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. 

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