Art on the Edge presents the work of seven contemporary artists selected by Nicholas Baume for this biennial juried show organized by Friends of Contemporary Art (FOCA) in partnership with NMMoA.
The exhibition opens Friday, April 16, 2010 and runs through August 1, 2010
Sublime horizons, water sculptures, stitched excerpts from Neruda, and adolescents in suburbia await the viewer in this show that wonders aloud, what gives art "edge"? The exhibition features Eric Tillinghast, Deborah Hamon, Erika Blumenfeld, Michael Rogers, Kate Beck, Jessica Loughlin, and Ryan Bush. This year's show marks the second edition of Art on the Edge. It was curated by Nicholas Baume, chief curator and director of the New York Public Art Fund.
The Museum will host a free public lecture by Nicholas Baume at 6:00 p.m. in St. Francis Auditorium during the opening. The Women’s Board of the Museum of New Mexico will host an opening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.Honing the "Edge"
The critical success of Friends of Contemporary Art's first Art on the Edge exhibition in 2008 led to the establishment of the new biennial. In keeping with the spirit of the first Art on the Edge, the new juried show will have a tight focus allowing each of the seven artists the opportunity to showcase the best examples of their work. Art on the Edge was open to both FOCA members and non-members, and submissions were received from as far as Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia. The seven artists chosen by Nicholas Baume represent Australia, both US coasts, and the American Southwest.
The judging, done exclusively by Baume, was based on entries submitted by artists to Slideroom.com, a web-based service that allows entrants to upload images, videos, and documents for consideration. "Slideroom made the logistics of accepting the work, organizing it, and notifying artists much simpler than in previous years," said Steering Committee member and FOCA Co-chair Michael Abatemarco. "We received a lot of positive feedback from submitters who found the online process to be very user friendly. We plan to engage with this or a similar service for the next juried show."
Baume considered up to twenty works by each of over 120 artists. “Friends of Contemporary Art is looking forward to the exhibition curated by our juror,” said Steering Committee member and FOCA Co-chair Romi Sloboda. “Art on the Edge 2010 will present both well-known and lesser established artists’ work at the Museum, with a wide range of mediums and materials represented in the show. Nicholas Baume’s vision as the sole juror provides an interesting and engaging selection of artists. And we’re also delighted that Baume will be coming to Santa Fe for the opening reception in April and will be giving a talk at the Museum.”
The work of these seven artists is united in the clean simplicity of elemental form as it relates to the natural and man-made world. Eric Tillinghast, formerly based in Santa Fe but now residing in Northern California, works directly with the element of water in work that becomes interactive due to the need for replenishing the evaporative substance. The properties of the water, as it pools and beads on surfaces, become an object of fascination. Tillinghast is a former recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.
Erika Blumenfeld and Jessica Loughlin both work with the horizon line, employing photography and kiln-formed glass respectively, to suggest the contrast of earth/sky, day/night, light/darkness. Blumenfeld, also a former Santa Fe resident, lives and works in Marfa, Texas. In January of 2009 she spent four weeks working in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. The results of that venture will be included in Art on the Edge. Loughlin is from Australia and references that landscape in her work. In 2001 she won the Outstanding New Artist in Glass award from UrbanGlass.
The inclusion of mica in the oil and graphite work of Kate Beck, who hails from Maine, brings material from the natural world into two-dimensional art that reflects a purity of line, which becomes itself the subject. The spatial relationships of repetitive lines add to the tonal quality of her work. Deborah Hamon, a recipient of the West Prize Acquisition Award, also works out of Northern California. She creates digital c-prints that deal with human interaction with negotiated landscapes, placing her posed human subjects in environments that seem familiar and unfamiliar, almost dreamlike.
For photographer Ryan Bush, originally from Michigan and now in the Bay Area, the focus is on patterns created by the countless telephone wires that criss-cross the landscape from coast to coast. Each image reduces the connections formed by these carriers of information into elegantly simple abstractions. Michael Rogers, who lived and worked in Japan for 11 years and is now a full professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, takes the work of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and abstracts it by sewing text onto draped strands of cotton strung between shells of cast glass, reducing the literary form itself even as it is united with new mediums.
About the guest curator
Nicholas Baume is chief curator and director of the Public Art Fund in the city of New York. He came to the United States in 1998 from Sydney, Australia, to become the curator of contemporary art at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Among his projects at the Atheneum were About Face: Andy Warhol Portraits and Sol LeWitt: Incomplete Open Cubes, as well as the Matrix series of exhibitions, which included first American museum shows by Francis Alÿs, Sam Durant, Thomas Eggerer, Christian Jankowski, Catherine Sullivan and Fiona Tan. In 2003 Baume was appointed chief curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston. Baume established a permanent contemporary collection for the ICA during his tenure. While at the ICA, he curated exhibitions of the work of Kai Althoff, Kader Attia, Carol Bove, Gerard Byrne, Tara Donovan (with Jen Mergel), Thomas Hirschhorn (with Ralph Rugoff), Anish Kapoor and Lucy McKenzie.
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Friends of Contemporary Art (FOCA) works actively as an advocate for contemporary art by supporting exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art and partnering with the Museum to build its contemporary art collection through active fundraising, public education, and special events.
The New Mexico Museum of Art celebrates the diversity of the visual arts and the legacy of New Mexico as a cultural crossroads. The Museum was founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico. For more than 90 years, the Museum has collected and exhibited work by leading artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. The New Mexico Museum of Art brings the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico. The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
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