Object Inside Object Outside Inside Object Outside Object @ NIAD Art Center

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Paintings and photographs are often perceived as portals. Their magic is that they can take us someplace. Hung in a room they provide a view: be it of a landscape, portrait, interior, or abstraction, be it to another time or an inward perspective, be it of another reality or a reflection of where we are.

The power of a sculpture is similar, but also transitional. It exists in relation to our discoveries of it, and its story adapts to the settings it visits, which can be indoors, out in nature, or even in mutable locations that bridge a sense of inside and out.

Subjects in a 2D work of art abide by the laws of their plane. A dog in a painting is “small” if it sits comfortably in the lap of a person in the same painting, regardless of that painting’s size. Our response to sculptural works however—and for that matter, to objects in general—comes from the body. The sculpture itself is miniature, life size, or giant depending on how we cast it in relation to our understanding of similar objects.

The objects in this exhibition are particularly relatable. They bear the marks of a thing that is reaching out to meet us. Many of them have a toe in the worlds of painting and some from the experiences of digital screens, but through the attentions of their makers they’ve nudged their way into our dimension. What’s more, they come to us with a lexicon of functions we’ve participated in.

Because of this effort which lives in the object, We empathize with them. We recognize their aspirations: to have a compressed experience inflated, realized, or empowered.

It is much like the story about a child’s toy, a velveteen rabbit that longs to become real so it may leave the safety of an interior world and have sensory encounters. It is a journey that (within the framework of this fairytale) any object could tackle if a person imbues that object with the wear and tenderness of attention.

These works relate such encounters. They alternately reward and/or frustrate our expectations by refiguring the patterns and memories we associate with their shapes, images, and language.

Whether they are imbued with hope, sarcasm, anxiety, love, absurdity, or concern, each of them teeters between being an object that protects and comforts and one that needs protection and comforting. Thus, they reflect those fluctuating aspects and capacities in ourselves.

Participating Artists: Julio Del Rio, Marlon Mullen, Shawna Kinard, Sylvia Fragoso, Carlota Rodriguez, Andrew Sungtaek, Nick Makanna, Kayla Mattes, Mansur Nurullah, Jose Joaquin Figueroa, Jerry Peña, Oliver Hawk, Aaron Estrada, William Scott, and Paige Valentine.

Based in Richmond, California, NIAD Art Center’s visual art program promotes meaningful independent living by artists with disabilities while its artists create remarkable contemporary art. In a unique open studio environment, and with the guidance of qualified staff, NIAD artists acquire new skills in artistic practice and in independent living. 

Object Inside Object Outside Inside Object Outside Object was organized by GGLA.

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