Culture in Pieces: Other Social Objects

September 17–October 24, 1990
Beaver College Art Gallery


The Beaver College Art Gallery will open the 1990–91 season September 17, 1990 with a thematic exhibition entitled "Culture in Pieces: Other Social Objects." The Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday, 1:30 to 5:00 PM.

The exhibition, displayed in the Spruance Art Center on the campus at Church and Easton Roads, will continue through October 24, 1990 and includes the work of nine artists: John Armleder, Saint Clair Cemin, Lauren Ewing, Robert Gober, Tishan Hsu, Annette Lemieux, Eileen Neff, Joel Otterson, and Steve Wolfe.

There will be a public reception, Tuesday, September 18, 1990 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Robert Gober, one of the most discussed sculptors working today, will speak in Beaver's Little Theatre at 6:00 PM, immediately proceeding the reception. Both events are free.

All of the artists in this exhibition create metaphorical redescriptions of everyday objects, which we interact with in intimate ways. These works, including a lead covered bureau, an attenuated blackboard, a wall-mounted pewter drain, a black velvet bed shaped like the continent of Africa and a silver vinyl diner booth, poignantly or humorously evoke a range of mundane experiences from ordinary social contexts that connect to the larger world of meaning.

Whether stripped to a spare essence or imaginative hybrids of forms and media, these carefully crafted "pictures," located at the junction of the symbolic and surreal, informed by minimalism and conceptualism, explore the object as an analogue for the self and an expression of our fragmented culture. Through metaphor they comment upon and reconstitute the social construction of the self through objects outside the self yet personal.

Most of the artists in this exhibition live and work in New York with the exception of Eileen Neff, who works in Philadelphia; John Armleder, who works in Switzerland, and Saint Clair Cemin, who works in Paris and New York City. Many, while relatively young, have achieved international recognition and respect.

A catalogue documenting the exhibition will be forthcoming in winter 1990 with an essay by Trevor Fairbrother, associate curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and an introduction by Beaver College Art Gallery Director Paula Marincola. The catalogue and exhibition both have been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D. C., the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Friends of Beaver College Art Gallery, and the Department of Fine Arts.