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The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design are one of five venues presenting The Graphic Unconscious, the core exhibition of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia's international festival celebrating the print in contemporary art. Set to be one of the largest arts events in the United States, Philagrafika 2010 will showcase the work of more than 300 artists and will unite 88 Philadelphia art institutions. Exhibitions are on view from January 29 through April 11, 2010.
The Graphic Unconscious explores the ubiquitous presence of printed matter in our visual culture, exposing the print component in sculptural, environmental, performance, pictorial and video works, and highlighting their relevance to contemporary art and society. It includes works by 35 artists from 18 countries on display across five venues: Moore College of Art & Design; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Print Center; and Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Temple University.
The exhibition is organized by the Philagrafika 2010 artistic director José Roca and the curatorial team: John Caperton, Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Print Center; Sheryl Conkelton, independent curator; Shelley Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Lorie Mertes, Director/Chief Curator of The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design; and Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
CLICK HERE to visit Philagrafika 2010's official website for more information.
The Graphic Unconscious at Moore
The projects on view at Moore highlight artists who employ printmaking in patterning and ornamentation of their work, drawing upon the college’s 160-year-long tradition of focus on the fine and applied arts of textile design, graphic design, interior architecture and fashion. The artists on view—Gunilla Klingberg, Virgil Marti, Paul Morrison, Betsabeé Romero, and Regina Silveira—have created new works or reimagined existing pieces intermingling media and disciplines. Their processes reflect the renewed interest in the creative potential of printmaking strategies traditionally used for patterning, wallpaper, and fabrics when applied to contemporary artistic practice.
In Brand New View, Gunilla Klingberg has covered the windows of the college entrance in bright orange vinyl patterns that illuminate the interior of the gallery with vivid patterned light. The large elaborate designs are composed of smaller logos and brands found in supermarkets that have been reconfigured into geometric abstractions that recall Moorish patterns and the designs of Persian carpets and eastern mandalas
Virgil Marti’s window-gallery display of mirror balls, silver Mylar wallpaper, and faux fur is redolent with references to richly decorated Rococo interiors. The effect of silver and white and reflective surfaces creates a slick, cool environment that becomes more “chilling” when bones are revealed to be the underlying patterning in the wallpaper’s surface. The space is populated by floating specters as the image of the viewer is dematerialized into a thousand fragments by the multiple mirrored surfaces.
Paul Morrison’s new work at Moore spans the height and length of the college’s 40-foot-long exterior wall. It incorporates found images of trees and shrubs culled from various sources from art history and popular culture that are manipulated, edited, and collaged together to create an oddly populated landscape growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk along 20th Street. A single large tulip springs out in the foreground, a hopeful reminder of the spring yet to come and the persistence of nature.
In Mexico City, tires on public transportation vehicles are used well past the absence of any tread, which causes many of the city’s automobile crashes. For her project at Moore, Betsabeé Romero reclaimed these used tires that have caused so many disasters and carved into them, retreading them with images of species of birds native to various countries. The birds take symbolic flight across the walls and ceiling of the gallery on an imprint of the tread that extends from each tire on long sheets of translucent paper that span the height and length of the gallery.
No longer on view, Regina Silveira’s Mundus Admirabilis and Other Plagues, incorporated vinyl along with screenprinting on porcelain and embroidery on fabric. The installation invoked the mythology of biblical plagues. Instead of locusts, hail, or pestilence, Silveira uses a domestic setting invaded by common pests to suggest that the plagues in our own time are the images that contaminate our everyday existence: crime and violence, degradation of the environment, corruption, and other ills that invade our lives and psyches.
CLICK HERE for more about the Philagrafika 2010: The Graphic Unconscious artists showing at Moore.