Modest Sublime


  • Installation view, Modest Sublime, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, October 20, 2005–January 5, 2006. Courtesy of Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and artists. 

  • Installation view, Modest Sublime, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, October 20, 2005–January 5, 2006. Courtesy of Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and artists. 

  • Installation view, Modest Sublime, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, October 20, 2005–January 5, 2006. Courtesy of Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and artists. 

  • Installation view, Modest Sublime, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, October 20, 2005–January 5, 2006. Courtesy of Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and artists. 


Exhibition

Oct 20, 2005 – Jan 5, 2006
Level 1

Modest Sublime features work from artists Sarah Bedford, Ann Craven, Brady Dollarhide, Bart Domburg, Todd Hebert, Laura Stein, and Debora Warner. The exhibiton is curated by Lelia Amalfitano. 

This group exhibition confronts the contradictory relationships contemporary culture constructs which are internalized as part of our concept of nature and the ideal of landscape – both as a genre and in terms of direct experience. Monk by the Sea, and Ansel Adams’ grand scenic vistas of the American West to the abstract works of Barnett Newman and his essay “The Sublime is Now,” from the New Topographic photographers of the 70’s to the contemporary New Romantic photographers, the tradition of the grand romantic landscape as transcendent and sublime has been transformed through the post modern filter. Transformed perhaps from the ecstatic, aesthetic experience but still haunting our engagement with the art object.

Over the past three years painting has continued to assert itself as a remarkably flexible medium. It has emerged from the most recent cycle of death and rebirth forever changed, self conscious of its history and with new, occasionally more modest, ambitions.  Revitalized, painting has once again embraced its traditional areas of discourse, including narrative, history, and landscape. The works of the artists included redefine what contemporary landscape painting can be and recognize that landscapes are a hybrid of both nature and culture. In this more intimate universe the artists present Nature as object, reflecting desire and as both ideal and the real. Their approaches range from the philosophical to the quirky, the playful to the horrific. The styles also reflect the energy and range of contemporary painting. The painterly techniques employed include photorealism, surrealism, the decorative and the experimental merging iconography with memories, nature with pop culture.  All continue to question the function of images. Collectively and individually the works selected question how modes of representation mediate individual experience. Several of the artists share a playful juxtaposition of nature and artifice to destabilize our sense of place.


Sarah Bedford

Bedford’s unconventional uses of painterly techniques in her iconic American vistas and mythical forests blend an unsettling combination of tragedy and longing with humorous folly. Bedford received her BFA from Cooper Union and studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has had solo exhibitions at Bellwether (New York) and her work has been shown at the National Academy of Design and the Parrish Museum in New York. Bedford lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Ann Craven

Craven explores the nature of representation and reproduction and our willingness to embrace reproductions as lived experience in the natural world. Her images of nature, taken from manipulated reproductions of nature, present us with a reality simultaneously sweet and absurd. Craven received her BFA from Massachusetts Collage of Art, Boston and her MFA from Columbia University, New York. She has had solo exhibitions in Boston and New York and her work has been shown at the Norton Museum of Art; the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami.  Her honors include selection for the Sixth Annual Altoids Curiously Strong Collection. Her work is represented in private, museum, and corporate collections. Craven lives and works in New York, NY.

Brady Dollarhide

Meticulous and seductive, the painting of Brady Dollarhide expands the psychological tensions of personal relationships to the complex friction between the human and the natural enviroment. Dollarhide was born in Oklahoma, studied at the New York Studio Program, and received his BFA from the Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL in 1997. He has had solo exhibitions at Jessica Murray Projects (New York) and Mars Gallery (Tokyo). His work has been reviewed by the New York Times, Village Voice, and Art & Antiques. Dollarhide lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Bart Domburg

Domburg paints portraits that explore the special meaning of a place, layered with potential revealed through its history and personal experience. Domburg has had solo exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Milan and Amsterdam. His work was included in the touring exhibition "Close Up" at the Kunstverein Hanover, Kunstverein Freiburg, Kunsthaus Baselland, 2000-01. Domburg lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin.

Todd Hebert

Hebert's paintings are a deadpan brand of photorealistic surrealism merging iconography with memories. Hebert received his MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998. His honors include residencies at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Core Program in Houston. Hebert shows with Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles and Bellwether Gallery in New York. He received the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum's 2005 Emerging Artist Award and will have a solo exhibition opening there in October.

Laura Stein

Stein's works on paper are 2 dimensional versions of her living 3 dimensional interventions that play with the delicate tips in balance between nature, culture, technology and fantasy. Stein received her BFA from the California Institute for the Arts. She has had solo exhibitions at PS 1 (New York) and Basilico Fine Arts (New York) and has installed a public commission at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany.  Her work is represented in numerous private, museum, and corporate collections and has been reviewed by the New York Times, Art in America, and Kunstforum. Stein lives and works in New York, NY.

Debora Warner

Warner's audio, video and sculptural works destabilize our sense of trust in the function of images and questions our experience of both nature and representation. She studied at Empire State College, Studio Program, New York. Warner’s work has been exhibited in New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dijon, Geneva and Tokyo. Her work has been reviewed by Flash Art, the New Yorker, the Village Voice, and the Art Newspaper. She lives and works in New York, NY.

Lelia Amalfitano

Originally from New York, Amalfitano has worked as a curator in Boston and New York since 1983. Amalfitano received her BFA from California Institute of the Arts and her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. As director of exhibitions and public programs at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1986 to 1999, Amalfitano curated numerous exhibitions of internationally recognized and emerging contemporary artists including: Self/Made Self/Conscious: Janine Antoni and Bruce Nauman; Between Intuition and Reason: Jonathan Lasker and Saint Clair Cemin; Changing Context: Richard Artschwager and John Baldessari; Undercurrents: Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois and Robert Morris; and co-curated the 1990 traveling exhibition New Territory: Art from East Germany. She has organized solo exhibitions of work by Carroll Dunham, Dan Graham, Gary Hill, Alix Pearlstein, Laura Stein, Diana Thater, Gillian Wearing and Terry Winters, among others. She has also presented the New England premier of new works by artists such as Matthew Barney. Recent local exhibitions she has curated include Jane and Louise Wilson, for the List Visual Arts Center at MIT; and Impostures: Clay Ketter and George Stoll and Candida Hofer, The Psychology of Space, for the Rose Art Museum.