Ray Kass

Artist & Founder — Mt Lake Workshop

STATE OF THE ART: Virginia Crossroads

Robert Sulkin,  Man and Beast , ink jet print, 2011

Robert Sulkin, Man and Beast, ink jet print, 2011

Taubman Art Museum : Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - Saturday, February 23, 2013

The nine regional artists featured in this exhibition present works, varying greatly in medium and materials, which subtly address an array of broad cultural issues including technology, domesticity, and climate, presented in artistic languages that are both representational and abstract.  This selection of paintings, sculptures, and photographs was conceived by Ray Kass, the museum's Adjunct Curator of Southeast American Art. 

In the work of some of the artists, concepts of beauty, space, and color are expressed through materials often assembled with eclectic items found at flea markets.  Many of the artists demonstrate a special interest in tangible materials.  Arbitrary items like frames, vintage dolls, broken wheels, and animal bones are transformed from detritus to coveted subject matter.  The sculptural forms beckon closer observation, provoke the viewer to ask questions, and follow the artist's path to ascribe new meaning to their presence.

Other of the artists allow their work to form intuitively from inspirations discovered in their immediate environments. Their compositions comment on both natural and man-made landscapes, specifically recognizing the exploitative relationship between humans and the environment.  Many of these works grapple with ideas of change and nostalgia, functioning as channels to cope with a society that constantly develops yet simultaneously becomes obsolete. 

Within each of these works, traditional mediums such as oil, pastel, and encaustic are implemented in unconventional ways.  Canvas surfaces are multilayered and then manipulated to generate fragmented perspectives that speak to aging and isolation.  In addition, photographic prints found in the exhibition are altered during the post-editing process to enhance the mystery found within each. 

For many of the artists in this exhibition their work has consistently focused on storytelling. The show serves as a bustling intersection of mature thought and creativity.

Participating Artists:

  • John Clingempeel - Roanoke, Virginia
  • David Freed - Richmond, Virginia
  • Ann Glover - Roanoke, Virginia
  • Charles Goolsby - Emory, Virginia
  • Reni Gower - Richmond, Virginia
  • Chris Gregson - Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Sam Krisch - Roanoke, Virginia
  • Taliaferro Logan - Salem, Virginia
  • Robert Sulkin - Roanoke, Virginia

This exhibition has been sponsored by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Friends of the Taubman Museum of Art.

Copyright © 2015 Ray Kass & Mountain Lake Workshop. All Rights Reserved.