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CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks with Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky about the “Picture/Thing” exhibition, which opens in the Main Gallery of Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Admission to the gallery is free.

Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky and Professor of Art Jeffrey Schiff have teamed up to bring us Picture/Thing, an exhibition in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery that explores the relationship between photography and sculpture through the work of ten groundbreaking artists: Kendall Baker, Isidro Blasco, Rachel Harrison ’89, Leslie Hewitt, Jon Kessler, Anouk Kruithof, Marlo Pascual, Mariah Robertson, Erin Shirreff, and Letha Wilson.

These ten artists create hybrid objects that challenge and expand traditional definitions of photography and sculpture. The objects in the exhibition take myriad forms, as each artist has a unique approach to material, technology, and presentation.

Upon entering the gallery, one is greeted by the work of Erin Shirreff. “Hers are digital prints that have been placed in somewhat traditional frames,” says co-curator Ms. Rudensky. “But when you look closer you discover this whole other reality. For one thing the paper is not flat. It’s three dimensional, and what she’s capturing are sculptures, or forms that are very reminiscent of mid-century sculpture, so she’s playing with this lateral movement back and forth between photography and sculpture.”

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Anouk Kruithof, “Façade,” 2014, inkjet prints, plexiglass, polystyrene, cellophane foil, bricks, 55.5 x 43.3 x 39.4 inches, courtesy of the artist and Boetzelaer | Nispen.

Turning around one sees a free-standing “picture/thing” by Anouk Kruithof. Its styrofoam blocks and iridescent glass glisten. “It’s a very mysterious piece,” says Ms. Rudensky. “In part because as you walk around it, the view and the content change dramatically. Because of the play of light that happens with the reflectedness of the materials she’s using, there’s this revelatory experience that continues as you circumnavigate the piece.”

Venturing further into the gallery, one encounters the work of Mariah Robertson. “She’s someone who works with traditional photographic processes,” says Ms. Rudensky. “She makes darkroom prints in a time when very few people are making darkroom prints, but then does these wild things with them by making 164 foot photographs that are suspended in space.”

Picture/Thing transforms the gallery into a world of rare objects. Each artist’s work is stunningly different from the next.

While most of the artists hail from Brooklyn and Harlem, their work speaks to a far-reaching trend in contemporary art.

“The idea for the exhibition came together rather quickly, in part because the phenomenon is very much there and present,” says Ms. Rudensky. “Artists are looking for new ways of dealing with traditional media.”

Picture/Thing will be on display in the Main Gallery of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through Sunday, March 1, 2015.

Interested to hear Ms. Rudensky speak in more detail about the exhibition? She and co-curator Jeffrey Schiff will give a talk at 5:30pm this Thursday, January 29 as part of the exhibition’s opening reception.

Wesleyan University is a center for creativity and innovation, and one of the best places for our community to come together to participate in that energy is at the Center for the Arts. Our year-long exploration of Muslim Women’s Voices in performance continues on February 27 with a rare opportunity to see a dance company coming to Middletown from the northernmost tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. The dances of Tari Aceh! feature quick, highly-coordinated movements of hands, heads, and torsos, punctuated by lively body percussion. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And on April 17 and 18, you can get a first look at a theatrical work-in-progress by playwright and actress Leila Buck ’99 that was commissioned for Muslim Women’s Voices.
Rachel Harrison, "AA," 2010, wood, bubble wrap, cardboard, acrylic, tennis shirt, A/V cart, DVD player, speakers, projector, extension cord, five hair rollers, pack of gum, ear plugs, American Apparel video, color/sound (2009), 80 x 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery.

Rachel Harrison, “AA,” 2010, wood, bubble wrap, cardboard, acrylic, tennis shirt, A/V cart, DVD player, speakers, projector, extension cord, five hair rollers, pack of gum, ear plugs, American Apparel video, color/sound (2009), 80 x 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery.

In the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from January 29 to March 1, Studio Art faculty members Jeffrey Schiff and Sasha Rudensky curate Picture/Thing, an exhibition featuring the work of ten artists working at the intersection of photography and sculpture.

In April and May, we present “The Connecticut Meets the Nile,” a two-part happening that will highlight two great rivers. On April 10, Crowell Concert Hall hosts The Nile Project, an all-star gathering of musicians who live in the countries that border the Nile River and have come together to create music that draws attention to the environmental issues of a historic river that sustains millions of people. Then on May 9, at Middletown’s Harbor Park, Wesleyan and regional partner organizations present Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, an afternoon of music performances, visual art, and kid’s activities that will engage our community with our own beautiful river.
And throughout the winter and spring, you can put your finger on the pulse of what’s inspiring our newest artists by visiting the Senior Thesis Exhibitions in Zilkha Gallery, or by attending thesis performances by music, dance, and theater students performed throughout the CFA.
It’s all here for you. We hope you’ll join us.
Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

The “Tuesdays with Wesleyan Composers” concert series culminated in a collaborative show featuring members of the composition seminar taught by the esteemed David Behrman on December 5, 2014, at World Music Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

 

 

London vocalist Veronica Doubleday accompanied her singing of Persian-language texts on daireh frame drum, and John Baily joined her on the two-stringed dutar lute on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at CFA Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

Veronica Doubleday, Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, London University, considered the emotional impact of songs and dance from the western Afghan city of Herat during a talk on December 3, 2014, at CFA Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

 

 

John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce conducted the WesWinds fall concert on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, at Crowell Concert Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

 

Attendees enjoyed the melodious sounds of Wesleyan’s Ebony Singers under the direction of Dr. Marichal Monts ’85 on December 1, 2014, at Crowell Concert Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

Under the direction of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Nadya Potemkina, the Wesleyan University Orchestra presented an evening of popular holiday classics (including an audience sing-along) on November 22, 2014, at Crowell Concert Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

The Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble, under the direction of University Professor of Music Sumarsam and Artist in Residence I.M. Harjito, presented classical music of Central Java on November 22, 2014, at World Music Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

Sam Friedman ’13 demonstrated some of the many ways that the harmonica has been utilized in the nearly 200 years since its invention, accompanied by piano, guitar, bass, and vocals on November 9, 2014, at The Russell House. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

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