For Immediate Release
January 9, 2014
For more information, contact
Brockport, NY – Two artists: one taking a look to the future, when life – from plants and ants to humans and beyond – could be manufactured in a factory-like setting; the other paying homage to ancient mandalas, which are both prevalent and sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism. Though they are drawing inspiration from different eras – epochs, almost – both artists utilize utmost precision in their designs. Andrew Au: Life Industries and Amy Cheng: Irrational Exuberance are paired together in a dual exhibition that will take up residence in the Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery from January 28 through February 23, 2014. The Gallery is located at 180 Holley Street, Brockport, and the exhibit is free and open to the public. Au, who is an assistant professor at Miami University in Ohio, had heard an NPR broadcast about the evolution of the assembly line and its impact on car manufacturing, and realized, while considering an egg, that life itself was, to some degree, similarly patterned. One reaction begets another, until the life form is fully realized. He decided to explore the idea of products as living things, manufactured and marketed. “The necessary construction would merely be code that explains a sequence of events to make the organism viable. The various products are labeled according to their product name or number and the periodic elements on which they are based.” His series of works includes gouache paintings and silkscreens to mimic mid-century product advertisements, sculptures that will be displayed as if a specimen in a natural history museum, and a mockumentary about the inner workings and developments inside Life Industries.
Cheng, a professor at SUNY New Paltz, was born in Taiwan and raised in Brazil, Oklahoma and Texas. Though the arts were not always part of her upbringing, she longed for a sensuality of which she was barely aware. She says that “unconsciously, but consistently, I have used painting as a way to answer that longing. In this way visual play and visual pleasure became a central tenet of my work.
“Mandala is the Sanskrit word for circle, and is a spiritual and ritual symbol with its genesis in India. Today the term mandala is commonly used for any centered geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically – a microcosm of the universe. As an artist, I used the circle within a square as a formal device to make centered, iconic images. Eventually I came to see that, although not strictly speaking devotional, the paintings do speak to the sacred, to the largeness of life, to being one with the universe. Sumptuous, intricate, ornamented, my current paintings are richly referential – they call to mind a range of associations from mandalas: the cosmos, cells, lace, brocade and more. I align myself with the long tradition of geometric and floral patterns the Far East, the Middle East, the Byzantine and the Baroque have long employed.”
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday: 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday: 1 - 4 pm. For more information, call (585) 395-2805. Parking at Tower Fine Arts Center: Weekdays: Until 7 pm, parking permits are required. Permits cost $5 and can be obtained at the Raye H. Conrad Welcome Center. Evenings and Weekends: After 7 pm on weekdays, and throughout the weekend, parking is not regulated. Metered parking is available adjacent to Tower Fine Arts Center.
Images: 1: dn’1020 by Andrew Au (Gouache on archival digital print on German etch digital paper) 2: Closer and Closer by Amy Cheng (Oil on canvas)
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu
American Democracy Project Lecture: Janet Poppendieck
5 pm - 5:45 pm