Cade Tompkins Projects is pleased to exhibit an extraordinary new body of work created by RISD Faculty and Alumni whose symbiotic relationships have informed their respective careers. The exhibit debuts a curated selection of work Cade Tompkins Projects, January 19 - February 28, 2013. New work consists of drawings, prints, sculpture, and painting.
The artist pairs include: Nancy Friese and Sophiya Khwaja; Daniel Heyman and Stella Ebner; Julia Jacquette and Tedd Nash Pomaski; Dean Snyder and James Foster; John Udvardy and Huckleberry Starnes.
Nancy Friese has spent much of her artistic life painting en plein air, in solitude with nature. Her vibrant work speaks to the sublime landscape and the dwarfing power of the plentiful earth. Connecting psychologically with the space, Friese adeptly depicts the sweetly sad quiet that her engulfing worlds portend. Sophiya Khwaja is a Pakistani artist living and working in Islamabad. Her work connects to Friese’s in its inception. Her images often picture a solitary female figure, presumably the artist herself, navigating the strange world. Fantastic landscapes diverge from
reality where the earth sprouts fuzzy black hair and the atmosphere is marked with symbols - a tiny black cloud, a single rain drop, a blue balloon - that indicate the emotion of the work. Friese and Khwaja’s approaches are armed with a passion to discover how the universe changes as their interpretations become the work. Friese is a Professor of Printmaking at RISD and Khwaja is an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at the National College of Arts in Rawalpindi.
Daniel Heyman’s work largely examines stories of humanity. Be they intimate self portraits, or narratives of the atrocities of war, his drawings and prints entwine the multitude of ideologies, obligations, emotions, and possessions that define our existence. In his First Untitled War Series, Heyman overlays religious icons, eagles, billows of dust and smoke, and barely clad male figures highlighting cultural and natural innocence and the undercurrents of arising battles for belief. Stella Ebner similarly portrays ideological and cultural symbols in her color saturated screen prints on Japanese paper. Memorial Day Parts I and II picture the patriotic events that surround America’s celebrations of those who stand in service to the country. Ebner’s compositional decisions allow the viewer a restricted view of the American flag, focusing on the stasis of the brass bald eagle that adorns the staff and the great blue, cloud-covered sky that evokes contemplation. Heyman is currently a Professor of Printmaking at RISD and Ebner is Assistant Professor of Art and Design and the Area Coordinator of Printmaking at SUNY Purchase College, NY.
Julia Jacquette creates grand paintings of fabulous excess. Themes of human vices abound: sweets, women, alcohol, luxury. Seductive and almost intimidating, the works’ photo realistic qualities lend an air of statuesque elevation to the subjects. This exhibition features Jacquette’s Scotch, Rocks I, a monumental painting of floating liquid that the viewer is invited to bathe in, rather than drink. Tedd Nash Pomaski draws primarily with graphite on paper. Growing up on the big island of Hawaii, one of Pomaski’s influences is the ocean. He has set out to create 108 wave drawings. Like Jacquette’s engulfing paintings, Pomaski creates environments of waves (also hospitals, trees, roads) which have come about from an editing of process and material, arriving at one repeated mark, one piece of graphite and one piece of paper. Though Pomaski’s work is decidedly direct and simple rather than excessive, the intense focus of the subject mirror Jacquette’s working process. Julia Jacquette is a former Professor of RISD and is now an Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts Department at FIT. Pomaski lives and works in his Hawaiian homeland.
Dean Snyder’s sculptural materials remind us of hot rods and his sculptures themselves are other-worldly. Using metal flake paint and epoxy composite, Khronos, otherwise known in Greek mythology as the primeval god of time, was said to have (along with the god of Inevitability) circled the “world egg” and split it apart. Perhaps a comment on this myth, the formidable sculpture very clearly describes an intense relationship between the slick, stone-like exterior of limey green paint and the fleshy meat of the interior. As if uncovering a mystery, Snyder’s sculptures have the ability to captivate while balancing humor and horror. James Foster, like Snyder, combines the sensibilities of the known and unknown - those familiar materials and landscapes that one encounters in everyday life and the infinite beyond of outer space. He
examines his work thusly, “We build fences and trace constellations and this patchwork-mosaic grows, mirrored above and below, and it reflects the desire we have to make things known, and thus understandable. This is the desire to make the abstract personal.” Dean Snyder is an Associate Professor and Department Head of Sculpture at RISD and James Foster lives and works in New York City and has been a visiting artist, teacher and critic at RISD.
John Udvardy is a modernist sculptor whose assembled structures are based in Cubist sensibilities surrounding painting and collage. The varied, yet elegant work weaves poetic tales of work and leisure in stunning masses of materials including wood, stone, fired clay, nails, paint stirrers and canvas. Udvardy is the dean of the assemblage art form. Judith Tolnick Champa writes that Udvardy “reassembles objects derived from his massive studio, a dense environment of collecting. Found forms and shapes are source material, a personal palette for positing and devising handsome assemblages.” Indeed the sculptures make important, what may otherwise seem discardable. Owing to his intense love of objects, Huckleberry Starnes explains that he would never have become a sculptor if it were not for his professor John Udvardy. He, like Udvardy, hails from Ohio. His works from the Beacon series are by his explanation, “inspired by his move from rural Ohio to coastal New England at the age of 12. Each piece is meant to serve as a marker in time and place, and when aligned using the numerical sequence in the titles they create a timeline of remembered history as viewed through the lens of the present.” Starnes’ intimate objects plug in, using the electricity of their current home to illuminate the history behind their existence. John Udvardy is professor emeritus of the Rhode Island School of Design. Huckleberry Starnes works as an artist in designer and has recently worked on interiors of power plant control rooms.