Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

New exhibition at College of Wooster Art Museum

Lily Iserson
Viewpoints Editor

The contemporary era embraces anxious liminality in Dusk to Dusk, a traveling art exhibition that transgresses boundaries of contemporary darkness, adopting a temporary home at our very own art museum, The College of Wooster’s Art Museum (CWAM).

The collection opened this past Thursday, Sept. 29 in Ebert Art Center, with a gallery talk held by Richard Rinehart, the exhibition’s curator. Rinehart represents the Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he continues to serve as director and chief curator. He is a working artist, and has also recently published a book with MIT Press on preserving digital culture, Re-Collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory.

In 2012, Rinehart oversaw the first exhibition of Dusk to Dusk, where he foresaw that its engaging, multi-media collection would “haunt visitors in the best way possible.” As part of the original press release at Bucknell University, writer Kathyrn Kopchik referenced the collection’s phantasmagoric qualities, a term that once described 19th century optical illusions in London, most produced by lantern light. Pam Campano, a gallery associate at the time, added, “With imagery that invites you to explore a different realm of the exceptionally eerie, any audience will fall victim to the gaze of the unusual.”

In the collection’s latest description on its curatorial site, Rinehart describes the exhibit as mirroring the world at large, where fraught political situations, the downfall of the industrial age and the double lives of virtual existence collide on understandings of self and community. Genres of art include painting, photography and in sculpture, as well as works on paper and in video, all embodying some idea of uncanny experiences in the collective and in isolation. For instance, in Erwin Wurm’s sculpture “Hoody” a disembodied torso of an eggplant sweatshirt, absent of a face, occupies the focus of one acrylic painting (2010). In a particular photograph, Erwin Olaf depicts in his piece “The Mother” an alabaster church setting, stark snow colors lying flat over a discordant family unit (2009). The implicative terror of these figures, and so many others that toe lines abstract and realistic, highlight “what it means to be an individual during the transition from the twentieth to the twenty-first century.” The exhibition brings into question all that may be lost and remembered through periods of examined psychological apprehension.

In total, the exhibition features 35 works by 26 artists, representing perspectives from over 15 different countries, including Louise Bourgeois (American/French), Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese), Huma Bhabha (Pakistani), Gilbert & George (British) and Wurm (Austrian), according to The College of Wooster’s press release. Every work was loaned out by the EKARD collection, a private collection that loans masterpieces from the Netherlands. The collection has featured at four university exhibitions in the United States so far.

Dusk to Dusk’s current art coincides with some older works, including a 1950 illustration by Salvador Dali, renowned Spanish surrealist. These older pieces supplement how contemporary artists move forward with pressing questions of our day and age. In The College of Wooster’s press release, Kitty McManus Zurko, director and curator at the CWAM, celebrated the assortment of pieces, as well as its focus on the contemporary. She remarked, “This is an excellent opportunity to consider how artists from over 15 countries are reacting to sociopolitical issues in the 21st century.”

The CWAM is open from Tuesday through Friday, from 11a.m. to 4p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4p.m. Per usual, all exhibitions are free for the entire community.

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