Chad Curtise — All Natural
Work by young artists whose take on the American landscape and environment is subversive, ironic, cynical, angry, lively and stimulating.
Greg Stewart and Dymph de Wild’s sculptural works and performative “survival suits” are eerie mutations of the plant and animal kingdom, designed for the kind of harmonious chaos that is spawned from migration and adaptation in the areas in between urban and rural environments. For Dan Carlson the residue and monuments of the Cold War, in the form of abandoned military bases and industrial wastelands, serve as fertile ground for cultivating response in the form of video installations. Peter Lapsley’s sculptures are composed of industrial materials used in contemporary architecture that nod to the perfect forms of ancient mathematics and the ruins that serve as evidence of their unattainability. Producing both reflective and functional research- based works, Jan Mun focuses on cultural and environmental remediation through community-based interventions, while Rick Reid’s conceptual, text-based work uses Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans in tandem with the Human Genome Project and Davinci’s Divine Proportion to create a new vision of human cartography.
Corina Reynolds examines our ritualistic relationship with advertising and its power to homogenize any foreign space into something immediately accessible and familiar, whereas Josh Bricker’s videos create a kind of displacement where the commonplace, nationalist pride so embedded in American entertainment turns into something completely alien.
John Wanzel employs the method of artist as expert, taking a pseudoscientific approach for describing man-made structures in geologic terms, while Leah Raintree’s shale drawings and photographs that serve as evidence of climate change distort value systems of natural resources in abstracted, economic terms. Tom Pnini’s work reveals the mechanics of illusion and skirt a fine line between glorifying and vilifying american industry, and play nicely with Chad Curtis’ scaled down mountains made from disposable, everyday materials. Ben Finer’s works on paper hinge the seemingly mundane beauty of natural landscapes with a constructed spirituality, while Daniel J. Glendening acts as a kind of intermediary historian, culling inspiration from the failed utopian experiments of our recent past and producing artifacts that seem to come from the near future.
Overall, these artists are united through a heightened sense of awareness to their surroundings and modes of understanding their immediate environments through the lens of the American landscape; a landscape that is shaped through the unseen socio- political forces that dominate the constant shift of cultural paradigms and the dizzying flux of construction and destruction.