Center of Gravity
December 12, 2014 – January 17, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, December 12, 7–10 pm
Waiting Room is pleased to announce Center of Gravity, a group exhibition of recent work by Alyssa Baguss, Eric William Carroll, Peter Happel Christian, and Paula McCartney. Center of Gravity features photographs, drawings, and objects remnant of artistic processes and performances. Interests shared among these artists, who, through producing and arranging images, have developed visual systems for documenting and questioning natural surroundings and daily phenomena, conceptually tie the exhibition.
Within their individual practices, these artists have a sharp eye for precise execution, are quick to identify the absurd or uncanny, and have a keen curiosity for details and discrepancies; all of whom have a personal stake in natural sciences, visual metaphors, and both new and outmoded media. Each typically presents their own work with an organizational rigor - whether though linear narrative and sequencing in book form, personal classification systems, taxonomical arrangements, cataloging, or formulaic displays.
Within the philosophy of natural sciences, occurrences are explained and predicted through ‘empirical evidence,’ or sources of knowledge obtained by observation and experimentation. In this field, criteria and methods for validating and obtaining accuracy are produced through social mechanisms to ensure quality control, such as peer reviews and repeatability of findings.
Similarly, this exhibition identifies shared knowledge evidenced by reappearing forms, compositions, and materials produced by peers within a contemporary art context. By directly and indirectly observing the world around them through independent bodies of work, together, Baguss, Carroll, Happel Christian, and McCartney establish a collective theory and aesthetic hypothesis.
Curated by Jehra Patrick, these artists and works form a constellation of networked ideas, forms, and value sets. Consensus emerges among their bodies of work: central, isolated subjects bathe in vacant spaces; fields of data are sampled; grids hold and measure; and scientific and pseudo-scientific models proximate. These works classify and chart like-minded visions for object studies, perception, and personal metaphor. While shared tendencies among artists and works form elegant correlations, lone images hold and distribute weight among the broader field, as though any single art object could be the plausible center of their collective universe.
The exhibition is welcomed by an opening reception on Friday, December 12, from 7-10 pm, during which a preview of Eric William Carroll's live performance G.U.T. Feeling v3 will debut at 9 pm.
About Alyssa Baguss
Alyssa Baguss’s practice explores mediated natural environments through drawing processes. Her work has been exhibited in the Twin Cities and regionally, including Augsburg College Christensen Center Art Gallery, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Soo Visual Arts Center, and Rosalux Gallery. Baguss has worked as a teaching artist and artist in residence with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts youth programming, Minneapolis Public School system’s Art for Academic Achievement residency programs, and with various art organizations in the Twin Cities including the Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum, the Rochester Art Center, and Public Arts St. Paul.
About Eric William Carroll
Eric William Carroll’s work on photography, science, and nature has been exhibited widely, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, Aperture, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Pier 24 Photography. Carroll has participated in residencies with the MacDowell Colony, Rayko Photo Center and the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary, and was the winner of the 2012 Baum Award for Emerging Photographers. Born and raised in the Midwest, Carroll currently teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
About Peter Happel Christian
Peter Happel Christian’s expanded studio practice explores the experience of nature, time, and perception at the intersection and overlap of photography, sculpture and performance. His work can be found in the collections of the Tucson Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography, The Midwest Photographer's Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the International Center for Photography Library. Happel Christian has received funding for his work through research grants at Youngstown State University, an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, research grants at St. Cloud State University and he is a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photography. Conveyor Editions published his first monograph, Half Wild, in September 2014.
About Paula McCartney
Paula McCartney makes photographs and artists’ books that explore the idea of constructed landscapes and the way that people interact with and manipulate the natural world. McCartney has received grants from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, is a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photography. Her is included in numerous public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Museum of Modern Art’s Artist Book Collection. Silas Finch, NY recently published her second monograph, A Field Guide to Snow and Ice.
About curator Jehra Patrick
Within her visual arts practice, Jehra Patrick explores art-institutional and art-historical tableaux through painting and photography. She has exhibited internationally, including The Minnesota Museum of American Art, The DeVos Museum of Art, Harcourt House Artist Run Centre. Patrick has been a recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, McKnight Next Step Fund, and a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists. She is a frequent lecturer, visiting critic, writer, curator, and program organizer, on topics relevant to practices of visual artists.