Red Eye Curatorial Class at RISD mounts first exhibition: Studio Lab
I’m teaching a new class this semester on curatorial practice called the Red Eye Gallery Class, and our first exhibition is titled Studio Lab.
The Class: The Red Eye Gallery Class is an interdisciplinary course that balances the logistics of curating with critical thinking and analysis. Our first exhibition, Studio Lab, is a collaboratively curated, conceived, designed, and installed endeavor. A second exhibition will be mounted in the gallery during spring semester.
The Exhibition: Studio Lab: How can one convey studio practice? How can one make visible the hours of experimentation put in the “studio lab” that are excised from the white cube gallery where only finished works are shown?
For this multi-disciplinary, cross-departmental exhibition, each member of the Red Eye Gallery Class invited a peer to exhibit a finished piece alongside selected objects from their studio. An artist’s studio can offer rich insight into the creative process through the objects it contains. These objects might point to the physical process by which the artist makes their work (tools, the patina of splattered paint, found objects, broken pieces of glass or metal), but might also contain ephemera, (notes to self, sketchbooks, inspirational images and collected objects).
The gallery is divided into two zones, an upper register of white and a lower register of grey. Each artist’s finished piece is displayed in the white zone. The process-based ephemera gleaned from the studio are displayed in the gray zone. Individual brochures contain statements from each curator/artist duo as a way to highlight a dialogue between both voices.
Studio Lab invites the viewer to consider the space that sustains the ongoing practice that every maker develops over the course of his or her time in the studio. The exhibition provides a window into the visual archive of each artist. Objects and imagery inspire, provoke questions, document process, and ultimately are the catalysts of creativity in everyday studio practice. Each artist reveals their own unique visual language, and approach to communicating their work. From a collection of pop culture ephemera, to a confluence of religious symbolism and sports memorabilia, the archive can have many different meanings and uses to the artist assembling it.
When we look at the end product of someone’s practice we sometimes miss the deeply rich experience of seeing the process of making. Studio Lab attempts to reveal this process through elevating the ephemera of the studio and placing it alongside finished works in a formal gallery setting.
Curators: Scott Alario, Forest Kelley, Jeannie H. Lee, Jillian Matthews, Julia Min, Effy Morris, Kaveh Nazemoff, Elliot Romano, Nic Scholz, Arnold Wong, Kun Wu
Artists: Hannah Antalek, Douglas Burns, Sheri Fabian, Keenan Jay, Marguerite Keyes, Jeannie H. Lee, Julia Min, Morgan Palmer, Kendra Pariseault, Christoffer Rutledge, Xavier Donnelly
Instructor: Lisa Young