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CRIT GROUP 2017 AT THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN
August 4, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - September 3, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Crit Group 2017
August 4 – September 3, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 7¬-10P
grayDUCK Gallery, 2213 E. Cesar Chavez Street
The Contemporary Austin and grayDUCK Gallery are pleased to present the exhibition Crit Group 2017, featuring recent works by the eight artists selected to participate in the museum’s Crit Group this year. This seven-month-long program gives Austin artists the chance to strengthen their practices with input from each other and established professionals in the field. The 2017 program was co-directed by guest critics Sterling Allen and Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, along with Andrea Mellard, Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement at The Contemporary Austin.
The exhibition’s opening reception will take place Friday, August 4, from 7-10P at grayDUCK Gallery, and is free and open to the public. Participating artists will give a public gallery talk about their work and the program on Saturday, August 26, at 2P at grayDUCK gallery. The exhibition is on view through September 3, 2017, during regular gallery hours.
The culmination of the seven-month Crit Group program, the exhibition spans the disparate work of eight compelling Austin-based artists. The exhibition includes sculpture, printmaking, painting, collage, installation, and sound art by participants of The Contemporary Austin’s 2017 Crit Group: Sandy Carson, Jonas Criscoe, Calder Kamin (’09 Ceramics/Art History), Dameon Lester, Deborah Mersky, Steve Parker,Amy Scofield, and Sara Vanderbeek. Repurposed materials, including plastic bags knotted into nets and scrap lumber wrapped with rubber tire tread, demonstrate Calder Kamin’s and Amy Scofield’s shared interests in making process-oriented objects that encourage consideration of consumption and the environment. Deborah Mersky imagines allegories sprung from nature with her surreal botanical prints and toy-like objects made from clay and other organic materials. Working on fabric in the batik tradition, painter Sara Vanderbeek expands her interests in tropical patterns to boldly critique colonial forces and cultural appropriation. Jonas Criscoe layers prints, pigments, and paint to an equally colorful effect, creating graphic geometric and organic patterns that take inspirations ranging from quilt making to urban graffiti. In stark visual contrast, Dameon Lester carefully refines the essential atmospheric properties of arctic glaciers into minimal geometric ink drawings and paper-covered wall sculpture that reward careful looking. Peripatetic photographer Sandy Carson’s observant eye captures the uncanny surprises found out on the road, in the street, on stage, and in daily life. A desire to immerse people in environments that more deeply engage their senses animates Steve Parker’s work. His participatory sound sculptures deconstruct traditional musical instruments and performance. All of the artists in Crit Group 2017 challenged themselves to work in new ways. While the results are formally and thematically diverse, each artist in Crit Group 2017 is connected by an intense desire to hone their artistic practices and by their rigorous investigations of the subtleties of contemporary life and the natural world.