"The Witness to Alternative Facts" by Christina Foard in "Codified Color"
The Dodd Galleries at UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art are squeezing in a second round of exhibitions for fall before the holidays and exit shows hit. With the exception of “Immortal Beloved,” which closes a week early on Friday, Nov. 8, all current exhibitions will remain on view through Saturday, Nov. 16. That same day, as part of UGA’s annual Spotlight on the Arts festival, the school will host open studios for visitors to explore the facilities where students create their work. Open studios will be held at the Main Building and Ceramics Building from 2–5 p.m. and at the Thomas Street Art Complex from 4–7 p.m., where a party with food, drinks and music will follow from 6–9 p.m.
Codified Color: Third-year MFA candidates Nick Abrami, Christina Foard and Mary Gordon employ color to examine personal histories and memory in “Codified Color.” While all three of the artists’ styles share a playfulness and elicit an irresistible urge to touch, they remain completely distinct from each other through their choice of content and materials. Memorializing significant times and places that remain unknown to the viewer, Abrami’s ceramic sculptures are scattered across the gallery’s floor like odd monuments. Each form is wildly different from the next, demonstrating the artist’s sensitivity towards texture. One’s surface looks dry and crackled, while the next appears soft and gooey. Foard’s large paintings take place in domestic spaces and vibrate with energized brushstrokes. It’s entertaining to pick out familiar details amongst frenzied patterns and abstracted shapes—a birthday cake, a black cat, a snow globe, a potted plant. Gordon’s installations recall the wire bead mazes often found in waiting rooms for children and consist of various wooden and wire forms assembled across the walls.
Immortal Beloved: You can become familiar with another MFA candidate, Robby Toles, in his solo show “Immortal Beloved.” Reimagining the role of a YouTube vlogger, Toles recites a 19th Century love letter by Ludwig van Beethoven on film using a selfie stick and frontward-facing camera. The artist acknowledges the underlying element of a “Narcissusian curse” by flirting with his own reflection, allowing the viewer to be in on a joke that may otherwise come across as, well, narcissistic. Investigating the relationship between technology and self, his project raises important questions concerning the authenticity, accessibility and intentions of influencers.
Baci From Cortona: Commemorating the 50th anniversary of UGA’s Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, “Baci From Cortona” shares touching images that reflect decades of creative exploration and cultural exchange. The collection of photographs was selected through an open call for submissions and includes both scenes of everyday life and tender moments of budding friendships. A life-sized photograph hanging outside of the entrance to the Margie E. West Gallery immediately teleports visitors across the globe and sets the tone for the exhibition; a cluster of students appear to be leisurely chatting while overlooking rolling green hills beneath a setting Tuscan sun. A dedication to learning permeates the show through images of painting, mask-making, photography and metalsmithing, but just as important for personal growth appears to be those rare instances of silliness, like parading down an alley with musical instruments and an American flag. A portrait of a man sitting on the very edge of a building’s ruins with a notebook in hand, dangerously far from the ground below, is one of the exhibition’s most alluring images and impossible not to romanticize.
Body and Technology: On view in the Lupin Foundation Gallery, “Kiki Kogelnik, Julia Scher, Erika Vogt, Lisa Williamson” is a group exhibition that touches on ideas pertaining to performance, formal representations of the female figure and technology’s relationship to the human body. The exhibit is curated by Tif Sigfrids, who, in addition to running her self-named gallery downtown, is co-director of the school’s Arts Career Entrepreneurial Space.
Associated with the pop art movement of the 1960s, Austrian artist Kogelnik is represented through two drawings on paper from 1967. Part of a body of work that frequently referenced second-wave feminism and reproductive rights, the images depict dismembered robotic women with alarmingly inaccurate skeletal systems. Known for exploring the relationship between surveillance and power through performance, video and sculpture, Scher shares her 1988 film Discipline Masters, a four-hour confessional video in which the artist recounts traumatic childhood memories directly to the camera.
New York artist Vogt’s pair of large sculptures, “Cybele Knife” and “Kay Knife,” were originally created as props for an ongoing project called Artist Theater Program, in which performances are choreographed around works of art. In the absence of performers, the sculptures take center stage. Los Angeles-based Williamson contributes a second pair of sculptures, “Stereo (LES3)” and “Constellation,” that exemplify a new body of work called “Body Boards.” Wall-bound and stretching over 6 feet tall, the pieces contemplate the concept of portraiture with a focus on color and space.
Explore the facilities of the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art, see demonstrations and view student work in in fabrics, photography, printmaking, drawing and painting. Activities run at the Main Building and Ceramics Building from 2–5 p.m., Thomas Street Art Complex from 4–7 p.m., and back on Thomas Street for a closing party from 6–9 p.m. Part of the UGA Spotlight on the Arts Festival.