John M. O'Quinn Gallery
The Adoration of the Mystic Dog
The famous altarpiece The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (1432) of Jan and Hubert van Eyck, has become a framework for Maria Smits' installation The Adoration of the Mystic Dog. Through much research and exploratory drawings, she has gradually developed her own interpretation of the work. Smits' work is full of polarities: rawness and vulnerability; contemporary and classical visual references and meanings; poignancy and repugnance. The word dog is literally the reverse of the word God. It is the opposite and at the same time, the same. Like the two sides of a coin, the light side and the shadow side, the day and the night. Her work represents both sides, typically in black and white.
In The Adoration of the Mystic Dog, Smits questions the importance of the role of Christian religion in our current culture, questioning the hierarchy of men and god, questioning the meaning of worshipping and thinking. The twelve panels of the altarpiece, with the Adam and Eve figure on both sides functions as the works centerpiece. Portions of the figurative narrative are left in addition to deform much of the content into abstracted black and white forms. In this move from the figurative to the abstract, a universe evolves. Central in the gallery the "Mystic dog" sculpture, built from Polystyrene, foam rubber and plastic binders will be exposed in the space between the four pillars.
Maria Smits was born in The Netherlands and currently lives and works in Houston, Texas. She studied fashion and monumental textile at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands. During the first 10 years of her career she owned a fashion design studio. She designed many exclusive fashion collections, sold in Holland and Germany. After her post academic study at the V.A., University , The Hague, where she studied sculpture, etching, digital photography and video, Maria started her career as an independent artist and curator. She curated exhibitions and exhibited work at Pulchri Studio, The Hague. Most recently her work has been included in exhibitions at Gallery New Untitled, Venlo, Gallery TH, The Hague; Art Berlin, Germany, Art Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Art Cologne, Germany, Kunst eijssen, Alkmaar. In October 2010, her work will be exhibited at Museum Kunsthalle, Osnabruck, Germany. Her work is represented in important Dutch Collections. In Houston, she is a member of BOX13 Artspace.
Angel 1, 2010
Mixed media on wood panel
12" x 12"
Fugitive Emissions is an installation of large-scale animated paintings with sound that poetically probe the hidden life of petrochemical production. In these animations, abstract gestural brushstrokes collide with the realism of 3d computer graphics. These moving paintings are virtual worlds that blur the distinction between technology and biology. The dependence of our ways of life, especially along the gulf coast, on petrochemical processing and the effects of this production on living systems are the inspiration for this work.
Oil spills are a highly visible symptom of a much broader, complicated relationship between the petrochemical industry and the communities along the gulf. It is the invisible processes involved in the creation of our lifestyles, hidden behind mysterious and silently remote edifices that these animations explore. These products and byproducts of technology change our external as well as internal landscapes. The industrial plants, their emissions and affected organs, dissolve into one. Like some will-o-the-wisp, seen dimly through the humidity, the objects drip in a slowly evolving miasma.
David Sullivan was born in Rio and raised in New Orleans, where he currently lives. He studied painting at Louisiana State University (BFA) and Maryland Institute, College of Art (MFA). He creates prints, computer programs and animations combining analog and digital techniques. Recently, his work was in the Southern Open 2010 at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana, and in "Hot Up Here" at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans. Internationally, he has shown at Ars Electronica in Linz Austria, File in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and in Antarctica. He was a studio resident at Louisiana Artworks in 2009-2010, and has taught digital media at several universities in New Orleans.
Sunset refinery, 2008
HD animation with sound
4:35 min loop
Grace R. Cavnar Gallery
Where Pigeons Dare
In 1918, pigeon Cher Ami saved the lives of 194 American soldiers during World War I. He did so by flying for 25 miles in 25 minutes delivering an urgent message to headquarters despite having been shot through the chest, blinded in one eye, covered in blood and with one leg hanging by only a tendon. Hundreds of thousands of homing pigeons were used in service during World War I and World War II, in addition to countless dogs, horses and other animals that exhibited what we would call bravery.
