September 3, 2007

Handmade in Baltimore

In the Baltimore Sun, Glenn McNatt sees a return to art-making strategies based on highly labor-intensive, repetitive processes that encourage Zen-like meditation and transcendence: "Not only are the materials unusual, the very willingness to endure the kind of mind-numbing repetitiveness and tedium required to turn them into art may seem like a kind of madness, akin to the obsessive-compulsive disorders studied by psychiatrists. Yet today, many artists are happily bypassing the time- and labor-saving advantages of cutting-edge technology in favor of incredibly complex, handcrafted works produced the old-fashioned way, through endless repetition and minute attention to detail....There have been several exhibitions in Baltimore this year of highly labor-intensive work. In addition to Kay Hwang's drawing show, Maryland Art Place mounted an exhibition called Obsessive Aesthetics and the Rosenberg Gallery at Goucher College put on Accumulation; all presented works by artists who share a preoccupation with repetition and attention to minute detail....In October, Baltimore artist Tonya Ingersoll's exhibition of meticulously crafted, large-scale figurative paintings opens at Baltimore's Galerie Francoise. The same month, Youngmi Song-Organ's meticulous hair drawings go on display at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. And Dawn Gavin and Renee van der Stelt's labor-intensive installations and drawings based on mapping techniques are on view through Oct. 13 at Ellipse Arts Center in Arlington, Va."Read more.