Venske + Spänle at Marcia Wood

December 13th, 2011 Jason Parker Posted in Event, Sculpture No Comments »

German collaborative duo Venske & Spänle are known internationally for their enigmatic marble sculptures. They return to Marcia Wood Gallery for their fifth Atlanta exhibition with “ATLANTA MYZOT”, introducing the myzot, the latest branch on the growing family tree of the sculptural genealogy that began with the Smoerfs.

Myzot’s are characterized by their suspicious movements towards people, objects, architecture, and other trappings of humanity. The artists, who live and work in New York and Munich, began collaborating in 1991 and have developed a worldwide reputation for their enigmatic marble sculptures.

Venske & Spänle, in their works, “play with the ability of sculpture to accompany humans,” as the artists themselves describe it. “Like a different species [the sculptures] live with people. They form a parallel universe, a species of ‘organic’ beings operating in groups poised to populate within society.” Exhibiting their work worldwide, the artists are interested in the power of art to alter an environment, as well as affect the people who experience it. Using brilliantly pure white marble, the artists transform the material from hard blocks into sensuous shapes that melt, fold, dissolve, flow and wiggle.

Light bounces off the highly polished surfaces of the biomorphic forms, emphasizing the inflated curving lines, folds and creases. In the spirit of surrealism the sculptures, while abstract, evoke living forms. The work references pop-culture as well, having been inspired by the cartoon characters they grew up with, the Smurfs, while the pristine play of form, line and light speak to minimalism.

Working with a classic material expertly by hand, Venske & Spanle bring each piece to life with meticulous carving and labor intensive sanding and polishing. The artists subvert the expectation of the viewer by suggesting objects that are light, soft and malleable, while concealing at first their origins of weight and mass, The various species have to date, populated the globe from Atlanta to the Congo, India to Las Vegas, Bolivia to New York City, the Pacific Islands to Belgium, Peru to Australia, and other unexpected places, from urban metropolises to the most remote island.

Julia Venske and Gregor Spänle, born in 1971 and 1969 respectively, live and work in New York and Munich. They began collaborating on artwork in 1991. Their sculpture and installation work has been shown in museums, galleries and art fairs worldwide, including Bolivia, India, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Congo, Switzerland, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Africa, as well as throughout the United States.

Through Jan. 21

Marcia Wood Gallery
263 Walker St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30313

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Benita Carr at Whitespace

December 13th, 2011 Jason Parker Posted in Event, Installation, Photography, Video No Comments »

“Morning Sun” is an evolution in Benita Carr’s work that explores the mother/child relationship and the meaning of self within the domestic social structure of home and family. Constructed as narrative tableaus, the photographs depict women and their children in scenes that evoke emotions of desire, doubt and anxiety.

Carr’s photographs and videos are informed by the ways in which womanhood and motherhood have been seen, understood and lived across time, especially their representation in art, religion, advertising and family pictures. These themes coupled with the style and symbolism of Mid-Victorian images of interiors and feminine subjects inspire her body of work. Moving into video and sound challenges the form of traditional portraiture and allows other layers of meaning and complexity to surface.

The title of the series Morning Sun is a play on words and lends itself to various interpretations. While reminiscent of the overly sentimental language inherent in greeting cards, other connotations invoke feelings of loss and despair.

Carr is the recipient of many awards and grants including a 2002 Artist in Communities Initiative Grant that consisted of a collaboration on a photographic installation with women who had suffered severe spinal cord injuries and the Joyce Elaine Grant Award from Texas Women’s University in 2004. She exhibited the Infinity Project, a symbolic commentary on the endless cycles of violence created with her husband artist Evan Levy, at the Tate Modern in 2007. Her photographs were also included in the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center 2005 Biennial, the Huntsville Museum of Art 2005 Triennial and in 2009 at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Her work is part of the permanent collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

Through Feb. 18.

Whitespace
814 Edgewood Avenue
Atlanta, GA

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