Thursday, October 31, 2013

Paranormal Problems?



Spot any supernatural occurrences on campus lately? Witness any paranormal activity during your lectures? Ghost problems at your residence hall? Who you gonna call? Does Ghostbusters immediately come to mind, or the crew of Ghost Adventures? Think again. Artist, sculptor, and draughtswoman, Alice Aycock, can come to your rescue.


Alice Aycock’s captivation with the many ghosts that inhabit contemporary work that involve technology, physics, and the contrast between mind and body, led her to create the site-specific sculpture, How to Catch and Manufacture Ghosts: Collected Ghost Stories from the Workhouse. Aycock was inspired by devices and apparatus found in history books from the 18th and 19th centuries and claims that her piece is “…her interpretation of the history of invention…”[1] Although Aycock’s device constructed of metal, glass, steel and wood was dismantled in the early 1990s, if you are having problems with the paranormal, a number of prints and drawings were created that document the work and its process with diagrams and quotes, and one drawing is a part of GW’s Permanent Collection.


Aycock’s medium of work ranges from architectural drawings to sculptures to photo documentation. Growing up with a father who owned a construction company influenced Aycock’s interest in constructing sculptures and creating drawings based off of architecture. As an artist, she strives to create a transcendental experience for her audiences and what she calls the “glance of eternity”, an allusion to Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal return. In an interview with White Hot Magazine, Aycock expands on this, by stating that art that has this effect on you keeps you coming back to revisit the piece. [2] She compares it to that gasping moment one experiences when a wave comes in and takes you under.  If you are interested in experiencing the “glance of eternity,” you can find her works in many collections aside from the GW Permanent Collection, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She also has public works displayed in various locations throughout the United States, among them are New York, Washington D.C. and Sacramento.


If you are in need of a remedy for your supernatural snag, Alice Aycock has you covered. Despite the sculpture of her work, How to Catch and Manufacture Ghosts: Collected Ghost Stories from the Workhouse, no longer being in existence, her drawing can provide you with detailed insights on how to take care of your pesky paranormal problems. With that said, put down your cellphone and your television remote! Forget about the outrageous and bizarre methods used by the Ghostbusters and the crew of Ghost Adventures and instead take a few pointers from Alice Aycock’s print to resolve any supernatural occurrences you may face on campus!

- Taylor Schmidt, Gallery Assistant


[1] Alice Aycock. Institute for Research in Art at the University of Southern Florida.
[2] Nietzche’s concept of eternal return is the idea that events recur again and again infinitely. Aycock notes this concept in hopes that her art has an eternal return impact on her audience. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Birds


Hawks, eagles and crows – oh my – and all lurking on the campus of GW! Do not be spooked - these are not the unnerving birds from the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, but the carved stone bird creations of artist Ben Cabot. These eerie birds may look lifelike, but we promise you that they do not come to life at night!

In October of 2001, the first of the four bird sculptures landed on campus. President Stephen Tratchtenberg purchased this work, Hawk on a Granite Post, from the Granary Gallery while visiting Martha’s Vineyard.  There is no need to take cover; the hawk can be found at his usual resting place on his post on the southeast corner of the University Yard. The second bird to flock to campus was an eagle, titled, Eagle Bearing Inscription 91101. The eagle sculpture is inscribed with “91101”, to honor September 11th and the lives lost. The eagle recently took flight from its home at Eye Street because of construction of the “super dorm” and is in search of a new location to call home. At the same time of the purchase of the eagle, a second hawk made its way to the GW Mount Vernon campus. The final addition to this flock of birds was the crow on a post titled, The Raven. The crow was dedicated on January 19th of 2006, on the birthday of Edgar Allen Poe. Keep a lookout for the crow, which can be spotted perched in front of Old Main Building located on 1922 F Street.       

Stone carver, Ben Cabot, began exploring his craft by the landscape of Martha’s Vineyard inspiring him to construct freestanding stone walls. He is completely self-taught in the art of stone carving and currently works as a stone mason on Martha’s Vineyard. Many of Cabot’s works are of animals, such as seals and penguins, however his main muse for his creations are birds. His mastery in creating birds is due to his extensive knowledge of bird forms, coming from his interest in hunting and his research of old decoys. Cabot shows at the Granary Gallery and the Field Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. Aside from his works present of the campus of GW, his sculptures can also be found in private collections in the United States and Europe.

