February 3 – March 17, 1990
Five Conceptual Artists from the Bay Area
The University Gallery is pleased to present In Site: Five Conceptual Artists from the Bay Are~, an exhibition of recent sculpture by Terry Fox, Howard Fried, David Ireland, Paul Kos, and Tom Marioni to be on view from February 2 through March 17. These artists first established their reputations in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1970s, primarily through the staging of events as performance art and later in video and site installations. An exceptionally cohesive group, these artists shared a sense of community and worked to create an atmosphere of experimentation, one that posed alternatives to traditional ways of making and defining art. Salient characteristics of Bay Area Conceptual Art were its interface with everyday life and the design of structures based on personal idiom and metaphor. The work of these artists has continued to evolve independently of one another but the importance of process and the individual's place in and interaction with society remains essential to their motivations.
Tom Marioni's From China to Czechoslovakia, a world map in beer bottles, is a work that has existed since 1976 but has never been officially exhibited. Designed as a tableau sculpture, it refers to the role that beer plays in the universal need for social interaction and the creative energy that it spawns. In light of the recent political events in China and Eastern Europe, the sculpture resonates with new meaning.
Addressing the issue of government censorship, Paul Kos' Memory Survive Silenced Tongues, 1990; consists of a six-foot-long pendulum, or "tongue", that freely swings between two walls against which two plates of glass respectively rest. The plates have been etched with bell shapes and a 1000-·watt light bulb at the base of the pendulum describes the movement of the bells' shadows as ringing. The bell as social object has been the subject of several recent installations by Kos.
Both David Ireland and Terry Fox use the architecture of the Gallery as a means to have viewers reconsider the nature of its space. Ireland will create three related works focusing on the function of a gallery or museum, the relationship of the gallery to an academic environment, and the structural problems inherent to the University Gallery as a spring-' board for imaginative travel. Known in both Europe and the United States for his performances, Terry Fox offers an experience with sound and space that neither music nor architecture has previously communicated. Using air pumps and 200 feet of aquarium hose, Fox will create a sound sculpture that amplifies the special acoustics of the north gallery's intimate space.
Commercial Explosion, 1990, by Howard Fried, consists of three television sets powered by a generator, and a conveyance system that allows the exhaust fumes to escape through the Gallery's skylight. All the components are housed within an elaborate cabinet system and collectively operate as a metaphor for the complexities of the relationship between the marketing of products and public consumption.