Since December 2010, Culturehall has published quarterly New Artists Features. Selected from our seasonal open call for applications, four new Culturehall members are highlighted in each issue. Participating artists work in a broad spectrum of genres and media, with every New Artists Feature reflecting a diverse collection of artistic practices. From our latest spring session it is our honor to introduce the work of Ryan Thompson, Thomas Berding, Jennifer Smoose and Hyounsang Yoo.
Ryan Thompson became acquainted with the Petrified Forest National Park while pursuing the relationship of geologic ephemera and superstitious or occult understandings of natural phenomena. As is the case with natural resources from many protected lands, the taking of petrified wood from the Arizona-based park is frequently considered to produce bad luck. While visitors remove several tons of fossilized remains each year, some petrified wood is returned, many times with a 'conscience letter'. The specifics of the letters differ, but each directly attributes misfortune to the ill-gotten stones. Thompson's book Bad Luck, Hot Rocks will be the first time a collection of conscience letters has been made public from the park's 80 year-old archive. Paired with original photographs of the returned 'bad luck rocks', each written document provides a private glimpse into regret.
In his recent series of works, Thomas Berding explores the fissures formed by duality. Often these spaces emerge from well-defined systems as they become modified through use. Much like the walking paths carved through grass by repeated straying from official sidewalks — as experienced in his painting Blue Plate, Bearding's process weaves a self-reflexive journey based on patterns of harmony and divergence through the post-industrial landscape. Each canvas functions as a palimpsest of sorts, oscillating between presentation of the act of forming into a state or condition with the display of the work asserting itself as a crystalized whole.
Based in a desire for greater knowledge, Jennifer Smoose employs a variety of media to create experiences that involve subjects generally reserved for science. The sculptural work Self-Portrait for Hubble, presents what appears to be a device for some manner of viewing. While perched upright on several legs, the apparatus is not a telescope but a means of seeing like the Hubble. Even though the lens diameter for the space telescope is almost 8 feet across, it observes just a small patch of sky equivalent to a 1 centimeter square held at an arms length from the viewer's eye. Utilizing the artist's bodily measurements in creating the sculpture, those interacting with her piece can engage the large open end to view, in quantity, what the artist would see as the Hubble.
In a world ever more inundated by information through technological means, Snider Prize recipient Hyounsang Yoo turns the digital formula of representation into physical objects. His recent work C, LC, VM, VLM, Y, LK, LLK, PK and MK, captures a moment without mediation. An image photographically created on an extremely frigid mid-western night, Yoo's large-scale construction brings the practice of studio photography out into the landscape. Uncontrollable elements like temperature and wind were of critical importance in taming the simultaneous release of smoke. A reflection on process — each cloudlike pillar mimics the individual colors found in contemporary digital photographic printers including the Epson Stylus Pro 11880 that was used to produce the print.
David Andrew Frey is a New York-based artist, curator, and technologist. He founded Culturehall to connect artists with curators, gallerists, collectors and artists. David received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also studied at the Camberwell College of Art in London, the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Recently David has curated exhibitions in New York of work by Culturehall artists for Ligne Roset, the Big Screen Plaza, and Cindy Rucker Gallery.