, collage.

Drawing: Making and Unmaking
Thomas Lyon Mills, Professor, Rhode Island School of Design
June 2009

Despite increasingly precise measurements, contemporary maps of the cosmos or the minutiae of the sub-atomic world will likely be no more accurate in the future than ancient seafaring maps that included half-remembered landscapes and sea monsters.

Like mapmakers, we draw and paint what we observe, but find our drawings inevitably cross over into the unknown, for, like maps, they are never truly, wholly accurate, never allowing for shifting points of view, or even the necessity of dreams.

This then, is our region – where the visible and invisible meet, where the observed and the intuitive lie side by side, and where the seen pays a constant debt to the unseen.

Thomas Lyon Mills

Everything changes when we draw: channels open up between our eyes and our breathing, heart rate, and neurological paths.  Borders dissolve between touch, smell, and sound.  Along with this synaesthesia, primordial forces rush in.  The ideas absorbed when we draw are infinitely better than when we don’t draw.  And, like making maps, what we draw we remember; what we don’t draw, we forget.

But like maps, drawing is about the specific, not the general: about revealing ideas with precision and authority.  Ironically, it is the discrepancy between one’s unfocussed marks – one’s lack of precision compared with the purity of the subject, full of complexity and unseen forces at work – that leads to the prolonged search.

We learn from myriad artists’ work including Matisse and Giacometti and their clouds of erased marks, the breathing and ghosts in the drawings of Michelangelo, Mu’ Chi, and Tohaku, and in the mirrored worlds of Piero.

Visiting Artist Andrew Raftery March 18, 2009

Posted by claralieu in Gallery Talks, Lectures.
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I’m frequently amazed by the number of incredible visitors, lectures, and events that are within an arm’s reach on the Wellesley College campus.  So again, even though the events I discuss below are not related to the gallery, they are definitely worth highlighting and talking about.

Andrew Raftery, a professor of printmaking at RISD and my former professor was on the Wellesley campus today as a Visiting Artist in the Art Department. Andrew is one of the very rare and few contemporary artists who specializes in the technique of engraving.  He gave a lunchtime gallery talk at the Davis Museum on their current exhibition Prints in an Age of Artistry which features 16th and 17th century Italian prints. The gallery talk was a wonderful intersection of commentary which involved discussion of various printmaking techniques, the diversity of the subject matter, and history all in one.

Andrew Raftery

After the gallery talk, we headed over to my Life Drawing class for a demonstration and lecture.  My Life Drawing class just started a unit about cross-hatching techniques, so it was perfect timing to have Andrew visit and talk about some of the research and visual analysis he’s been doing with cross-hatched prints.  He’s been breaking down the multiple layers of hatching from historical prints on separate sheets of acetate to demonstrate the process and motivation behind the hatch marks.  Andrew then did a demonstration on how to cut goose feathers into quill pens, which students then proceeded to create and cut with exacto-knives. The quill pens were then used to do a small cross hatched portrait from a model for the rest of the class. At the end of the class students had the opportunity to view his two engraved projects “Suit Shopping” and “Open House” which was recently completed last year.

Andrew Raftery Andrew Raftery Andrew Raftery