Observation: Corban Walker

By Breyanne Urbin

Art lovers joined us at the David Owsley Museum of Art on Thursday, February 23 to welcome Corban Walker and Lisa Banner. Walker is one of three featured artists in SHIFT, a contemporary sculpture exhibition at the David Owsley Museum of Art, curated by Dr. Lisa Banner. The two of them presented and talked about the masterful artwork of Walker to David Owsley Museum of Art’s visitors in Recital Hall.

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Pictured: Corban Walker and Lisa Banner on stage at First Person: Corban Walker (Photo by Emma Rogers)

Born and raised in Dublin, Corban Walker stays busy all around the world working on his art. Linearity dominates his art style; sometimes, Walker likes to make chaos with linearity but a majority of his work tends to be very orderly and simple. To explain why his art is usually so simplistic, Walker quoted Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957, Romanian Sculptor) in his presentation saying, ‘Simplicity is complexity resolved.’ Walker will also involve his viewers into his art whether it is by making his art an obstacle for the viewer to overcome or by using translucent material to catch the viewer’s eye. The art becomes interactive.

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Pictured: Observation, 2012, Corban Walker (Photo from corbanwalker.com)

Standing at four feet tall, Walker uses his art to challenge his viewers’ mindset on what “normal” really means which he mentioned this idea during his speech. Since I have been involved with SHIFT, this semester, I personally found it interesting to learn more about Walker’s art outside of SHIFT. I loved hearing about his art process and how he makes the viewers such an important element in his work.

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Pictured: The second gallery in SHIFT. (Photo by Steven Talley)

Lisa Banner, who joined Walker on stage for his presentation, is a professor at the well-known Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Director Dr. Robert La France describes her as, “A scholar and curator of old masters.” Near the end of the event, I was able to interview her about her decision to curate SHIFT. Banner explained to me that she saw a relation between Christopher Smith and Jongil Ma’s work as the work of both speak the same artistic language and share visual similarities. She added Walker into the mix as the three artists focused on architectural structure and linearity.When Banner talks about SHIFT, it’s obvious to me she has great passion and dedication to art.

The work of Ma and Walker both share the interesting element of tension as no adhesive is used in some of their artwork, which Banner said, “Attracts me, so delicate and vulnerable but so convincing all at the same time.”

Pictured left to right: MINUS WITH CLAMPS, 2014, Jongil Ma (Photo by Steven Talley);  Untitled (Stack K), 2010, Corban Walker (Photo by Steven Talley)

Once the presentation concluded, visitors were able to mingle in the Sculpture Court and visit the SHIFT exhibition. Before leaving, Walker voiced his appreciation for all the student helpers that made the exhibition possible. Everyone was also given an opportunity to individually speak with Walker or Banner at this time. People seemed to have a pleasant time during the event. Jongil Ma and Christopher Smith will be here at the David Owsley Museum of Art for their First Person presentation on April 20 and SHIFT will be open through May 7.

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Making a Maquette

Emma Rogers
Media Intern

Within the museum’s current special exhibition, Continuum: The Art of Michael Dunbar in the Sculptural Tradition, guests are invited to create models similar to the process Michael Dunbar uses before constructing his sculptures. Styrofoam, cardboard cutouts, foam shapes, and more are assembled and then using mathematical tools such as protractors and compasses, tinkerers do a drawing to illustrate the components. The finished maquettes (small models of sculpture) are placed on display in the educational space of the exhibition. Visit the museum before December 22nd to make your own model!

Continuum Exhibition Opening

Emma Rogers
Media Intern

September 21st marked the opening of DOMA’s newest special exhibition, Continuum: The Art of Michael Dunbar in the Sculptural Tradition, featuring the work of Midwest sculptor Michael Dunbar. Guests gathered to hear the artist speak about his monumental body of work, including several Machinist Studies that are included in the exhibition. Continuum also features several examples from DOMA’s collection that represent the history of sculpture, providing a comparison between the artist’s contemporary style and historic movements. View Continuum in the special exhibition gallery on the second level of the museum between now and December 22nd, 2016.

