NEW PALTZ -The State University of New York at New Paltz Art department in conjunction with the curatorial programs of the Dorsky Gallery present Displaced Objectives/Convoluted Conjecture. The opening reception will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 and will remain on view through Aug. 26 at the Dorsky Gallery in Long Island City.
The artists in Displaced Objectives/Convoluted Conjuncture — Angela Branco ‘09, Andrew Brischler ‘09, Keith Hoyt ‘12, Ruby Merritt ‘11, and Cooper Paulson ’11 — are recent New Paltz alumni. Although linked by their interest in process and materiality, they otherwise have divergent interests which range from a quest for spiritual and personal transformation to a critical dissection and reconstruction of the contemporary culture while commenting on the political, ecological and economic conditions that currently affect us.
Branco, seeks transcendence through homespun rituals, elevating honesty and the simplicity of humble materials into an iconically witty sculptural and drawing practice. Her working process is built on an explicit trust of intuition and impulse based on play and invention. The images evoked seem to thrive on the commonplace and vernacular of her childhood—with a twist of absurdity, humor, or even terror—but never leaving a sense of the “real” behind.
Brischler’s painting practice pushes both the physical and psychological extremes of abstraction, often as if to reinvent his process with each work. He is a “lover” of beginnings, each painting insisting on its own terms. One work might manipulate our attachment to beauty, as in his ombré paintings; another might insist on its own physicality apart from its context or support, as in his detached sheetrock pieces. Each painting’s own unique integrity, and the conversations that ensue among his works, inform the crux of his practice.
Merritt replicates the scientific processes of evaporation, erosion and solubility, and like a conservationist of the “soul of nature,” she nurtures the work to grow through the marriage of chance and time. Her process may be likened to that of a gardener whose crop is “the condensation or accretion of time itself.” Utilizing natural substances from the earth—pigments, salts and minerals—combined with liquids within existing structures such as wooden boxes, glassware and found rocks which act as vessels.
Sculptors Hoyt and Paulson reconfigure/transfigure ordinary objects into symbols of social/political discourse. In their work, it is often what is not there any longer that is significant. Paulson meticulously dissects common objects that are reconstructed into seemingly the same forms, but in reality have been transmuted into objects that deny their origin. Metaphorically, his sculpture questions the fabric of our society. Alternately, Paulson also assembles multiples of ordinary forms into other recognizable objects, thus redefining both.
Hoyt skillfully recreates commonplace objects that are either specifically mis-rendered or oversized. He is interested in creating a dialogue of shifting or lost economic structures, or evoking a sense of nostalgia and security for times long past and for disappearing working class and blue collar skills. Hoyt will supersize a hobby horse to adult size or recreate an Edward Hopper storefront with blurred windows to confront us with things that have changed or are now gone.