Colleges to Host First of Four Art Exhibitions Scheduled for the Spring Semester – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Colleges to Host First of Four Art Exhibitions Scheduled for the Spring Semester

An exhibition featuring the work of German artist Rainer Wehner opens the season at the Colleges. Exhibitions by regional artists, student artists, and a national exhibition titled “H2O” will follow.

January 10, 2003 Geneva, N.Y.– The Hobart and William Smith Colleges Department of Art announces the four exhibitions scheduled for the spring semester. The first, an installation of sculpture and graphic works by German artist Rainer Maria Wehner titled “Intimacies,” is comprised of two freestanding sculptures, three wall pieces, and three drawings and will be shown in the Colleges’ Houghton House Gallery. Wehner will present a lecture on his work beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 in Houghton House room 212, and following the lecture an opening reception will be held in the Gallery from 6 until 8 p.m. that will include the reading of a poem composed for this exhibition, titled “Look at the White Wall,” by local author Josephine Clare. These events are free and the public is invited to attend.

Raised in Bamberg, Germany, Wehner most recently has lived in Berlin. His formal art training is from the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Wehner’s work can be found in many museums and public collections in Germany as well as Japan and the United States. Themes in his deeply personal pieces include references that are autobiographical as well as responses to cultural and historical changes in his homeland. It has been written about Wehner’s work:

“Through a thoughtful union of traditional and contemporary aesthetics, he successfully weaves ancient mythological/religious narratives with histories from the second half of the twentieth century and offers viewers considerable substance for reflection.”

The multi-media works included in the exhibition incorporate steel tubing, florescent lights and scintigrams that are large body scans similar to X-rays. They were created in 2000 and 2002 during residencies at Sculpture Space, an international artist-in-residence program in Utica, N.Y. Sculpture Space is a unique artist-run organization dedicated to providing workspace, equipment, and technical support to emerging and mid-career artists working in sculpture. Since 1976, more than 300 artists from 14 countries and the U.S. have created new work that is exhibited in galleries, museums and sculpture parks worldwide. While in the area Wehner has served as guest lecturer at Hamilton College, Syracuse University, and Pratt at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica.

Clare is an accomplished poet and translator who developed an association with Rainer when asked to translate from German to English a written piece on the artist’s work. Clare, also a native of Germany, was born in Gammertingen, a southwestern village near Stuttgart. She was educated in Germany and Austria, and has a long list of publications to her name. Most recently she has written a book of poems titled “Twelve,” published by Potato Clock Signatures of Boulder, Colo. The book is dedicated to the memory of her son Hannes Hollo.

The Department of Art has also announced three subsequent exhibitions. From Feb. 12 to Mar. 24 (opening reception on Friday, Feb. 14) the Houghton House Gallery will feature the works of regional artists in a show titled “re/order.” The exhibition collects the work of 14 contemporary artists who disassemble and recombine images and ideas to make beautiful and compelling works that help us reconsider the symbolic power of the visual world. A broad survey, “re/order” includes artists working in styles from the surreal to the conceptual, and in media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, digital imaging, and artist’s books. The participating artists are: Shelle Barron, F’loom, Chuck Haas, Joe Tatana, Jonathan Kirk, Karen Kunc, Mitchell Messina, Deborah Muirhead, Zerbe Sodervick, Buzz Spector, Allen Topolski, Susan Weisand, Jonas Wood, and Walter Zimmerman.

Beginning on Friday, March 28 and running through April 21 (opening reception on April 4), the Gallery will house the national exhibition “H2O.” “H2O” is an exhibition focusing on water and the human body — water contained in our bodies and the water that contains our bodies, actual ponds, rivers, bathtubs, as well as bodies of water that populate our dreams and imaginations. Organized by Jo Anna Isaak, professor of art at the Colleges since 1984, this exhibition features the work of 23 artists including the photographs by Mark Jones, associate professor of art at the Colleges.

The 2002-'03 exhibition season closes with the annual Student Art Exhibition from April 25 through May 4 (opening reception Friday, April 25). Works for the exhibition are selected by faculty from the classes they teach during the academic year. Represented in the show will be painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, digital imagery, and design work that includes architecture and furniture design.

More information about the exhibitions will be made available throughout the semester.

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