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FRAGILE NAVIGATION

Rhonda Smith






















Rhonda Smith, Lands Moving, oil and pencil on panel, 2012.
Courtesy of the artist.

Work by Thaddeus Beal, Ilana Manolson, Adrienne Der Marderosian, and Rhonda Smith

September 9 – December 2, 2012

Members' Preview Reception September 15, 2012, 6 - 8pm

Artist Talks
Ilana Manolson will speak on her work "Fragile Navigation"
Wednesday, October 10, 12pm

Ilana Manolson will be present to greet visitors between 12-4pm. She will speak on her work "Fragile Navigation" at 2pm.
Saturday, October 27


About the Exhibit

Inspired by the Katherine Harmon's book The Map As Art, Fragile Navigation showcases the works of four artists who the element of maps or a reference to place to explore ideas of psychological or fragile navigation.  As Harmon shows in her book through works of various artists, even though we commonly think of maps as tools, in the hands of artists, they can be an intriguing blend of information and illusion. In this show, artists use paint, plaster, photographs, roots, and even dirt to map out the way they see the world.

The title of the show is from Ilana Manolson's large wall installation, based on actual historic maps from the Boston Public Library.  An earlier iteration of her work was recently purchased by the Boston Public Library and is currently on view outside Rabb Lecture Hall. 

About the Artists

Ilana Manolson, an artist as well as a botanist, responds to the earth and plants, both of which figure prominently into this work.  She attended Dawson College, Montreal, and received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and a BA in art and botany from Goddard College.  In describing her installation at the Danforth, Manolson writes, “The tectonic clusters of plaster-like forms are interlaced with root structures, connected to a sense of specific place by the branching carriers of Earth's nutrients, just as we are connected to the places that are meaningful to us by deep veins of history, heritage, experience and inspiration.”

Ilana Manolson, detail of Fragile Navigation,
roots, plaster, maps, oil paint, 2012.
Courtesy of the artist.

Even though artist Thaddeus Beal did not set out to literally draw maps, the works did take on a distinctive look of charts and cartography.  “I am very interested in just that sort of evolution—where the Apollonian/Dionysian, the order/chaos, the organized/disorganized don't fight each other, but dance, if not merge, with each other,” he says.  Beal is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Thaddeus Beal, Carbon Hypostases 56, 
charcoal on paper, 2011.
Courtesy of Soprafina Gallery, Boston

From Rhonda Smith’s point of view, the straight line from point A to B is singularly inefficient. The actual traverse is fraught with possibilities given tides, wind, dust, telephone calls, mud, traffic, and holes. In fact, disruption elicits the creative response, and Smith is interested in that moment of change. She considers herself more of a cartographer of movement than a recorder of what something looks like. Deliberate and repeated disruption keep the work from being precious so it moves and renews.



Rhonda Smith, Dido Moves Carthage to Another Ocean,
oil on panel, 2012.
Courtesy of the artist.

Adrienne Der Marderosian’s series, “Tattoo Trails,” ponders who we are collectively and our navigation through life.  We not only experience the same physical needs but also share emotional, spiritual, and intellectual experiences.  We question what drives and motivates us.  We ask ourselves how we endure challenging situations.  We contemplate if we control our own destiny or does fate control us.






Andrienne Der Marderosian, Portrait of a Moment,
mixed media, 2010.  Courtesy of the artist.

 

 

 

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