Surface Charge

Surface Charge

Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts

October 5, 2005

Surface Charge
23 September - 4 December 2005

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Anderson Gallery 

Karina Peisajovich, Untitled, 2005, halogen lamps, acrylic paint, paper, timer. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Travis Fullerton, copyright 2005.

Anderson Gallery presents
Surface Charge
Curated by Sabine Russ and
Gregory Volk

Eleven International Artists Transform the Walls of VCU arts Anderson Gallery

A standard museum practice is to import art works in order to display them on the walls or on the floor. Surface Charge at VCUarts Anderson Gallery thoroughly alters this practice. New York-based curators Sabine Russ and Gregory Volk invited 11 internationally acclaimed artists to create work directly on and with the walls of the Gallery, turning its very surfaces into active forces, as opposed to neutral supports.

Ragna Róbertsdóttir (Iceland) applied thousands of lava chips from a volcano in Iceland directly to the wall, while Karin Sander (Germany) sanded and polished a section of wall, turning it into a shimmering, highly reflective field. Odili Donald Odita (Nigeria/U.S.) composed abstract paintings on the walls, and Elana Herzog (U.S.) stapled and sewed textiles into the wall. Lawrence Weiner (U.S.), long one of the main figures associated with Conceptual Art, applied enigmatic phrases to the wall, while Karina Peisajovich (Argentina) created a light and painting installation that responds to the specifics of the space. Kim Schoenstadt (U.S.) drew on and cut into the wall to create a large, architecturally inflected work while Katrin Sigurdardottir (Iceland) has presented three sculptures that conflate walls, abstract forms, and Icelandic landscape imagery. Surface Charge also includes a riveting video by Maix Mayer (Germany) involving empty walls in a newly built museum in Leipzig. Lisa Sigal (U.S.) created a three-dimensional painting installation with elements on, and springing from, the walls. Completing the exhibition, Sally Smart (Australia) created a sprawling wall collage of painted fabric elements on the theme of the female pirate and with references to Australia and Virginia.

Most of the artists were present during a 10-day installation period. And students from VCUs top-ranking School of the Arts provided assistance, resulting in a unique educational opportunity. “We are very pleased to bring together this distinguished group of established and emerging international artists,” says Richard E. Toscan, VCU’s Vice-Provost of International Affairs and Dean of the School of the Arts. This exhibition represents our commitment to making Anderson Gallery a leading venue for contemporary art.”
Surface Charge is the 15th exhibition co-curated by Sabine Russ and Gregory Volk, who are known for their unusual themes; international scope; tendency to mix older, well-established figures with younger artists; and for the visual appeal of their shows. Sabine Russ, a native of Leipzig, Germany, who has lived in New York since 1994, is an art critic and curator and Managing Editor of American Historical Publications. Gregory Volk is an art critic, curator and associate professor in the Department of Painting and Printmaking and the Department of Sculpture Extended Media at VCUs School of the Arts.

Since 1971, the Anderson Gallery has been one of the most important venues for contemporary art in the Southeast, with exhibitions of work by noted artists such as Yoko Ono, Gregory Crewdson, Teresita Fernandez, Sally Mann, Douglas Bourgeois, Gregory Barsamian, Dale Chihuly, Jim Campbell, and Heide Fasnacht. Guest curators have included Edward Albee, the renowned playwright; John Yau, noted art critic and poet; and Robert Hobbs, who holds the Rhoda Thalhimer Endowed Chair in American Art at VCU and is also visiting professor at Yale University.

Admission to the Anderson Gallery is free. The Gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5. The exhibition will be on view through December 4, 2005.

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Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
October 5, 2005

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