2010/11 McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship Exhibition
July 8 – August 19, 2011
The Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the McKnight Foundation are pleased to present new work by the 2010/11 recipients of the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists: Matthew Bakkom, Cameron Keith Gainer, Aaron Spangler, and Andréa Stanislav.
The exhibition opens Friday, July 8, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. A catalog with text by Dan Byers, associate curator of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum of Art, accompanies the exhibition and will be available at the opening. The four McKnight fellows will discuss their work on Thursday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m., with moderator Bartholomew Ryan, assistant curator, Walker Art Center. The exhibition will be on view through Friday, August 19, in the MCAD Gallery.
Matthew Bakkom's interest in re-presenting specific collections and archives has taken a more linguistic turn with his recent project that involves the language phenomena of anagrams. By carefully selecting words and designing their form to accentuate the verbal and physical play of individual letters, Bakkom re-defines them visually and metaphorically for the viewer. In their presentation in the MCAD Gallery, his visual word play extends to the gallery space itself.
Although rooted in sculpture, Cameron Keith Gainer's films and multifaceted projects are at their core metaphors for the cinematic and photographic apparatus. Initial research into formal and technical elements (such as duration, light, aperture, screen, and the edit) ultimately mature into objects, films, and photographs that push beyond their formal foundations into gestures that provoke more universal thoughts of metaphysics, perception, and cognition. This is true of Luna del Mar, Gainer’s 16mm film project (presented in digital form at MCAD) set in a bioluminescent bay off the coast of Puerto Rico. It is, in the artist’s words, “a filmic representation of deep space created by choreographing millions of single-cell organisms through the movement of an Olympic synchronized swimmer named Luna del Mar.”
Aaron Spangler, best known for his large-scale basswood sculpture, also creates ambitious wax crayon rubbings from bas-relief wood panels. The figural and ornamental motifs of his hand-carved surfaces become a fragmented tangle of lines and color as the artist selectively pushes the wax medium onto and into the linen support. For the fellowship exhibition Spangler presents a large-scale, 18-foot-long rubbing, whose complexity is matched only by its psychic intensity.
Andréa Stanislav’s complex installation Half a Generation brings together many of the forms and processes she has worked with in the past. As installed at MCAD, the piece features a multiple channel video filmed in Dubai of the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) and of the highly marginalized work camps; a vertically oriented, inverted sculpture that references an upside-down Burj Khalifa spanning three gallery floors; and a split mirror-surfaced sandstone rock.
ABOUT THE MCKNIGHT ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS
The McKnight Artist Fellowship program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Established in 1981, the fellowship program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in twelve areas, totaling nearly $1 million each year. Arts organizations oversee the administration of the fellowships and structure their own programs to respond to the unique opportunities and challenges of different creative disciplines.
The McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists is recognized as one of the most prestigious foundation-based grant opportunities in the state. The fellowship provides four recipients with $25,000 stipends, public recognition, professional encouragement, and a catalog and exhibition at the MCAD Gallery. During its existence, the program has influenced the careers of more than 150 artists. Their work, in turn, has contributed to the creative vitality of the region. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation and administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
ABOUT THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION
The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grant making, coalition building and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation granted about $97 million in 2010.