New is Better, on view from November 1 – 27, 2013
924 N. Pennsylvania St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Robert Horvath, Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Herron School of Art and Design, is primarily known for his high-gloss and refined, large-scale oil paintings that represent our cultural obsession with the appearance of luxury, celebrity, and consumption. In his practice, he begins with an abstract, almost other-worldly sculpture that then serves as inspiration for the resulting highly polished and detailed painting, often mistaken for a digital image.
His most recent body of work explores these sculptures with greater depth and detail. Horvath has now escalated his practice of creating a preliminary sculpture by using more substantial materials. Through the use of porcelain, his sculptures have become more permanent and thus represent works in their own right instead of simply a preliminary work or reflection of the grander oil painting. A large collection of his new porcelain sculptures at Gallery 924 have never been seen before outside of his studio.
In a playful sculpture of floating cartoon-like images, artist Michael Helsley chooses a favorite comfort food — grilled cheese — to take the edge off his grief, represented by five rocks and a bear. The mobile-style sculpture, installed in the University Library atrium, tells of Helsley’s journey of discovery following a personal time of grief.
Helsley’s sculpture is the newest installation in an annual art competition the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis University Library sponsors for Herron School of Art and Design students. As this year’s winner, Helsley received funding to create the large-scale sculpture. It has been installed in the second-floor atrium in the University Library for display for one year.
Helsley’s art draws in its viewers as the images simultaneously appear and disappear, reflecting the movement of the five stages of grief outlined by Dr. Kubler Ross. Helsley constructed the images from rigid foam sheets, using commercially printed material salvaged from billboards and repainted by hand. The Herron student cast an astronaut as himself, part explorer, part cowboy, among the boulders, a bear and the grilled cheese sandwich as he floats and sometimes falls during his journey of exploration of both the past and the future.
The size and flatness of the images allows them to simultaneously disappear in one location while appearing to a viewer in another location. The act of “revealing” themselves relates directly to the act of discovery, whether it is new or as it relates to memory.
Assistant Professor of Foundations Anila Quayyum Agha will present an exhibition of works created as part of her 2012-13 New Frontiers Research Grant from Indiana University. The exhibition entitled Intersections will be on view in the Frank and Katrina Basile Gallery from Sept. 25 – Oct.17, 2013.
Agha writes in the artist statement for Intersections:
I used a 2012-13 New Frontier’s Research Grant from Indiana University for a large-scale installation project composed of patterned wood. With this project I explored intersections of culture and religion, the dynamics and interpretation of space and sight as it threaded through cultures and emerged as varied expressions that redefine themselves with the passage of time. In this piece, a motif that is believed to represent certitude is explored to reveal its fluidity i.e. the geometrical patterning in Islamic sacred spaces. This project is meant to uncover the contradictory nature of all intersections; which are simultaneously boundaries and also points of meeting.
The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. I have given substance to this mutualism with the installation project exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewer’s presence with in a public space.
The object in the Basile Gallery is a smaller version of the larger design.