Do keep an eye out for the hawks, the eagle and the crow as you travel the campus of GW! When you happen to spot one of the eerie birds on campus, do not be wary! Do get up close and personal to examine the precise carvings of the bird sculptures, which transcend pieces of stone to life. We promise they do not peck!      
                                                                                                                                                                        Written by: Taylor Schmidt, Gallery Assistant

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The New Media


       Every day artist Gabriel Orozco takes a walk [1]. He meanders around whatever city he is in and notices the intricacies of the sidewalk, the people, and the surroundings. He will snap a few photos here and there—but mostly, he engages with the objects around him. At one point during his walk—he stops at a trashcan full of hay-like bushels of paper ends and fumbles them through his hands.
“I try to be intimate with everything.”
Orozco coos these words to us in his documentary entitled, Loss and Desire. That’s his advice to us—notice everything. Interact with everything. Truly see everything.

  Gabriel Orozco, Fluttering Flowers, 2011. Pigment ink and acrylic on cavas, 23 5/8 x 31 1/2 inches.

      This is a much more difficult task than we realize. Nowadays, we hardly live in our current moment. We are either somewhere nostalgically looking in the past or glaring way too far forward into our future—and most of the time we are looking at a screen. So what is the remedy for this predicament? How can we really be engaged with our here and now when our here and now is so spread all over the internet and in our cell phones and in cubicles and in photographs?
                 Art is the answer. As philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believes, art is an escape into the eternal [2]. It takes us out of the moment and into one which spans the course of time. Modern artists have taken this belief a step further and have made their lives into art—expanding their interaction and engagement with life. They seek to live in the moment by synthesizing life and art and in the process. By materially making an object that defines a period or moment in their life—artists are able to produce a more bearable and more beautiful form of life in art.
                But, modern artists are now faced with the fact that our reality is irrevocably intertwined with technology. To be an artist now means to be a master of almost every technological platforms—video, sculpture, product manipulation, sensory distortion, performance, writing, film, sampling [3], photography, painting. It seems you cannot stay relevant unless you dabble in them all.
                In the current Luther W. Brady Art Gallery exhibition, Decenter NY/DC, it is hard to find an artist who sticks to one medium. Their names are normally followed by a slew of professional descriptors [visual artist, essayist, poet, dancer, sculptor, filmmaker, etc.].  For example, Canadian artist Douglas Coupland does everything from painting to writing novels to furniture design with SwitzerCultCreative. New York based artist Andrew Kuo does everything from avid Tumblr and Instagram blogging to making humorous charts for the New York Times. New media artist Cory Arcangel tries his hand in everything from performance to video game manipulation.

Andrew Kuo, If I Could Redo Tuesday, 2013. Acrylic and carbon transfer on panel and paper, 51 x 38 inches.
           This sense of multi-dimensional inspiration stems from the fact that the forms of expression have changed. Artists are no longer expected to use paint or cast-iron molds to express their inner worlds—they are more inclined to use varying forms of technology or pull from the large surplus of found materials [which is so present in our consumerist society]. The result is something incredibly modern and beautiful—a synthesis of art and life.
                The Economist describes this new movement as artists living in a “post-studio” environment. The world is their studio and the art flows easily from their surroundings. Experiences become art and an artists’ life inevitably flows through them. For example, Decenter artist N.Dash creates her works while immersed in the world. Her pieces titled Commuter were formed and folded while she was on public transit. Instead of reading a book or glaring at her iPhone—she makes her ride interactive and provides a concrete representation of the monotony and tediousness of riding public transportation. She coats the repetitive patterns and folds of the paper in grimy graphite—representing the dirt so present in public transport [and life].

N. Dash, Commuter. March II, 2012. Graphite on paper, 20 x 22 inches.

                So, what we should we glean from all of this? These multimedia artists bring to our attention that art is in constant collaboration with life. They lead us towards a more emotional and experiential undercurrent of life—a more observational perspective. These artists and their works can show us how to live in the present and how to make sense of our rapid and ever-changing world.  
               


