Curated by Amanda Church and Courtney J. Martin
Katinka Ahlbom, Rina Banerjee, Nicole Carstens, Jennifer Coates, Leslie Hewitt and Antoine Touze, Christopher K. Ho and Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock, Marc Hulson, David Humphrey, Jennie C. Jones, Lisa Mordhorst, Johan Nobell, Esther Planas, Nadine Robinson, Julie Sass, and Gang Zhao
Exhibition Dates: June 5– June 27, 2004
With the horizon line as its guiding force, this show of seventeen international artists presents a complex spectrum of perspectives on the concept of landscape. In traditional landscape, the horizon is a constant, functioning both as formal infrastructure and as a signifier of the ineffable. In Sunrise Sunset, through expanded notions of the horizon line, landscape is abstracted, suggesting a mutable vastness and myriad sublime associations. Through this cohesion of painting, photography, sculpture, sound, and video installations, the horizon is both line and curve with intimations of mysticism, reverie, and the unattainable.
British artist Mark Hulson paints ambiguous, otherworldly depictions of what appear to be vistas on another planet, while Katinka Ahlbom dislocates the known/unknown realm of landscape by bisecting the boundaries that expand the limits of our earthly imagination. Lisa Mordhorst's photographic diptych in black and white conveys a vision of simultaneous beauty and dissolution.
Jennifer Coates' whimsy-infected landscapes are made up of abstract jumbles of shape and color, punctuated by bits of flora or industrial debris. In a similar vein, Johan Nobell's small cartoon-like paintings depict post-apocalyptic worlds of cheerful desolation. Nobell's paintings provide the perfect foil for David Humphrey's coyly disturbing "Sno-Boy" which stages a winter wonderland where rivers run deep brown and strange creatures form unfathomable bonds. Esther Planas' teenage dreamscapes also conjure the excess and euphoria of fantasy, replete with frolicking creatures such as swans and unicorns.
Formally and intellectually rigorous, Julie Sass' striped paintings create temporal connections, referring both to the possibilities of landscape, urban planning, and architecture. As a balance to Sass's structure, Gang Zhao's painterly fragments of Chinese architecture evoke a dream-like vision of geography and nation. Rina Banerjee's installation also explores nation, through the colonial
ideal of travel and the simultaneous appeal and conquest of the other through both space and commodity.
In a different mode, another installation by Christopher Ho, with collaborator Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock, forces the ideal of Minimalism toward a single horizontal line, suggesting a meeting of sky and land but remaining nonspecific enough to perform as pure geometry. Nadine Robinson echoes Ho's conceptual interest in minimalism and geometric structure. Her installation of a surface plane, accompanied by a soundtrack, evokes an indistinct technological field, which visually vacillates between being a sound wave and futuristic landscape. Sound also reinforces shifts in atmospheric perspective in Jennie Jones' work, which romances strict formal line and complexly layered aural density.
Both Leslie Hewitt (with collaborator Antoine Touze) and Nicole Carstens provide a jarring spark of medium-specific realism. Hewitt's video challenges the farce of spatial division created by land and city scapes, while Carstens' ethereal color photographs taken from and framed by the confinement of an airplane window dispel and condense the myths of perspective and atmosphere.