701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., presents The Shape of Things
For its first exhibition of 2020, 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., presents The Shape of Things, with work by 13 artists from South Carolina. The exhibition will run from January 16 – March 1, 2020, and will open with an artists’ reception on Thursday, January 16, 7:00 – 9:00 pm.
The artists in the exhibition are Daniel Bare (Central), Nick Boismenu (Columbia), Mark Brosseau (Greenville), Sharon Campbell (Travelers Rest), Betsy Chaffin (Okatie), Mike Dwyer (Columbia), Tolulope Filani (Orangeburg), Morgan Kinne (Charleston), Liz Rundorff Smith (Greenville), Melissa Stang (Columbia), Kathleen Thum (Central), Brittany Watkins (Columbia) and John Wright (Estil).
The Shape of Things, curated by 701 CCA board chair Wim Roefs, is an exhibition defined visually by artworks with distinctive shapes that as a group occupy an area where abstraction and representation meet. Some of the work has clear representational elements but on certain levels can read as abstract or even non-objective. Other works are mostly abstract but trigger associations with the representational world. The exhibition plays with the relative nature of abstraction and non-objectivity on the one hand and representation and figuration on the other. The exhibition shows that the lines between abstraction and representation are not always drawn sharply, both conceptually and visually. As such, the exhibition also suggests that formal and aesthetic choices do not predetermine or preclude conceptual concerns, and vice versa.
“John Wright’s black-and-white work featuring a cross shape, for instance, can as easily be discussed within the context of, say, the work of one of the 20th century most important abstract painters, Kasimir Malevich, as within the context of race relations in the U.S. South and the role of religion in those relations,” Roefs said. “Morgan Kinne’s drawings of building facades obviously have a strong representational element but, aside from being abstracted, at the same time draw attention to the facades’ overall shapes, which can be read as abstract. Mike Dwyer’s paintings seem entirely non-objective, but his titles suggest that the work can be read as perhaps poetic renderings of not-so-abstracted realities. Daniel Bare and Nick Boismenu, both ceramicists, use clearly representational objects to create larger works that gravitate toward abstraction. And in Brittany Watkins’ work, representation and
non-objectivity literally meet and go hand-in-hand when she uses cushion covers to create the main shape in some of her works.”
The Shape of Things confirms 701 CCA’s important role in highlighting some of the best contemporary art in the state. In addition to the biennial 701 CCA Prize for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger and the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial, the center regularly presents group and solo exhibitions of contemporary artists working in the state. “Our mission is not specifically to focus on South Carolina artists,” Roefs said, “and we show artists from elsewhere in the United States and abroad. But we do think it’s important to provide a platform for good contemporary art made in South Carolina, both for the public’s and the artists’ sake. The public otherwise would hardly ever see the work by many of those artists, while the artists seldom get to exhibit in venues with a statewide range.” “Through exhibitions like this and the 701 CCA Prize and the South Carolina Biennial,” Roefs said, “701 CCA has dramatically improved the art infrastructure in South Carolina. The center easily is the most important art venue for South Carolina contemporary art.”
701 CCA’s mission is to promote understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art. With a gallery and live-work space for an Artist-in-Residence program, the Center provides artists with resources to develop, create and exhibit visual arts in conjunction with performing, literary and media arts. 701 CCA also offers year-round cultural programming, including contemporary art exhibitions and events that are free and open to the public. For further inquiries or high-resolution images, contact Allison Cicero Moore, Executive Director, at [email protected] or (803) 319-9949. Please check 701 CCA’s website for additional information on the exhibition and associated events. 701 CCA is located at 701 Whaley Street, 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201. During exhibitions, hours are Wed-Sat, 11–5; Sun, 1-5.