The 2015 Faculty Exhibition presents new and recent works by 20 artists from across Brown University’s faculty at the David Winton Bell Gallery. This year’s exhibition reflects the creative, cross-disciplinary spirit that is integral to the arts at Brown. In the spirit of Brown’s open curriculum and the unique role of the arts across the campus, the exhibition is a shared space where form, tone, and theme resonate across medium, technique, and discipline.
Interaction and participation is a shared concern for many of the artists. Elizabeth Donsky’s ink drawings installed on a clothes rack allow visitors to handle and sort through her work. Butch Rovan’s collaboration with Jerry Mischak is a musical sculpture that can be played by touching its surface. John Cayley’s The Listeners invites visitors into a sound booth to converse with the computer intelligence “Alexa.” Similarly, Todd Winkler’s installation allows visitors to peel away layers of video images by moving, while Paul Myoda’s interactive sculpture transforms List Art Center Lobby into a kinetic display of light, shadow, and form.
The intricate network of ink lines in Martin Smick’s drawing Elemental Mutations shares a sensibility towards surface and texture found in Theresa Ganz’s photographs Serpentine 1 - 4. Explorations of surface, landscape, and place echo between Ed Osborn’s treatment of Antarctica in flyover, Forrest Gander’s poetic treatment of the desert in The Trace: feverdream, and Leigh Tarentino’s paintings Abfluent Exurbs and Hedgespiration.
Richard Fishman’s carbon fiber and elm slab sculpture finished with a flowing epoxy surface introduces a theme of translation and transformation between states, media, and forms, a sensibility complemented by Eddie Villanueva’s Platform which translates a historic aerial photograph of the Beatles into a wall-mounted sculpture. Similarly, Leslie Thornton’s Binocular Menagerie transforms animals into kaleidoscopic compositions of repeated forms, colors, and textures.
Hilary Doyle’s paintings of towels and washcloths are subtle studies of tone and texture of everyday manmade things, a sensibility shared with Ellie Iron’s installation of color palettes derived from plants from Bushwick and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Such tonal and textural esxploration is also found in Leslie Bostrom’s new works in watercolor with propane torch and Kathryn Parker Almanas’s still-life photographs of flowers and fruit knit together by fabric and thread.
Overtones of social and political critique are found in Tony Cokes exploration of appropriated text to address fascism in his video Face Value Pt. 1 (LvT), while Khalid Kodi’s watercolor Bashir and Hassan confronts iconic dictators of Africa with his style of colorful abstraction. Similarly, Wendy Edward’s new paintings continue her ongoing negotiation of male Masters’ depiction of flowers, transforming what may be art historical references into painterly meditations on substance and flow.
On November 9, 2015, a special performance by faculty members of the Department of Music at the Granoff Center will feature the two new additions to the faculty, Wang Lu and Eric Nathan, as well as long-time faculty member Butch Rovan whose performances bridge traditional instrumental performance with video and electronic music.
Throughout the exhibition, students from Michelle Bach-Coulibaly’s Dance Composition class will create performance pieces in response to the artworks. They will be performed on December 12, 2015 at 8pm in Ashamu Dance Studio.