Mystic Truths, a multi-media exhibition from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film’s student-led collective Co. H, will celebrate its summer run with a reception on Saturday, July 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. Featuring outstanding work in painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, photography, video and installation from 15 area artists, the show remains on view through July 18 in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus.
The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.
Participating artists are:
- Caleb Adcock, Fine Art, senior (digital prints)
- Mika Agari, Fine Art, senior (video)
- David Anderson, Fine Art, junior (painting)
- Heather Barrie, Fine Art, senior (printmaking)
- Kevin Dietz, Fine Art, sophomore (printmaking)
- Elisha Farahmand, Fine Art, junior (video)
- Michael Hampton, BFA in Fine Art ‘14 (video)
- Aaron Harper, Fine Art, senior (drawing)
- Blake Holland, Film, senior (photography)
- Casey Payne, Fine Art, junior (painting)
- Zack Rafuls, Fine Art, senior (sculpture)
- Alexine Rioux, BFA in Fine Art, ’14 (printmaking)
- Kayla Saito, Fine Art, senior (sculpture)
- Luke Weir, Fine Art, junior (conceptual/installation)
- Weng Tze Yang, photography, senior (photographic installation)
“Mystic Truths: A Group Show from Co. H and Friends” collects work from Co. H council members, collaborators and studio mates in order to present a survey of some of the best Watkins-created work. Showcasing current students and recent graduates, “Mystic Truths” includes work across many disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation and printmaking. The title of the show is pulled from Bruce Nauman’s 1967 neon sign piece “The True Artist Helps The World By Revealing Mystic Truths,” referencing the function of the artist in ironic and hopeful lights simultaneously while also directly supplanting the work within a contemporary context and dialogue.
Currey Gallery’s summer hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. Free parking is available in the campus lot.
About Co. H
A collective of artists from various disciplines of the visual arts, Co. H provides opportunities for both students and professionals pursuing and/or working in the arts. Founded at Watkins in 2011, Co. H activity includes hosting lecture by artists and art professionals, holding studio critiques and collaborating on multi-disciplinary performances within the community. Visit http://companyh.tumblr.com
About Bruce Nauman
Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bruce Nauman has been recognized since the early 1970s as one of the most innovative and provocative of America’s contemporary artists. Nauman finds inspiration in the activities, speech, and materials of everyday life. He graduated with a BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1964, and with an MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1966. Confronted with the question “What to do?” in his studio soon after leaving school, Nauman had the simple but profound realization that “If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art. At this point art became more of an activity and less of a product.” Working in the diverse mediums of sculpture, video, film, printmaking, performance, and installation, Nauman concentrates less on the development of a characteristic style and more on the way in which a process or activity can transform or become a work of art. A survey of his diverse output demonstrates the alternately political, prosaic, spiritual, and crass methods by which Nauman examines life in all its gory details, mapping the human arc between life and death. The text from an early neon work proclaims: “The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths.” Whether or not we—or even Nauman—agree with this statement, the underlying subtext of the piece emphasizes the way in which the audience, artist, and culture at large are involved in the resonance a work of art will ultimately have. Nauman lives in New Mexico.
Bruce Nauman, “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths,” neon and clear glass tubing suspension supports; 59 x 55 x 2 inches, 1967(Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Bruce Nauman’s neon sign asks a multitude of questions with regard to the ways in which the 20th century conceived both avant-garde art and the role of the artist in society. If earlier European modernists, such as Mondrian, Malevich, and Kandinsky, sought to use art to reveal deep-seated truths about the human condition and the role of the artist in general, then Bruce Nauman’s “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths” questions such transhistorical and universal statements. With regard to this work, Nauman said:
The most difficult thing about the whole piece for me was the statement. It was a kind of test—like when you say something out loud to see if you believe it. Once written down, I could see that the statement [...] was on the one hand a totally silly idea and yet, on the other hand, I believed it. It’s true and not true at the same time. It depends on how you interpret it and how seriously you take yourself. For me it’s still a very strong thought.