Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum announces Upcoming exhibitions

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will present Found, six exhibitions by artists working with appropriated ideas and salvaged materials, on view from January 29 to June 10, 2012. Opening: Sunday, January 29, 2012; Panel: 2 to 3 pm; Reception: 3 to 5 pm.

Xu Bing, “1st Class” (detail), 2011 Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Photo: Travis Fullerton

The exhibitions that comprise Found at The Aldrich are: Barrão: Mashups; Jim Dingilian: Subtractive Images; Roy McMakin: Middle; Regina Silveira: In Absentia (Collection); Kathryn Spence: Dirty and Clean; and Xu Bing: Tobacco Project.

The use of found materials and objects has been a critical component of art making since the inception of Modernism. This history includes Pablo Picasso’s and Georges Braque’s initial forays into college and assemblage, Marcel Duchamp’s contribution of the “readymade,” Robert Rauschenberg’s “combines,” and Post-Modernist appropriation by artists such as Haim Steinbach and Jeff Koons. The contemporary artists brought together for Found are united in believing, as did so many of the visionaries who came before, that the repurposing and re-presentation of commonplace items and ideas narrows the gap between art and life.

This approach to selecting cultural artifacts and inserting them into new concepts parallels the role that sampling plays today in almost every creative discipline, from music to architecture. The series of works on view at The Aldrich demonstrate that this practice continues unabated in the present day—across the United States from New York to California and around the world, from Brazil to the United Kingdom to China—in media ranging from ceramic fragments (Barrão) to tobacco products (Xu Bing). The exhibitions also range in topic, from a reconsideration of art history (Regina Silveira) to a reexamination of family history (Roy McMakin).

The Aldrich will celebrate the new exhibitions at a reception from 3 to 5 pm on January 29. During the reception, the forty-two-foot-long cigarette included in Xu Bing’s work Traveling Down the River will be ignited on a reproduction of a famous Chinese scroll painting by Xhang Zeduan, commenting on the way tobacco culture spread into China.

This presentation is the third implementation of a new curatorial programming schedule that exclusively presents seasons of solo artist exhibitions where the work on view is linked by a common theme.

Immediately preceding the reception, from 2 to 3 pm, The Aldrich will host a discussion with artists Barrão, Jim Dingilian, Roy McMakin, and Kathryn Spence about their relationship to a specific material or object that has played a central role in each of their practices. Moderated by exhibitions director Richard Klein, the conversation will touch on the history, aesthetics, emotional resonance, and formal qualities of each artist’s interest in working with found materials.

Onsite parking is available, as is direct round-trip transportation from New York City. Reserve your seat on the January 29 Aldrich shuttle, now leaving from a new location; please consult for particulars.

Found Exhibitions

Barrão: Mashups
Whimsical and bizarre ceramic sculptures made from porcelain and clay fragments that subvert the function of the original objects and reveal unpredictable relationships.

Jim Dingilian: Subtractive Images
A series of new objects that the artist has modified by subtraction—the careful erasure or removal of material to produce optically realistic representations.

Roy McMakin: Middle
A new series of works made from his childhood furniture collection that amplify formal and nostalgic associations through dramatic physical alteration.

Regina Silveira: In Absentia (Collection)
A series comprised of empty pedestals that project “shadows” of well-known masterpieces to reveal hidden meanings behind the works and their interpretation.

Kathryn Spence: Dirty and Clean
Used objects piled, layered, and transformed to create lifelike animals and intriguing structures that Spence then brings into the clean environment of the Museum.

Xu Bing: Tobacco Project
An exploration of the production and culture of tobacco ultimately alludes to fundamental issues of human culture and of tobacco as a medium of social exchange.

The Aldrich is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States, and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art. The Aldrich is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Founded on Ridgefield’s historic Main Street in 1964, the Museum concentrates its exhibition program on solo exhibitions by emerging and mid-career artists, complemented by acclaimed gallery-based education programs that use the work on view to help adults, families, and over 7,000 students annually to connect to our world through contemporary art. The Museum is located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877. All exhibitions and programs are handicapped accessible. Free on-site parking. Regular Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 5 pm. For more information call 203.438.4519.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06854

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