[1] “Loss and Desire.” Orozco, Gabriel. Art 21, PBS. <http://www.pbs.org/art21/watch-now/segment-gabriel-orozco-in-loss-desire>
[2] Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Birth of Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2000. Print.
[3] Sampling is when one takes pieces from another work, reproduces or distorts it, and uses it as part of a new work. It is common in video, music, and many visual art fields.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GW Art Voyages to St. Olaf College

        Mary Edna Fraser is highly skilled as a batik artist, an ancient art form where beautiful designs created by applying removable wax to regions on fabric to repel dye, while the areas without wax absorb the dye. Fraser’s intention when creating her aesthetic designs is to raise awareness for the environment by displaying its vulnerability and beauty. Her unique outlook of the environment is a result of ventures in her grandfather’s airplane as a child, which she continues to use today to take photographs of the world from an aerial perspective, inspiring her pieces. Fraser relies on geology, topography, satellite images, maps and sailing charts to stimulate her pieces. Each area Fraser chooses as a muse, such as the Nile Desert Islands or the ancient islands of Taiwan, she researches and personally explores by hiking or boating the terrain. Fraser’s adventures allow her to base her works on realism, as she often portrays the sea, the land, or space. However, her works are mostly centered from her mindset and emotions during the process of creating her batiks.

Fraser has had her artwork displayed throughout the world – including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, NASA, the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico and even The George Washington University. In April of 2002, Fraser’s exhibit, “Dark and Light”, was featured at the Hand Chapel on the Mount Vernon Campus and in that same year, Fraser’s batik, Venus, was acquired by The George Washington University Permanent Collection. In it Fraser provides the observer with only a mere sliver of the planet. Her intention is to illustrate the personality of the planet, which she accomplishes with the diffusion of vibrant colors, including: marigolds, salmon pinks, burnt oranges, teals, and lime greens.
 Venus, is currently being displayed at the Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, as a part of Fraser’s exhibition, Mapping the Planets in Silkand Sound, which demonstrates her eclectic approach to nature and the universe with pieces expressing the personality of the planets. Her artwork is accompanied by ambient music composed by Mark Mercury and informative text by planetary scientist, Ted Maxwell, of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The opening reception of the exhibit included an astronomy session that involved looking through a reproduction of Galileo’s telescope at the planets and the moon, as well as a Physics Colloquium and a roundtable discussion.  Just as Mary Edna Fraser has ventured greatly, so has her work, Venus, which has journeyed from George Washington to St. Olaf.                                                                                                                            Written by: Taylor Schmidt Gallery Assistant

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Covering exhibits at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and giving you a peek into the Permanent Collection of the George Washington University.

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Howard Hodgkin: Paintings - May 16, 2012

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Paranormal Problems?



Spot any supernatural occurrences on campus lately? Witness any paranormal activity during your lectures? Ghost problems at your residence hall? Who you gonna call? Does Ghostbusters immediately come to mind, or the crew of Ghost Adventures? Think again. Artist, sculptor, and draughtswoman, Alice Aycock, can come to your rescue.


Alice Aycock’s captivation with the many ghosts that inhabit contemporary work that involve technology, physics, and the contrast between mind and body, led her to create the site-specific sculpture, How to Catch and Manufacture Ghosts: Collected Ghost Stories from the Workhouse. Aycock was inspired by devices and apparatus found in history books from the 18th and 19th centuries and claims that her piece is “…her interpretation of the history of invention…”[1] Although Aycock’s device constructed of metal, glass, steel and wood was dismantled in the early 1990s, if you are having problems with the paranormal, a number of prints and drawings were created that document the work and its process with diagrams and quotes, and one drawing is a part of GW’s Permanent Collection.


Aycock’s medium of work ranges from architectural drawings to sculptures to photo documentation. Growing up with a father who owned a construction company influenced Aycock’s interest in constructing sculptures and creating drawings based off of architecture. As an artist, she strives to create a transcendental experience for her audiences and what she calls the “glance of eternity”, an allusion to Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal return. In an interview with White Hot Magazine, Aycock expands on this, by stating that art that has this effect on you keeps you coming back to revisit the piece. [2] She compares it to that gasping moment one experiences when a wave comes in and takes you under.  If you are interested in experiencing the “glance of eternity,” you can find her works in many collections aside from the GW Permanent Collection, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She also has public works displayed in various locations throughout the United States, among them are New York, Washington D.C. and Sacramento.


If you are in need of a remedy for your supernatural snag, Alice Aycock has you covered. Despite the sculpture of her work, How to Catch and Manufacture Ghosts: Collected Ghost Stories from the Workhouse, no longer being in existence, her drawing can provide you with detailed insights on how to take care of your pesky paranormal problems. With that said, put down your cellphone and your television remote! Forget about the outrageous and bizarre methods used by the Ghostbusters and the crew of Ghost Adventures and instead take a few pointers from Alice Aycock’s print to resolve any supernatural occurrences you may face on campus!

