Through Friday, January 29
University of Dubuque's Bisignano Art Gallery, 2255 Bennett Street, Dubuque IA
Four women artists from Iowa working in different styles and media are showcased in the latest exhibition at the University of Dubuque's Bisignano Art Gallery, with Dorian Dean, Danielle Fisher, Hannah Givler, and Hillary Nelson, through January 29, all lending their significant talents to the thoughtful and fascinating exhibit In Place.
As the art gallery's director Alan Garfield states, “The issue of representation of the object in art is typically not a controversy. Our shows tend to endorse and reinforce the modernism of the early 20th century. Avant-garde movements quickly became the mainstay in art school curricula and thus could be seen in students’ works. The art that is usually displayed often reinforces the fact that Aristotle’s mimesis was never exactly abandoned.
“But not in this show,” he continues. “In the context of postmodernism, the works break with old representation and interpretation in a shift away from commentary and explanation. Presentation and the role of objects rule independently. Some of these works are cool and gratuitous while others are just dripping with emotional angst.”
Dorian Dean works in assemblages of found objects, and says of her works in her online artist statement: “There is something curious about recognizing a normally unnoticed thing suddenly positioned to be gazed upon, doted on with uncharted affections. Usually managed with skilled efficiency in any place of dutiful work, this venerable beauty is the classic paper folder, (not to be confused with the icon of the folder on your desktop!) Yes, these are real, live paper folders, not the abstract promise of Cloud storage. These bright, physically tangible, manufactured folders are attached to larger, handmade tagboard folders that maintain a consistent size—to be counted on, while holding their own on the wall.”
Danielle Fisher, who creates over-life-size paintings, reports, “My work is a reflection of what it is like to grow up with a mentally ill mother, who has a heartbreaking affinity for drugs and alcohol. I work primarily with paintings, collage, and sculpture to create a transmutative experience by using smell, scale, and shock. In this body of work, I examine my relationship with my mother and its reflective nature. I use a childhood portrait throughout my multiple series of work to represent vulnerability and innocence. How does who my mother is, and who I am relate? If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, what does this say about the things I love most about her, and the things I hate? Especially if, as I define these things about her, I also find them in myself.”
Hannah Givler bases her architectural works on an interest in architecture and fiber. Her statement reads, “Hannah Givler’s studio inquiry is focused around architecture and its alternatives, as well as systems of value and the phenomenology of site. The work that results varies in scale, often taking the form of architectural installations, sculpture, sound, performance, and the collaborative organization of conversations and events.”
And Hilary Nelson turns discarded or used materials into works that resemble a forgotten culture. As the artist explains, “My work is built from stuff that probably used to be other stuff. Now it looks like it could be something you think you know, but you just aren’t sure. I think about the pieces like b-roll, or like a score to a movie - you listen and all the wonder and melodrama are halfway there. They are objects, but they gain from the presence of something else; they are whole by bringing in outside noise. They hold you in the place between knowing and known.”
In Place will be on display through January 29 in the University of Dubuque's Bisignano Art Gallery, and the exhibit's works are also being displayed virtually along with artist statements and video tours. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the exhibit is free to the public, and more information is available by calling (563)589-3267 or visiting Gallery.dbq.edu.