Irvine Contemporary is pleased to announce Introductions3, a selection of recent graduates from leading national and international art schools. This third year of Introductions at Irvine Contemporary is the first gallery exhibition of its kind. Over 250 artists from 60 different art colleges were reviewed for Introductions3, and final selections were made with the advice of a panel of art collectors, rather than curators or gallerists. Introductions3 has grown to an inclusive “MFA annual” that brings the best rising artists to Washington, D.C. Participating artists are listed below with their most recent college or institute affiliation.
Maura Q Brewer (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sculpture and Drawings) presents a series of sculptures and drawings that reconcieve the materials of work and authority. In her works, tuxedo shirts or men’s business shirts are appropriated for the way they encode one type of social status or authority, but folding and ironing these materials transform the symbols of men’s culture into a new kind of architecture through traditionally “invisible” women’s work.
Amy Chan (Rhode Island School of Design, Paintings) presents a series of paintings that portray "new ecosystems" created in America by the close crowding of human development and nature . Using patterned motifs and visual fragments from highway scenes, her work re-envisions the landscape coming to terms with suburban sprawl. Amy Chan also has a Fellowship with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts this year.
Lauren Clay ( Virginia Commonwealth University, Sculpture and Installation) presents sculptures and drawings that move inherited minimalist forms into organic space where they seem to give birth to new self-generating forms. Her sculptures are carefully constructed from cut paper and painted with acrylic, and provide a feminine expansion on minimalist geometry and solidity of objects. Her objects combine ideas from architecture and organic form in innovative ways.
Katie Lewis ( California College of the Arts, San Francisco, Sculpture and Installation) presents three-dimensional works with pins, thread, enamel, and mylar that provide visual maps of sensations, nervous systems, and information networks envisioned as swarms and dense information nodes. Starting as maps for recording sensations and information, her works present new visualizations of the invisible flows of sensation and information we experience every day.
Akemi Maegawa (Cranbrook Institute, Sculptures and Installation) presents both ceramic sculptures and an installation project, both of which transform common objects with new contexts and content. Her “Artist’s Studio,” with each object wrapped in white felt, creates new volumes of space for objects ordinarily unnoticed. The artist studied for her BFA at Corcoran College, and after completing her MFA at Cranbrook, has returned to Washington, D.C. where she now lives and works.
Rocky McCorkle (San Francisco Art Institute, Photographs), presents a series of hyperreal photographs shot with large format negatives that play with the language of film stills and glossy magazine ads. The highly composed images present a narrative about the central characters’ real and imagined lives that mix fact and fantasy, branding and symbolism in a thoroughly captivating fictional world.
Sarah Mizer ( Virginia Commonwealth University, Sculpture and Installation) composes elegant text-based works in glass, using light and shadow to re-envision words, lines, and columns of text. With our common metaphors of writing, texts, and illumination resonating in the background, the artist’s compositions open up a reflective and meditative space around writing and words as sculptural and three-dimensional forms.
Ryan Pierce ( California College of the Arts, San Francisco, Paintings) presents a series of paintings that depict an imagined “ecoregion,” landscapes viewed not by political or national boundaries but by a spectrum of human impact on an environment. The scenes are images of possible post-industrial worlds that may lean at times, or even simultaneously, toward utopian or dystopian states.
Izel Vargas ( University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Paintings) presents paintings that capture the experiences of hybrid border culture in his home region of South Texas. The artist considers his works to be hybrid desmadres, a slang term which can mean “chaos” as well as the more literal “motherless.” His works appropriate and mix images from the pop cultures of both mainstream Americana and the Latino community, creating a new space he calls “a home away from home.”
Erin Colleen Williams ( Virginia Commonwealth University, Sculpture and Installation) creates hybrid objects that draw from imaginary machines and technology both past and present. The artist explores questions of biology, mortality, memory, desire, and the body, and presents works that seem to be impossible machines from the past that also reflect today’s obsessions. As if recovered by a Victorian time machine, the sculptures are both the lost and latest devices for augmenting human organs and enhancing pleasure and perception.
Stephanie Williams & Jesse Thompson (Rhode Island School of Design, Video) present a collaborative video project based on a child’s private mythology and imaginary world created from reading the Bible and a fragment of overheard parents’ conversation. Using sets and animation, the artists create a convincing alternate reality seen from a child’s point of view.