Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Can DC Art Really be Local?


    Since Washington is a place of such global and cultural exchange, why is local art important when we can have the masters? DC has the capabilities and resources to be a place of exclusively high art—and it really is. We have the National Gallery, The Portrait Gallery, and the Phillips Collection—all places of high esteem, respect, and society.

            Luckily, this well-established respect for art means there is an encouraging platform for local artists—a launching pad for more opportunities and ability to reach a wider audience than most cities. The importance of local art stems from an idea that is becoming less and less of a driving force in the art world: community. In this digital age, we might forget that an art scene is so essential to the art itself. People used to meet up at galleries, have a chat with their colleagues, curators, and admirers and discuss art with like-minded people. Now, the gallery is mostly social at exhibition openings.

            But, in trying to promote local art and artists, a gallery not only provides a place to expose their work to an audience, but it seeks to build a community. At the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, we included four artists with DC ties in our Decenter NY/DC exhibit: Victoria Greising, Corin Hewitt, Ellington Robinson, and Lisa Ruyter. We not only believe that their work fits in well conceptually, but we believe it is important to create a dialogue between globally recognized artists, young New York artists and the DC, Virginia, Maryland community.
Decenter_Installation_UP_WLA_2013-8519-website
Victoria Greising, Unnavigable Space, 2013.
       Victoria Greising is a great example of a local who is trying to create a cohesive DC art community. Greising received her MFA from American University and currently has a site-specific work at our building called Unnavigable Space, which utilizes previously worn clothing and sheets. The piece is in the entranceway of the building and crisscrosses our three-story staircase in an upwardly evolving fashion. Greising creates various planes and connections with the fabric that seem both intertwined and ever changing. She has a similar work in the Botswana Embassy through the Art in Embassies Program. Recently, Greising started A Delicious Spectacle—a curatorial experiment with four other DC artists. A Delicious Spectacle hosts events in their townhouse in Columbia Heights. They focus on “becoming a space that allows artists and curators to execute novel and challenging projects” while also trying to “foster community by hosting exhibitions, lectures, critiques, and critical theory discussions involving local, regional, international artists, guest curators, and spaces.”
            
 Corin Hewitt was born in Burlington, Virginia and currently lives and works out of Richmond. Hewitt’s work deals a great amount with decay and consumption. His piece Recomposed Monochrome (216, 115, 177) is part of a series that tries to bend the medium of photography. He will scan a natural item, such as a rock or a handful of dirt, and reduce it to a single pixel in order to get the derivative color of the object. He will then place the photograph in the ground and let nature run its course. His photo of dirt is shaped by real dirt once more—and the circle closes. Interestingly, in 2008 Hewitt lived Friday through Saturday in The Whitney Museum doing various experiments based upon his fascination with the framework of houses. He would use organic and mechanical materials to do experiments in matter around a studio-garage like set-up.
Corin Hewitt, Recomposed Monochrome (216, 115, 177), 2011.
Ellington Robinson, Spin, 2011
            Artist Ellington Robinson is perhaps the most culturally tied to DC out of our Decenter locals. On his website he explains that the, “Robinson household was a respite for civil rights activists, jazz and soul enthusiasts, politicians, artists, writers, academics, and professionals including Max Robinson, Muhammed Ali, C.L.R. James, Stokley Carmichael, Toni Morrison, and Nina Simone.” Such a culturally rich house produced an artist that is heavily fascinated in DC music—especially the DC rap culture. A majority of his artwork, including his piece Spin which is currently in our gallery, invokes the image of a vinyl player.
            Lisa Ruyter, who was born in DC, has a piece in Decenter that demonstrates her vivid color palette. Ruyter creates traditional woodcuts on Japanese unryu-shi paper, but with a strangely brilliant color scheme. It is not the typical black and white woodcut, but instead, she creates beautiful portrayals of everything from peaceful forests to lively portraits of retro-dressed women. Ruyter has shown work extensively in places ranging from Japan to Vienna to Athens. Ruyter has even experimented in lending her artwork to authors for them to create small stories. She did a recent collaboration with Jack Miles, which focuses on a post 9/11 theme in the narrative.

LISA RUYTER
Arthur Rothstein "Dry and parched earth in the badlands of South Dakota"
2009, acrylic on canvas, 47 x 59 inches
Dry and Parched Earth in the Badlands of South Dakota, Lisa Ruyter, 2009.
            Most think of DC for the National Mall Museums, but there are a great deal of young and respected artists that derive their landscape and inspiration from The District. DC is a place where classic or metropolitan influences can blossom into a more contemporary form—perhaps the art scene will continue to develop an increasingly current platform.