In 1943 the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, in the UK, instituted the Dickin Medal to honor the work of animals in war. The Dickin medal was issued 55 times over 6 years to honor 32 pigeons, 19 dogs and 3 horses that served during World War II and one cat that served briefly after.
For her exhibition in the Cavnar Gallery, Vasquez will create 54 small scale drawings displaying each animal that has been awarded the Dickin Medal in addition to one large scale crocheted tapestry displaying these animals in action. Vasquez works from World War II battle paintings to recreate a similar scene but transpose the aforementioned animals for the people; pigeons parachuting from planes, dogs with rifles, etc., creating a balance of sincerity and humor.
Rachelle Vasquez is a Houston based artist who works primarily with fibers and likes drawing animals. Her work as of late has been more research oriented with allows her to make lots of spreadsheets and large series' of drawings. She graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Detail from When Winkie comes Marching Home, 2010
Approx. 60" x 90" __________________________________________
Deb Karpman & Kimberly Hennessy
In and Out of Whack
The pairing of work by Deb Karpman and Kimberly Hennessy sets out to examine ideas about collection, appropriation, duality and absurdity. The duality explored in their respective work is heightened by their contrasting approaches to image making. In Deb's work, the images are created by fastidiously cutting up old manuals and guidebooks and then carefully arranging the snippets onto the backs of vintage wallpaper, a practice that is systematically very controlled but has a dynamic and fluid end result. Kimberly's studio practice involves a fair amount of detailed drawing, but also a lot of hasty piling, overlapping, pouring, dropping and walking away. When shown together, the work of each artist pushes and pulls at the other in a precariously balanced drama.
Kimberly Hennessy received her BFA in painting from The University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning in 2006, and her MFA in painting and installation from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2009. Kimberly has curated video and mixed media projects at The Samson Projects in Boston, MA, and at The University of Massachusetts. Kimberly is the founder of an illustration collective, The Illustrator Project, because even after all this time painting and installing, her heart really belongs to drawing. Kimberly lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Deb Karpman is an Assistant Professor of Art and Co-Director of Foundations at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She received her MFA in 2009 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her BA from Colgate University in 2005. Her work was recently featured in solo exhibitions at Second Row Studios/ROAM Projects in Birmingham and Charles Harris Library Gallery in Virginia. She has upcoming two-person shows this year at the Essex Art Center in Massachusetts, Contemporary Art Center of Las Vegas, SCA Contemporary in Albuquerque, and the Arts Place in Portland, Indiana. Karpman's work will also included this fall in the group show Cut Copy at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand, as well as at the annual SECAC Member's exhibition at 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Other recent exhibitions include Spring Break at Caelum Gallery in NYC, Flower-Power at Herter Art Gallery, Paper Explorations at Bridgewater State College, New York/New England/New Talent at Hampden Gallery, and Boston Young Contemporaries in Boston, MA. She currently lives and works in Birmingham, AL.
Parade of Fools (detail), 2009
Foam hats, gold seals, insulation foam
Collage on paper
6" x 6"
Lawndale Art Center is a nonprofit alternative exhibition space
dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in all media,
with an emphasis on the work of Houston area artists.
Monday-Friday, 10-5; Saturday, 12-5; Closed Sunday
Exhibitions open on Friday, November 19, 2010
and will remain on view through Saturday, January 15, 2011.
For additional information, please contact:
713.528.5858 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 713.528.5858 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Programs at Lawndale are supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, The Houston Arts Alliance through the Houston Museum District Association and City Initiatives Program, The Texas Commission on the Arts, Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Cavnar Foundation, The Cullen Foundation, The Wortham Foundation, Inc., John M. O'Quinn, Cecily Horton, Ann W. Harithas, Jonathan and Barbara Day, Diana M. Hudson and Lee Kaplan, Anita and David Garten, Mary and Roy Cullen, Karen J. and David A. Sobotka, Daniel K. Dubrowski, Jenny and Mark Johnson, Andrew C. Schirrmeister III, Samantha Schnee, Continental Airlines, Target, Art Colony Association, other contributors, memberships, benefit events and many volunteers.