Denison Art Gallery Opens Season With 'Intangible Transformations'
Posted: September 6, 2004
Two artists working with both traditional and non-traditional materials -- objects and light and shadows -- are featured in the first exhibition of the 2004-2005 season at the Denison University Art Gallery (240 West Broadway, Granville). James Lawton and Charles Matson Lume are the artists exhibiting in the Contemporary Gallery's presentation of "Intangible Transformations." In the Collection Gallery, "Paper Traces: Chinese Rubbings from the Daniel S. Dye Collection" will be exhibited. "Intangible Transformations" will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. daily from Friday (Sept. 10) through October 24 while "Paper Traces" will continue until the end of the semester in December. An opening reception for the artists is set for 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 10) in the gallery, which is free and open to the public.
In speaking of this show, Gallery Director Lee Hanford says "Charles Matson Lume and James Leonard Lawton recognize the universally vital appeal of light and they accordingly manipulate luminosity to awaken our visual sense and sensibility while sparking cultural awareness."
"My ephemeral installations locate themselves between the three and two-dimensional by manipulating light and shadow through transparent objects," say Lume. "Shaped by my love of mostly insignificant objects from surplus stores, these manufactured materials represent part of the lost and overlooked of our disposable culture. Transformation and redemption through light continually reappear as themes in which these forgotten items create remarkable visual statements."
Lawton has been exploring the presentation of social issues in his works. "I have also been exploring the presentation of these issues veiled in remnants of salvaged artifacts and through photographs and photographic images printed on acrylic, mylar or etched in glass -- materials that have industrial associations -- which suggest the ghostlike remains of their past lives," says Lawton. In other works Lawton has used animal ash and natural forms cast in bronze to evoke different historical and artistic frames. "The use of a replica of a toy horse is presented as a 'Trojan Horse' traveling through time encountering its many 'snares.' "
"All considered," says Hanford, " 'Intangible Transformations' offers a visual phenomenon surpassing the concrete properties that create the art. Concepts of discovery and sensory intrigue are the highlights of this show."
An assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Lume was the recipient of a Bush Foundation fellowship during which time he participated in the Irish Museum of Modern Arts's Artists' Work Programme in Dublin, Ireland. He has recently had three solo installations at Carleton College, Bethel College, and SUNY Cortland, and two group shows at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Manhattanville College. Lume earned his bachelor's degree at Wheaton College (Ill.) and master of arts and master of fine arts degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also attended the Lacoste School of the Arts in France and served as a visiting artist there and at The Kiski School (Penn.).Lume has also taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and at the Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley, Penn.
Among Lawton's recent shows has been the Faculty Exhibition at the Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University, and shows at the Otherwise Gallery, the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, Mich., and at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Mich. He also was included in "The New Regionalism" show at the Detroit Art Market in 1997 which traveled throughout the state.
Lawton earned a bachelor of science degree at Murray State University (Ky.) and a master of fine arts degree at Kent State University. He has curated or co-curated exhibitions at the Saginaw Art Museum and the Kresge Art Museum, was a visiting lecturer at Ball State University (Ind.) and served in the department of art at Michigan State University.
"Paper Traces" presents a selection of the paper rubbings given to Denison University in the early 1970s by Daniel S. Dye. A missionary in China during the first half of the 20th century, Dye made the rubbings himself and used this material to write a book on Chinese lattice-work. The collection contains over four hundred rubbings of items from the Han, Tang, Song, and Qing Dynasties, as well as some pieces from the 20th century. Bricks, inscriptions, calligraphy, and architectural decorative motifs of flora, fauna, figures, and geometric shapes form the basis of the Chinese art represented here.The themes of religion and symbolism have played a profound role in Chinese art for thousands of years, and since the Song dynasty (960-1279), scholar-gentlemen have utilized many of these images in their artistic endeavors. The pieces on display here reflect this type of art, but were produced during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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