Continuum: Behind the Scenes from David Owsley Museum of Art on Vimeo.

1 in 3 Curator’s Talk with Marina Galvani

Felicia Konrad
Registrar Intern

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On Tuesday, February 16, students, professors, and community members gathered at the David Owsley Art Museum to hear Dr. Marina Galvani, economist, cultural manager, and World Bank Art Curator, speak on the new exhibit 1 in 3: What Does it Take for You to be Outraged. Dr. Galvani spoke on the challenges of gathering artwork from across the world, which discusses a topic that elicits strong emotions: violence against women. The exhibition aims to open discussions about the economic and emotional impact this subject has on the world.

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Marina Galvani

The focus of the talk was on the difficulties of procuring the artwork for the exhibition. Many of the artists whose works appear in the 1 in 3 exhibit are from non-western countries. Galvani expressed, “Many artists risk their own lives to speak up.” The potential danger for women making and displaying artwork, which speaks out against gender- based violence may be a threat to their safety.

 

Censorship was another large factor that impacted the creation of the exhibit. The World Bank is an organization that has representation from many world governments. Politicians and officials are sensitive to how their country is portrayed, and voiced concerns over the artwork from their respective countries. Some individuals stated that she could not portray his/her country in such a poor manner. Galvani explained, “If you want to make an impact, build political support.” To get the exhibition started, Galvani first had to gain support from the government representatives of the countries from which she had artwork. This was one of the biggest challenges to the exhibit.

The exhibition has artwork from places all over the world including: Egypt, the United

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Locations of the 1 in 3 exhibition

Kingdom, Namibia, Afghanistan, Russia, Germany, and Yemen. The 1 in 3 exhibition is much larger than the works of art that are currently on display at the David Owsley Museum of Art. The museum has a third of the entire exhibit. According to Galvani, it is split to allow the exhibition to be shown in three locations at once. Each time the exhibit is sent to a new location, it is redesigned to fit the location. For example, western works of art are sent to nonwestern countries, and vice versa, to show that violence against women is not just a local problem, but it is also a world problem.

 

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Director Dr. Robert La France and Dr. Marina Galvani

The goals of the exhibit, according to Galvani, were to prompt future leaders to think about gender-based violence when making decisions, and to increase the intolerance for violence against women in the younger generations.

 

“We believe in using art as a way of raising awareness about topics that are relevant for development, giving a voice to different partner societies and trying to speak to the emotional tolerance of people,” said Marina Galvani.

“Being There” with Mark Sawrie

Caitlin Harrison
Registrar Intern

This past November saw the opening of a new photography exhibit, Being There, curated by associate professor of art, Mark Sawrie. The exhibit is a collection of Sawrie’s personal selections from the museum’s collection to inspire viewers to interpret a wide variety of photographs in new and exciting way. Professor Sawrie gave a tour of his exhibit to patrons wanting to hear his reasons behind his chosen photos.

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Professor Mark Sawrie (right) discussing a photo with a visitor

The tour opened with an explanation of the overall theme of the exhibit. Sawrie simply chose photos of places he would like to be, whether it be a historic event, an inviting environment, or a place in nature. The overall feel of the exhibit is a romantic one. Not romantic in a first date sort of way, as Sawrie was sure to point out, but in more of a pleasant, peaceful sense.

Many of the pieces were chosen for display because the artist or a specific photograph was inspiration for Sawrie as he began his career. A photograph by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, arguably the best-known artist included in the exhibit, was included because Sawrie wanted to do similar photography as a child.

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Photography by Eugene Meatyard

As the tour continued on, it was revealed that many of the photographs are slow reads. According to Sawrie, many of the included pieces are photographs Capture“that you have to spend some time looking at… you’re rewarded the more you look.” As the group moved around the room discussing the art, it became clear that much of the exhibition includes pieces with many small details or layers of details. One photograph appears to be of an iceberg floating in the cold dark water, but is actually a pile of road salt on asphalt. Surprising details such as this are present in many of the exhibited photographs.

Students are encouraged to visit Being There, before it closes on December 23,  and challenge themselves to interpret the exhibition for themselves.