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West Collects 2012: Selected Artist!

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Press Release

May 15, advice 2012

We are very pleased to announce the below list of artists that will be acquired for the West Collection through the 2012 West Collects initiative. 2,650 artists applied online from 80 countries and the caliber of work this year was quite incredible. This year we collected from galleries as well as unrepresented artists. In each case the 30 new artists define or redefine areas of the West Collection and add amazing content to our program.  We look forward to the fall exhibitions both at City Hall in Philadelphia for the Philadelphia-based artists, and at SEI and our new warehouse space in Oaks, PA for the national/ international artists.  A public opening and catalog of their works will accompany the West Collects exhibitions.

Philadelphia artists include: Tim Portlock, Joe Girandola, Kim Alsbrooks, Astrid Bowlby, Kay Healy, Tim Eads, Erin Murray, Collette Fu, Mark Stockton, Brian Richmond.

Read the press release here.


Press: Buildings and Contraptions R Us

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DCCA’s 2012 Gretchen Hupfel symposium

An excerpt of the article is below. Read the entire thing on theartblog‘s website.

by libby rosof and roberta fallon

April 1, 2012

We went to DCCA March 24 for the 2012 Gretchen Hupfel Symposium’s Saturday panels. The topics covered building, cities, and objects, recycling, making versus appropriating — all topics that are hot in the art world these days. Sadly, we missed Marshall Brown‘s apparently memorable keynote talk Friday night. But the architect made some sparky comments during the panel sessions that gave us a glimpse of his broad understanding of the topics at hand.


The second session, chaired by DCCA Curator of Contemporary Art, Maiza Hixson, dealt with the Dufala Brothers’ new work in one room of DCCA and with the show Contraption, organized by Hixson. Panelists included Billy and Steven Dufala, Tim Eads, C. Grant Cox III and Lauren Ruth.

Hixson led off saying the works in the exhibit show a reaction to the industrial revolution, mass production, consumption, appliances and big box stores. There was a lot of talk about recycling and about the artists’ processes in general.

Steven Dufala said their new work, “HVAC shelter,” is not a critique but about housing, mass production and trash.

Ruth said her work was not recycling but repurposing. Her fountain piece is a reaction to digital technology, which often hides the mechanics. Her father is a physicist and she said she does a lot of her prep work on paper. Her fountain — based on a chocolate fountain with some Duchampian sexual innuendo thrown in — exposes the mechanical and invites interaction.

Eads seemed in agreement with Ruth about not liking digital technology. He grew up on a ranch where if the windmill was broken they had to fix it right then or the cattle would go thirsty. He said he had a problem with laser cutters and that kind of technological tool. He prefers to use store-bought materials and weld, cut, glue, nail and sew them together. Eads characterized his work as wacky and humorous. About recycling, Eads said don’t make a big deal of it — it’s been around since 1913 with Duchamp’s readymades.

Cox said he had a lot in common with Eads and that humor gave him validation. He is presenting the absurdity of things and we should feel free to embrace it. Cox seemed bemused when he confessed that he came from a family of hoarders and grew up stumbling over stuff. His wild kiddy bike on an even wilder treadmill shows a kind of jumble-sale genius.

Steven Dufala had the most trenchant comment. Artists are not living in dystopia. We are not in post-apocalyptic times. Artists may be making constructs of dystopia but at the end of the day you brush your teeth, eat and go to bed. The work is just a construct.

In a panel that had a surprisingly large amount of nuts and bolts talk about process, Billy Dufala contributed a wry comment about the downside of using recycled materials. When he buys materials, he gets to write off the materials costs in his taxes. “I usually write off thousands of dollars in materials.” But now, getting materials from the recycling center, he won’t be able to get that tax write off. It’s an IRS disincentive for recycling and upcycling.

Following up on that, Marshall Brown said that the waste stream from construction was drying up. Thirty percent of a construction budget is waste. The developers want that money, so they are tracking materials now to keep the waste down and their profit up.

As a perfect complement to this show, the Fischli and Weiss video “The Way Things Go” is playing in the DCCA lobby.

3/30: Installation & Performance @ Penn State

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I am the headliner visual artist for Art Crawl 2012 at Penn State this year. I will be installing a large-scale sculpture along with absurd noise making devices. Viewers will be encouraged to play with the devices. Austen Brown will be recording the sounds and distorting them before playback. Total sensory overload will cause your nerve endings to melt.

Learn more about the free event here.


3/29: Lecture @ the DCCA

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During this lunch time lecture I will be discussing the work in the Contraption exhibition as well as projects I’m working on in my studio. The lecture is free and open to the public from noon-1pm. More information about the lecture can be found here.

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