Monday, September 27, 2010

Isolation Industry, now through October 15

Last Tuesday I made the long voyage out to Pellissippi State, in Oak Ridge territory, to see an art exhibition. I have to admit, I was a little wary of viewing art there, only because I had never been, but I was pleasantly surprised by my experience.

The exhibition features work by Wyoming-based artists David Lawrence Jones, Patrick Kikut, and Shelby Shadwell. Their paintings, drawings, and installation work combined made for a very thoughtful and well done show about abandoned industrial icons and the unlikely beauty resulting from the mix of nature and things man-made.

The work by Kikut are of deteriorating billboard signs, forgotten graphic designs standing alone in large expanses of space. By bringing attention to them, he insinuates their intrinsic beauty even in their state of decay.

Shadwell's charcoal drawings on paper knocked my socks off. I admit I am bias toward his subject matter which are nighttime highway scenes of streetlights and headlights moving down dark roads. They really are breathtaking.

Jones uses dirt and metal in a small scale installation of what seems to be a construction site. The metal he uses is weighty and the dirt is, well, dirty, but the manner in which he puts it all together has a way of being ironically adorable.

I'm aware that some may not see the beauty in this kind of subject matter, but the way Kikut uses color, the seemingly simple use of charcoal in Shadwell's drawings, and the preciousness of Jone's models are stunning. They take the time to examine these things and ask you to as well.

As I drove home, I realized it made sense that this exhibition is at Pellissippi State rather than downtown, and that I drove there in my car by way of I-40 instead of riding my bike down to Gay Street. It was especially nice to drive there later in the day, a perfect set up to view the work there. Try and make it there if you can. All information about the show is in the flyer above.

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