Texture of the Soul
Opening Reception Wednesday September 10, 5-7PM
Curated by Kathleen Jansyn, The Texture of the Soul features four artists who almost accidentally share a studio in New York City. Having discovered shared sensibilities in their work, they join forces in this exhibit to express that which is nearly beyond definition - the soul.
Turning their contemplation into a physical experience, they approach the task in varied ways. Each artist applies passion in their use of color and texture while exploring fragile commonalities in our humanity. In essence, they discover magnificence in ordinary things.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Born in Brazil in 1963, Carlos DeMedeiros grew up in a small fishing village near Rio de Janeiro. Leaving home in his late teens, he entered religious life, becoming a monk in rural Boliva. After 14 years, conflicted by his own idea of religion and one he was obliged to follow, he reluctantly left the monastery for a secular life. As a way of coming to terms with this ambivalence, DeMedeiros constructs miniature confessionals from found objects, illuminating an often dark place hidden from most of us.
While the imagery appears simple, the subtext is complex and multi-layered. The actual narrative, the unseen confession, remains a written secret. In yet another series, he allows his imagination to show itself with miniature scenarios constructed inside discarded empty Altoids tins. These surreal tableaux, careful compositions of found tiny objects, give us entry into another world that is visible only when the lid is lifted. Recently, his work began to change expectantly while attending an art event, further enriching this attraction for confessionals. Bordering on performance art DeMedeiros found himself listening to the spontaneous real confessions of gallery visitors who were drawn to him for the purpose of sharing their stories in a private setting.
With a MFA degree and various residencies in mixed-media and sculpture, Kate’s training is in costume design for the theater. Costuming for professional, academic, and community theatres in New England, New York City and the UK, her current work blends her theatre training with a desire to more coherently express the Human Condition. She says, “Life is an accumulation: things, thoughts, history, knowledge, emotions, plans, relationships, regrets, hopes, shames, tradition, innovation. All of life grows from this and through this; and the potency of this accumulation is immense, though we only occasionally catch a glimpse of it. I use found objects that bring with them their own histories. A well-worn object tells us of other unknown but somehow familiar lives. A decorative object tells us of other unknown though familiar hopes. A sacred object tells us of other unknown yet familiar desires.
New York artist Michael Wilson’s first art teacher was his older brother David. Together, they entered drawing competitions. In these lessons, Michael learned to create his own super heroes and sewed clothes from scraps of old clothes for his toys. He developed a love for making up stories, using them as vehicles for larger autobiographical projects. Wilson explains about his unusual process saying, “I created a character, Benito El Salvador, who stands in for me. Benito 's story is based on two things: he's a black boy who always wishes he was Asian, and because of a phone call his grandma makes he is taken away from his home. This part of the story is true because my grandma did rescue me by making a call and my siblings and I were taken away from a neglectful home. In my universe, Benito tells how I truly feel. Creating Benito El Salvador allows me to explore the identity issues that I had as a child and still have today. Benito does either what I do (which no one sees) or what I want to do (which I find comforting). Creating shocking situations, making Benito do or say something, frees me--the artist, the creator-because I'm not doing these things myself; it's my character, Benito. Subconsciously, I always put Benito in search of something that will fill a void in his life - love, money or stability--but he never finds his true happiness. He searches foolishly and develops a drinking problem. He usually winds up dead, if I can remember to kill him.”
Carin Kulb Dangot
Carin Kulb Dangot was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1971 and has lived in New York City since 2011. She trained as a painter at the Panamericana School of Art and Design in Sao Paulo, she is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards. She states: “
To look at my painting is to feel a state of unrest, a commotion of the senses. I try to articulate this furious energy with layers of contrasts and vibrant color - reminiscent of deep jungle jewel tones - woven together in a saturation of unexpected color combinations. The effect is that eventually all colors interact with one another at one point on the painting, often resulting in jarring exuberant moments. The new direction of my work extends this language of interconnected shapes towards a more sculptural concept of painting. The thick layers of paint are growing forward, interacting with each other, escaping from the wall, setting free! It is an energetic frenzy of color and a feeling that caught our senses. There is a desire to touch it and to dive into it!”
Augusta Savage Gallery Home
Based on current state and University Covid-19 restrictions, Fine Arts Center venues including Bowker Auditorium, the Concert Hall, Augusta Savage Gallery, Hampden Gallery, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art, remain closed this fall. For more complete information about our virtual events, please visit our Fall 2020 FAQ page
103 New Africa House
University of Massachusetts
180 Infirmary Way
Amherst, MA 01003
Gallery Director, Dr. Terry Jenoure
Gallery Manager, Alexia Cota
For GPS and mapquest:
180 Infirmary Way
Amherst, MA 01003