Friday, January 18, 2019

The Art of Curating





If a cursory look can titillate a visitor's interest, ultimately an exhibition's content makes the visit memorable. Hive Mind at Loyola University's Diboll Gallery is a show that offers both: a strong visual impression and a rich compelling display. Curated through the collaborative effort of twenty three undergraduate students, it assembles the works of fifteen graduate artists, and includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos and small installations.
The white space on the top floor of the building, above the library, is bathing in natural light on one side and artificial light on the other. Its center is surrounded by a sort of semi-circle walkway. Rendere: Pouring myself out to render...life, 2013, a large piece from Luba Zygarewicz, faces the entrance, floating in the air. The fragile construction made of bee wax with a single word "life" painted in red on it, projects a web-like shadow on the panel behind it. Heaps of colored used tea, remnants from the artist's consumption, are lined up below it. Her second piece found nearby is eye-catching as well. A Thousand Wishes, 2017, is a dress made of used teabags, hanging from the ceiling to the floor, spreading like a train. Starting on the left, a wall text describes the exhibition and provides a list of the artists' and curators' names. Smaller framed works like photographs, prints, watercolors, needlepoint, are hung on the columns supporting the structure and are usually grouped by artists. Sculptures on pedestals fill empty areas, allowing a view on all sides. Peter Barnitz is well represented with five of his unique compositions scattered from the entrance to the back. Three of Esther Murphy's colorful photographs made in 2017, inspired by her year long stay in China, are next to each other, across one of Barnitz's monochrome black work, while a fourth is found further amid works from Michel Varisco and Jenna Knoblach. Lighter, humorous prints from Dianna Sanchez are spread throughout the show. The selected pieces reflect the artists' practices, sometimes with smaller works for Carlie Trosclair, due to the constraints imposed by the space.
The artists are known, some works were previously displayed in other venues, Contemporary Art Center, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, galleries,..., or are available to look at on the web.
The exhibition provides a way to rediscover them in a different context, through the fresh eyes and the hive mind of undergraduate students.




photographs by the author:
Luba Zygarewicz "A Thousand Wishes", 2017
Peter Barnitz "Amid the Strikes" (detail), 2016
Erica Larkin Gaudet "Reclining Figure Maquette", 2018

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