For Immediate Release
What’s Happening in Art Now? Find Out at the Gibbes!
Now!, on view October 13, 2006 – January 14, 2007
(Charleston, SC) – The Gibbes Museum of Art presents a snapshot of current art trends this fall in Now!, on view October 13, 2006 through January 14, 2007. Now! showcases five young contemporary artists whose work, while maintaining a connection to the South, presents an alternative to traditional Lowcountry art. The widely anticipated first exhibition curated by Executive Director Todd Smith, Now! reaffirms the Gibbes’ commitment to advancing the visual arts in Charleston through the introduction of contemporary art from the South and beyond.
Artists featured in Now!
Sarah Bednarek’s politically charged mixed media sculptures give ordinary materials and objects a new and often unexpected context. Her life-sized macramé creations investigate her ambivalence towards leftist politics and the residual effect of the Hippie culture on the children of the 1970s and 1980s.
Video artist Christopher Miner creates intimate video work that explores his struggle to find meaning and purpose in his life while he revisits his grandmother’s Memphis home after her death.
Through the exploitation of his own body, Demetrius Oliver creates large-scale color photographs that explore issues related to his identity as an African-American man in the South today.
Kathryn Refi’s Color Recordings, 2006, document the artist’s daily existence through a series of seven abstract paintings. The paintings synthesize the colors Refi experienced during each day of a week in which she wore a small camera strapped to her head.
Taking a more traditional approach, Jeff Whetstone’s black and white photographs explore the relationship between man and nature, and often himself and nature, in the South.
The artists featured in Now! were born between 1968 and 1980 and came of age during a unique period in American culture and art. The pluralism of style and media within the art world coupled with a shift in the American political culture toward conservatism offer a backdrop against which these artists came of age. Of a generation that is often characterized by the media as floating in its own ennui, this group of artists forcefully challenge that stereotype. While collectively their work does not uphold or even define a single style or movement, it does demonstrate a powerful and deep investigation of identity in a culture defined by rapid change and shifting conceptions of time, place and heritage.
The Gibbes Museum of Art from its earliest days embraced and supported contemporary art. Its commitment to the art of our time is reflected in the 1,300 exhibitions the museum has presented and 10,000 objects it has collected since its founding in 1858. Many of these exhibitions were dedicated to contemporary art, and many of the works of art came into the collection during the artist’s lifetime. Now! represents a continuation of this engagement and signals the Museum’s recommitment to supporting contemporary art of the South.
GIBBES MUSEUM OF ART
Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905 in historic Charleston, S.C. The Gibbes houses one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present. The Gibbes is currently undergoing major renovations and will reopen in the spring of 2016. The renovated museum will properly showcase its extensive collections and will feature an admission-free ground floor, providing a place to watch artists at work in studios and stroll through a world-class garden.
135 Meeting Street | Charleston, SC | 29401