Featuring: Joe Amrhein Mel Bochner Matthew Brannon Jeff Brouws Beth Campbell Shannon Ebner Edward Fella Maira Kalman Graham Gillmore Nicholas Knight Elaine Lustig Cohen Pricilla Monge Abelardo Morell Larry Mullins Vik Muniz MeeNa Park Jack Pierson Steve Powers Orit Raff Tao Rey Bill Rowe Steve Roden Kate Shephard
Curated by Tamar Cohen.
This group of work, executed in a range of mediums and materials, celebrates the diversity of letter forms, words and text as a visual expression in contemporary art.
The playful use of words and typography in art, first introduced in the early cubist collages of Picasso and Braque, has became a visual staple in the vocabulary used by artists since that time. One has only to look at work ranging from the Futurists, Constructivists and Marcel Duchamp to Bruce Nauman, Jenny Holtzer and Jean-Michel Basquiat to appreciate the variety, richness and wealth of visual opportunities that text can provide.
There are myriad sources of typographic and textual inspiration represented by the artists in WORDPLAY. There are found moments as seen in the photographs of Jeff Brouws and Orit Raff, as well as quotes and expressions used by Maira Kalman in her text and image embroideries, Shannon Ebner in her photograph, Joe Amrhein in his glass sign painting, Bill Rowe in his neon sculpture, Steve Powers in his aluminum supergraphic signs and Beth Campbell in her drawing. Kate Shepherd, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Abelardo Morell and Meena Park focus on the formal purity of the letter form in a range of mediums from painting and photography to collage. Literary texts form the basis of both Nicholas Knight’s diagramed sentences and Steven Roden’s witty pencil drawings. Mel Bochner cleverly uses word synonyms in his monoprint and Vik Muniz employs the letters of his name to create his self portrait. Tao Rey uses his own graffiti style handwriting on a sculptural street sign. Also included are the colored pencil drawings of Edward Fella, well known in the world of graphic design. Other artists included are Matthew Brannon, Graham Gillmore, Priscilla Monge, Larry Mullins and Jack Pierson.