Gibbes Museum of Art presents “The Lure of the Lowcountry”

. February 7, 2010

The Gibbes Museum of Art presents the exhibition Lure of the Lowcountry in the Main Gallery through April 18, 2010. This exhibition features sixteen large scale mixed-media photographs by artist John Folsom (American, b. 1967) selected from his series entitled Lure of the Lowcountry. Folsom’s photographs depict several locations in the region, including Palmetto Bluff and Edisto Island, both in South Carolina, along with Cumberland Island, Georgia. To explore the art-historical precedents of Folsom’s work, this exhibition pairs his photographs with fourteen early Lowcountry landscapes from the Gibbes collection, including paintings by Thomas Coram and Charles Fraser.

John Folsom’s process begins with a photographic image that is divided into a grid and printed on separate panels. The panels are then attached to a large wooden panel to create a unified image. However, the grid lines remain visible as a reminder that the image is a construction of the artist’s making, not an objective representation of nature. Folsom pushes this idea further by working the surface of the image with oil paint and sealing it with a wax medium. The technique gives the surface of Folsom’s work a rich patina that suggests the layers of history accumulated in the Lowcountry landscape.

Among the earliest landscape paintings of the region, are those by Thomas Coram and Charles Fraser from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. During this time period, America did not have an established tradition of landscape painting. Therefore, artists borrowed heavily from British aesthetic traditions, particularly a mode of depiction known as the picturesque. Though Folsom has not directly studied theories of the picturesque, elements of the style certainly are present in his work. This assimilation is the result of Folsom’s knowledge of art history, particularly the early American landscape paintings of the Hudson River School.

“The Lowcountry has always captivated the imagination of artists who have visited her salt marshes and majestic oaks. We are delighted to share these images of early landscape painters alongside John Folsom’s contemporary mixed-media landscapes. The juxtaposition of these object reinforces our understanding of the creative process,” said Gibbes Executive Director Angela D. Mack.

Lure of the Lowcountry is sponsored by The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum and Charleston Gateway magazine.

John Folsom
A resident of Atlanta, John Folsom was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905. Located in Charleston’s historic district, the Gibbes houses a premier collection of over 10,000 works, principally American with a Charleston or Southern connection, and presents special exhibitions throughout the year. In addition, the museum offers an extensive complement of public programming and educational outreach initiatives that serve the community by stimulating creative expression and improving the region’s superb quality of life.

TUESDAY – SATURDAY: 10 A.M. – 5 P.M., SUNDAY: 1 P.M. – 5 P.M.

ADULTS: $9.00 · SENIORS, STUDENTS & MILITARY: $7.00 · CHILDREN (6-12): $5.00
135 Meeting Street * Charleston, SC * 29401

Category: Museum News

Comments are closed.