- Taylor Schmidt, Gallery Assistant


[1] Alice Aycock. Institute for Research in Art at the University of Southern Florida.
[2] Nietzche’s concept of eternal return is the idea that events recur again and again infinitely. Aycock notes this concept in hopes that her art has an eternal return impact on her audience. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Birds


Hawks, eagles and crows – oh my – and all lurking on the campus of GW! Do not be spooked - these are not the unnerving birds from the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, but the carved stone bird creations of artist Ben Cabot. These eerie birds may look lifelike, but we promise you that they do not come to life at night!

In October of 2001, the first of the four bird sculptures landed on campus. President Stephen Tratchtenberg purchased this work, Hawk on a Granite Post, from the Granary Gallery while visiting Martha’s Vineyard.  There is no need to take cover; the hawk can be found at his usual resting place on his post on the southeast corner of the University Yard. The second bird to flock to campus was an eagle, titled, Eagle Bearing Inscription 91101. The eagle sculpture is inscribed with “91101”, to honor September 11th and the lives lost. The eagle recently took flight from its home at Eye Street because of construction of the “super dorm” and is in search of a new location to call home. At the same time of the purchase of the eagle, a second hawk made its way to the GW Mount Vernon campus. The final addition to this flock of birds was the crow on a post titled, The Raven. The crow was dedicated on January 19th of 2006, on the birthday of Edgar Allen Poe. Keep a lookout for the crow, which can be spotted perched in front of Old Main Building located on 1922 F Street.       

Stone carver, Ben Cabot, began exploring his craft by the landscape of Martha’s Vineyard inspiring him to construct freestanding stone walls. He is completely self-taught in the art of stone carving and currently works as a stone mason on Martha’s Vineyard. Many of Cabot’s works are of animals, such as seals and penguins, however his main muse for his creations are birds. His mastery in creating birds is due to his extensive knowledge of bird forms, coming from his interest in hunting and his research of old decoys. Cabot shows at the Granary Gallery and the Field Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. Aside from his works present of the campus of GW, his sculptures can also be found in private collections in the United States and Europe.

Do keep an eye out for the hawks, the eagle and the crow as you travel the campus of GW! When you happen to spot one of the eerie birds on campus, do not be wary! Do get up close and personal to examine the precise carvings of the bird sculptures, which transcend pieces of stone to life. We promise they do not peck!      
                                                                                                                                                                        Written by: Taylor Schmidt, Gallery Assistant

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The New Media


       Every day artist Gabriel Orozco takes a walk [1]. He meanders around whatever city he is in and notices the intricacies of the sidewalk, the people, and the surroundings. He will snap a few photos here and there—but mostly, he engages with the objects around him. At one point during his walk—he stops at a trashcan full of hay-like bushels of paper ends and fumbles them through his hands.
“I try to be intimate with everything.”
Orozco coos these words to us in his documentary entitled, Loss and Desire. That’s his advice to us—notice everything. Interact with everything. Truly see everything.

  Gabriel Orozco, Fluttering Flowers, 2011. Pigment ink and acrylic on cavas, 23 5/8 x 31 1/2 inches.

      This is a much more difficult task than we realize. Nowadays, we hardly live in our current moment. We are either somewhere nostalgically looking in the past or glaring way too far forward into our future—and most of the time we are looking at a screen. So what is the remedy for this predicament? How can we really be engaged with our here and now when our here and now is so spread all over the internet and in our cell phones and in cubicles and in photographs?
                 Art is the answer. As philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believes, art is an escape into the eternal [2]. It takes us out of the moment and into one which spans the course of time. Modern artists have taken this belief a step further and have made their lives into art—expanding their interaction and engagement with life. They seek to live in the moment by synthesizing life and art and in the process. By materially making an object that defines a period or moment in their life—artists are able to produce a more bearable and more beautiful form of life in art.
                But, modern artists are now faced with the fact that our reality is irrevocably intertwined with technology. To be an artist now means to be a master of almost every technological platforms—video, sculpture, product manipulation, sensory distortion, performance, writing, film, sampling [3], photography, painting. It seems you cannot stay relevant unless you dabble in them all.
                In the current Luther W. Brady Art Gallery exhibition, Decenter NY/DC, it is hard to find an artist who sticks to one medium. Their names are normally followed by a slew of professional descriptors [visual artist, essayist, poet, dancer, sculptor, filmmaker, etc.].  For example, Canadian artist Douglas Coupland does everything from painting to writing novels to furniture design with SwitzerCultCreative. New York based artist Andrew Kuo does everything from avid Tumblr and Instagram blogging to making humorous charts for the New York Times. New media artist Cory Arcangel tries his hand in everything from performance to video game manipulation.

