Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Matthew Kolodziej's Paintings on View at Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech

James Casebere Amy Casey Dionisio González Candida Höfer 
Matthew Kolodziej Jean-François Rauzier Jennifer Williams 
This exhibition is supported in part by a gift from 
Dr. Charles Y. Davis and Mrs. Carole C. Davis. 
January 19–April 1, 2017 
All galleries

Given the pivotal role and great influence that architecture plays in the human experience, it is not surprising that some artists have found it to be a rich medium to probe—figuratively and thematically—as they explore and attempt to understand the world in which we live. In every society architecture has in some way reflected the ideals, practices, and beliefs of the people who live, work, and worship in the buildings of their towns and cities, and throughout history, the greatness of civilizations has to a significant extent been established by architectural achievements. As life in the 21st century is increasingly centered in urban and metropolitan areas, the role of architecture and the architectural aesthetics of our homes, workplaces, and civic buildings assumes ever more importance. Architecture determines to a great degree what our visual experience is—what we see and what we are surrounded by in our daily lives. 
This exhibition features a selection of large-scale works by exemplary emerging artists, as well as some of the most acclaimed national and international artists of our times who inventively engage aspects of architecture in their creative endeavors. Spanning the practices of photography, painting, installation art, and works on paper, the artists in this exhibition project, converge, and/or intersect architectural images and ideas into visually arresting and conceptually layered works of art while addressing underlying issues of history, memory, and place.
Candida Höfer’s resplendent and breathtaking photographs delve into history, bringing into sharp focus architectural splendors of the past. Her magnificent interiors of grand libraries, palaces, opera houses, and theatres reference human achievement of the highest order, yet are devoid of human presence. Infused with this uncanny yet profound paradox, these extraordinarily works signify far more than literal representations of place.
James Casebere too speaks eloquently to history as well as to memory and place in his stunning large-scale photographs of Thomas Jefferson’s most acclaimed architectural achievement—Monticello. Casebere represents Jefferson’s interiors as gorgeous dreamlike spaces flooded with light and shimmering pools of water. But in a conceptual twist on both history and reality, what he portrays in these photographs is not real. These hauntingly beautiful works are created with table-top models that the artist builds, lights, and photographs, essentially reinventing and reconstructing Jefferson’s iconic architectural spaces. “Everything l photograph is a fabrication,” Casebere says. “There’s nothing ‘real’ in my work. I am interested in how photography creates and reconstructs reality.”
Amy Casey’s meticulously detailed acrylic paintings on paper or panel also “reconstruct” the built environment into wild representations of reality. Her fascination with cities and “urbanscapes” is conveyed in these works by surreal clusters of houses whirling in space, precariously suspended at the brink of impending disaster. Less concerned with phenomenology than Casebere, Casey’s depictions of a teetering, chaotic world elicit a very real socio-economic commentary on the uncertain state of affairs in 2009 during the midst of a recession and housing bust. In Hold On, a painting from 2016, elements are more firmly interconnected and bound together, conveying struggle but also resilience and endurance in the face of continuing and pervasive uncertainty.
Jean-François Rauzier’s monumental photographs, or “hyperphotos,” as he terms them, are gigantic, hyper-realistic photographic reconstructions of architectural locations, ranging from the galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the halls of Versailles, France. Taken from multiple angles and distances, each of his compositions is made up of hundreds and often thousands of digitally composed and reconstructed images with unusually high resolutions. What this achieves is a visual language of extraordinary detail that allows the viewer to zoom in on the most minute details in the midst of vast scale. Compounding the complexity of these works is how the artist juxtaposes, duplicates, and manipulates images to create “hyper-real” architectural fantasies where the real and unreal collide.
Amy Casey

More elusive and steeped in richly tactile, almost viscous surfaces are Matthew Kolodziej’s abstract canvases. His paintings are initially based on his perceptions and documentation of actual archeological and/or architectural sites that he photographs, renders into computer drawings, reconstructs conflating multiple points of view, and then projects onto canvas as a foundation for thick, densely layered paintings. The results are a complexity of tenuous, ever-shifting spatial perspectives that seem to alternate between expansion and contraction, creation and destruction, stability and chaos. In these mesmerizing paintings Kolodziej explores the archaeology and architecture of space, metaphorically probing sites of construction, demolition, transition, and catalytic change.
Realistically depicted and anchored in specific locations are Dionisio González’s stunning panoramic vistas of Vietnam’s Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin. Situated along the spectacular coastline in northern Vietnam, this formerly isolated geographic area is inhabited mainly by impoverished,once secluded people living in houseboats on the water. González captures the extraordinary beauty of this area in expansive digital photographs, into which he interjects imaginary modern and contemporary architectural structures. Likewise, in the Brazilian slums of González’s Favela (2004-2007)series the artist creates the same kind of hypothetical intervention, digitally reconstructing photographic space to comment on the significance of place, social inequities, the collision of global cultures, or, as the artist suggests, a reimagining of possibilities or future utopias.
This projection, convergence, and intersection of architectural images into alternate pictorial realities also characterizes Jennifer William’s site-specific photographic installation, Blacksburg Unfurled (2016-2017). Created specifically for this exhibition and based on the history, architecture, and community of Blacksburg, this 120-foot long mural installation is composed with hundreds of photographs that the artist took of architectural sites and historic locations in town. She then digitally altered, reconstructed, and composed the architectural images into a dynamic photomontage printed on Photo-tex in a wildly imaginative reconfiguration of the built environment that speaks to history, memory, and place.
By incorporating architectural images and ideas in their work, the artists in this exhibition, from James Casebere to Jennifer Williams, engage in collapsing real and fictive imagery, and in so doing, uncover a depth of ideas and perspectives about our world, both past and present. Large in scale and visually seductive, their art takes the intersection of architecture and life as a platform to explore, ponder, and heighten awareness of a variety of ways that architecture and the built environment impact the human experience. 
Margo Ann Crutchfield
Curator at Large