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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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Can DC Art Really be Local?


    Since Washington is a place of such global and cultural exchange, why is local art important when we can have the masters? DC has the capabilities and resources to be a place of exclusively high art—and it really is. We have the National Gallery, The Portrait Gallery, and the Phillips Collection—all places of high esteem, respect, and society.

            Luckily, this well-established respect for art means there is an encouraging platform for local artists—a launching pad for more opportunities and ability to reach a wider audience than most cities. The importance of local art stems from an idea that is becoming less and less of a driving force in the art world: community. In this digital age, we might forget that an art scene is so essential to the art itself. People used to meet up at galleries, have a chat with their colleagues, curators, and admirers and discuss art with like-minded people. Now, the gallery is mostly social at exhibition openings.

            But, in trying to promote local art and artists, a gallery not only provides a place to expose their work to an audience, but it seeks to build a community. At the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, we included four artists with DC ties in our Decenter NY/DC exhibit: Victoria Greising, Corin Hewitt, Ellington Robinson, and Lisa Ruyter. We not only believe that their work fits in well conceptually, but we believe it is important to create a dialogue between globally recognized artists, young New York artists and the DC, Virginia, Maryland community.
Decenter_Installation_UP_WLA_2013-8519-website
Victoria Greising, Unnavigable Space, 2013.
       Victoria Greising is a great example of a local who is trying to create a cohesive DC art community. Greising received her MFA from American University and currently has a site-specific work at our building called Unnavigable Space, which utilizes previously worn clothing and sheets. The piece is in the entranceway of the building and crisscrosses our three-story staircase in an upwardly evolving fashion. Greising creates various planes and connections with the fabric that seem both intertwined and ever changing. She has a similar work in the Botswana Embassy through the Art in Embassies Program. Recently, Greising started A Delicious Spectacle—a curatorial experiment with four other DC artists. A Delicious Spectacle hosts events in their townhouse in Columbia Heights. They focus on “becoming a space that allows artists and curators to execute novel and challenging projects” while also trying to “foster community by hosting exhibitions, lectures, critiques, and critical theory discussions involving local, regional, international artists, guest curators, and spaces.”
            
 Corin Hewitt was born in Burlington, Virginia and currently lives and works out of Richmond. Hewitt’s work deals a great amount with decay and consumption. His piece Recomposed Monochrome (216, 115, 177) is part of a series that tries to bend the medium of photography. He will scan a natural item, such as a rock or a handful of dirt, and reduce it to a single pixel in order to get the derivative color of the object. He will then place the photograph in the ground and let nature run its course. His photo of dirt is shaped by real dirt once more—and the circle closes. Interestingly, in 2008 Hewitt lived Friday through Saturday in The Whitney Museum doing various experiments based upon his fascination with the framework of houses. He would use organic and mechanical materials to do experiments in matter around a studio-garage like set-up.
Corin Hewitt, Recomposed Monochrome (216, 115, 177), 2011.
Ellington Robinson, Spin, 2011
            Artist Ellington Robinson is perhaps the most culturally tied to DC out of our Decenter locals. On his website he explains that the, “Robinson household was a respite for civil rights activists, jazz and soul enthusiasts, politicians, artists, writers, academics, and professionals including Max Robinson, Muhammed Ali, C.L.R. James, Stokley Carmichael, Toni Morrison, and Nina Simone.” Such a culturally rich house produced an artist that is heavily fascinated in DC music—especially the DC rap culture. A majority of his artwork, including his piece Spin which is currently in our gallery, invokes the image of a vinyl player.
            Lisa Ruyter, who was born in DC, has a piece in Decenter that demonstrates her vivid color palette. Ruyter creates traditional woodcuts on Japanese unryu-shi paper, but with a strangely brilliant color scheme. It is not the typical black and white woodcut, but instead, she creates beautiful portrayals of everything from peaceful forests to lively portraits of retro-dressed women. Ruyter has shown work extensively in places ranging from Japan to Vienna to Athens. Ruyter has even experimented in lending her artwork to authors for them to create small stories. She did a recent collaboration with Jack Miles, which focuses on a post 9/11 theme in the narrative.

LISA RUYTER
Arthur Rothstein "Dry and parched earth in the badlands of South Dakota"
2009, acrylic on canvas, 47 x 59 inches
Dry and Parched Earth in the Badlands of South Dakota, Lisa Ruyter, 2009.
            Most think of DC for the National Mall Museums, but there are a great deal of young and respected artists that derive their landscape and inspiration from The District. DC is a place where classic or metropolitan influences can blossom into a more contemporary form—perhaps the art scene will continue to develop an increasingly current platform.

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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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