Lotta Mattila is a Helsinki-based Finnish sculptor who is currently the artist-in-residence at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Mattila finds meaning in the contradictions between her sculptures’ form and their content (a literal battering ram made of glass), and uses those material contradictions to comment on human nature, often by punning off of Finnish sayings.
Mattila’s Skylab exhibition Gravitation opens Friday (11/30) and runs until December 10th. Gravitation takes the “weight of the world” – its physicality and heaviness when one is depressed – as its central metaphor. More of Mattila’s work can be found after the jump.
Da’Niro Elle Brown‘s new collection of wearable sculpture, Lumina, premierestonight (9/29/12) at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Brown is currently a sophomore at the Columbus College of Art and Design where she studies fine art, dance, and fashion design. After the jump are images of two earlier bodies of work Brown has put out – her Industrial and Natural collections.
Jack Ramunni is a graduating senior at the Columbus College of Art and Design, a school with a sclerotic curriculum geared toward producing graphic designers for local corporations, a place where “fine art” tends to begin and end at object-based art-making for commercial galleries. Ramunni, using this restrictive background as a catalyst, instigated an array of projects aimed at redefining what contemporary art is and what we should expect it to do.
Ramunni and Nikki Skrinak have coined the term “Social Heat” to describe the intent of his artwork. Social Heat is:
“…the spontaneous transfer of energy from one body, group of individuals, or larger social system to another due to a multiplicity of connections and modes of communication.”
Ramunni uses a variety of methods to achieve this goal. In Sweater Shoppe, he reworked the logic of the market system by co-founding a trade-based pop-up “store” replete with its own currency; with Late Lunch Live, a weekly USTREAM cooking show, Ramunni turned the banal activity of making lunch into free community entertainment; in EX-PDF Library, he exchanged lithographed bookmarks for PDF files from the public, which he printed out and made available in a public library; in Benches Gallery, Ramunni created a portable gallery for showcasing artwork in public spaces, excising commercial concerns from the gallery experience.
In Jessica Langley‘s artwork, the staid landscape genre is revivified through jokes, ha-has, and a reworking of the conceptual apparatus attached to depicting the environment. Langley, a adjunct associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, creates new avenues at the margins of “landscape,” by interrogating its space in the human imagination rather than in its physical fact. For instance, in the series Outfitters, Langley explores the troubling conflation of killing nature with loving nature by using the brand names of hunting apparel companies like “Real Tree,” “Open Country,” and “Forever Wild” as edifying doses of black humor. In The Awwand Make CATopia Real (with Ben Kingsley) series, Langley uses kit-kats as a method to defuse all that modernist baggage that accompanies human quests for utopia. But what is CATopia? Extensive networks of imposing cat towers to play on? Free nip for all? It’s unclear, but Langley compels us to consider it worth purrsuing.
Langley is the first artist participating in Skylab Gallery‘s new artist-in-residence program in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Her exhibition at Skylab opens at the end of May 2012. Until then, view more of her work after the jump.
AJ Fusco is a multimedia artist currently living at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. His past body of work, seen after the jump, consists of finely wrought, large-scale graphite drawings that put the viewer’s received distinctions between natural and digital imagery in doubt.
Justin Clifford Rhody is the proprietor of Friends and Relatives Records, a Ypsilanti, Michigan-based music and zine label. I first became acquainted with Rhody through Smut, his powerviolence band, and through his eponymous acoustic project. He currently plays in (D)(B)(H) but has turned most of his creative energy toward photography. His photos capture the melancholy of declinist America; the decaying Fords in the moldering suburbs of the Rust Belt, the plastic-casts of statuary standing sentry over the overgrown lawn – the physical forms of our economic and spiritual malaise.
2012 looks to be busy for Rhody: a book of his photography, Sliding Glass Door, is slated to be published this spring by Bathetic Records, a solo exhibition of Rhody’s photography opens at Skylab Gallery this March in Columbus, Ohio, and Rhody has an exhibit with the painter Peter Shear planned for the summer in Bloomington, Indiana.
In the meantime, Rhody plans to continue touring the states with his slideshow and to revisit Guatemala, the setting of a few of the photographs found after the jump.