Andrew Kuo, If I Could Redo Tuesday, 2013. Acrylic and carbon transfer on panel and paper, 51 x 38 inches.
           This sense of multi-dimensional inspiration stems from the fact that the forms of expression have changed. Artists are no longer expected to use paint or cast-iron molds to express their inner worlds—they are more inclined to use varying forms of technology or pull from the large surplus of found materials [which is so present in our consumerist society]. The result is something incredibly modern and beautiful—a synthesis of art and life.
                The Economist describes this new movement as artists living in a “post-studio” environment. The world is their studio and the art flows easily from their surroundings. Experiences become art and an artists’ life inevitably flows through them. For example, Decenter artist N.Dash creates her works while immersed in the world. Her pieces titled Commuter were formed and folded while she was on public transit. Instead of reading a book or glaring at her iPhone—she makes her ride interactive and provides a concrete representation of the monotony and tediousness of riding public transportation. She coats the repetitive patterns and folds of the paper in grimy graphite—representing the dirt so present in public transport [and life].

N. Dash, Commuter. March II, 2012. Graphite on paper, 20 x 22 inches.

                So, what we should we glean from all of this? These multimedia artists bring to our attention that art is in constant collaboration with life. They lead us towards a more emotional and experiential undercurrent of life—a more observational perspective. These artists and their works can show us how to live in the present and how to make sense of our rapid and ever-changing world.  
               


[1] “Loss and Desire.” Orozco, Gabriel. Art 21, PBS. <http://www.pbs.org/art21/watch-now/segment-gabriel-orozco-in-loss-desire>
[2] Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Birth of Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2000. Print.
[3] Sampling is when one takes pieces from another work, reproduces or distorts it, and uses it as part of a new work. It is common in video, music, and many visual art fields.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GW Art Voyages to St. Olaf College

        Mary Edna Fraser is highly skilled as a batik artist, an ancient art form where beautiful designs created by applying removable wax to regions on fabric to repel dye, while the areas without wax absorb the dye. Fraser’s intention when creating her aesthetic designs is to raise awareness for the environment by displaying its vulnerability and beauty. Her unique outlook of the environment is a result of ventures in her grandfather’s airplane as a child, which she continues to use today to take photographs of the world from an aerial perspective, inspiring her pieces. Fraser relies on geology, topography, satellite images, maps and sailing charts to stimulate her pieces. Each area Fraser chooses as a muse, such as the Nile Desert Islands or the ancient islands of Taiwan, she researches and personally explores by hiking or boating the terrain. Fraser’s adventures allow her to base her works on realism, as she often portrays the sea, the land, or space. However, her works are mostly centered from her mindset and emotions during the process of creating her batiks.

Fraser has had her artwork displayed throughout the world – including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, NASA, the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico and even The George Washington University. In April of 2002, Fraser’s exhibit, “Dark and Light”, was featured at the Hand Chapel on the Mount Vernon Campus and in that same year, Fraser’s batik, Venus, was acquired by The George Washington University Permanent Collection. In it Fraser provides the observer with only a mere sliver of the planet. Her intention is to illustrate the personality of the planet, which she accomplishes with the diffusion of vibrant colors, including: marigolds, salmon pinks, burnt oranges, teals, and lime greens.
 Venus, is currently being displayed at the Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, as a part of Fraser’s exhibition, Mapping the Planets in Silkand Sound, which demonstrates her eclectic approach to nature and the universe with pieces expressing the personality of the planets. Her artwork is accompanied by ambient music composed by Mark Mercury and informative text by planetary scientist, Ted Maxwell, of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The opening reception of the exhibit included an astronomy session that involved looking through a reproduction of Galileo’s telescope at the planets and the moon, as well as a Physics Colloquium and a roundtable discussion.  Just as Mary Edna Fraser has ventured greatly, so has her work, Venus, which has journeyed from George Washington to St. Olaf.                                                                                                                            Written by: Taylor Schmidt Gallery Assistant

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
"Found In Collection" or simply "FIC" is the way many museums classify the more mysterious items in their possession that have little or no documentation. Here at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery of the George Washington University, we do keep extensive records of our collection, but some of the items we come across in academic buildings or our own storage can leave us wondering. This blog is an effort to showcase some of the more curious examples and their stories, and to provide a glimpse of the great variety of art pieces within the collection. To learn more about the Brady Gallery's history, recent exhibitions, or the George Washington University, take a look at the links below.

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