Works in the Exhibition
James Casebere
Born in 1953, East Lansing, Michigan
Lives and works in New York City
Green Staircase #4, 2002-2003
Digital chromogenic print mounted to Plexiglass
89 1/2 x 71 1/2 inches 
Edition of 5 with 2 APs
© James Casebere
Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly, New York
Monticello #1, 2001
Digital chromogenic print mounted to Plexiglass
90 x 72 inches 
Edition of 5 with 2 APs
© James Casebere
Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly, New York
Monticello #3, 2001
Framed digital chromogenic print mounted to dibond
Photograph: 46 1/2 x 58 inches; framed: 49 7/16 x 60 15/16 x 2 inches 
Edition of 5 with 2 APs
© James Casebere
Collection of Sue Stoffel, New York
Amy Casey
Born in 1976, Erie, Pennsylvania
Lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio
Hold On, 2016
Acrylic gouache on paper
30 x 30 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Foley Gallery, New York
Expansion, 2009
Acrylic on paper
42 x 54 inches 
Collection of John C. Williams
Courtesy of ZG Gallery, Chicago
Keeping It Together, 2009
Acrylic on paper
36 x 50 inches
Collection of Cynthia Prior and James Gascoigne
Courtesy of ZG Gallery, Chicago
Dionisio González
Born in 1965, Gijón, Spain
Lives and works in Seville, Spain
Works courtesy of the artist and Galerie Richard, New York/Paris
New Halong I, 2013 
59 x 118 inches 
C-print, diasec, mounted on dibond and aluminum 
Edition 3/7 + 2 A/P
Halong V, 2009 
39 1/3 x 118 inches 
C-print, diasec, mounted on dibond and aluminum 
Edition 1/2 of 2 A/P 
Nova Acqua Gasosa II, 2004
32 2/3 x 98 .inches 
C-print, diasec, mounted on dibond and aluminum 
Candida Höfer
Born in 1944, Eberswalde, Germany
Lives and works in Cologne, Germanyöfer
Works courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York
Catherine Palace Pushkin St. Petersburg III, 2014
72 7/16 x 84 1/4 x 1 3/4 inches framed
Edition of 6 with 3 APs 
© 2016 Candida Höfer, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York
Teatro di Villa Mazzacorati di Bologna II, 2006
80 7/8 x 103 x 2 1/8 inches 
Edition of 6 with 3 APs 
© Candida Höfer, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York
Jennifer Williams
Born in 1972, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York
Blacksburg Unfurled, 2016-2017
Site-specific Photo-tex installation 
Two sections, each 7 x 60 feet
Courtesy of the artist and Robert Mann Gallery, New York
Matthew Kolodziej
Born in 1967, Charlottesville, Virginia
Lives and works in Akron, Ohio
Works courtesy of the artist 
and Charles Solway Gallery, Cinncinati, OH
Proper, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 79 inches
Geode, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 79 inches
Effervescent, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
42 x 49 inches
Boston, 2014 
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 79 inches
Jean-François Rauzier
Born in 1957
Lives and works in Paris, France
Works courtesy of the artist and Waterhouse & Dodd, New York/London
The Met, 2014
C-type print
58 x 98 inches
Made in New York, 2013
C-type print
58 x 98 inches
Jennifer Williams
Blacksburg Unfurled, 2016-2017 (detail)
Photo text installation
Two sections, each 7 x 60 feet
Courtesy of the artist and 
Robert Mann Gallery, New York
Jennifer Williams, Blacksburg Unfurled, 2016-2017 (detail), photo text installation, Two sections, each 7 x 60 feet, courtesy of the artist and Robert Mann Gallery, New York
General Information
Admission to galleries and exhibition-related events is free.
Gallery Hours
Tuesday–Friday, 10 AM–5:30 PM
Saturday, 10 AM–4 PM
Also on View:
Diana Cooper: HighWire, 2016
Grand Lobby
For more information about exhibitions and events:
@artscenteratvt use #attheMAC
@artscenteratvt use #attheMAC

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