Walsh Gallery

Grounded

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Dates: Oct 13 2006 - Nov 25 2006

Opening Reception: Oct 13 2006

"Grounded" examines art that deals with the concept of immobility across mediums. The exhibit will feature installation by Von Kommanivanh, photography by Zhang Huan, sculpture by Wang Guangyi, digital print on canvas by Lin Tianmiao, and video by David Servoss. The opening reception will be held on Friday, October 13 from 5 to 8 pm.

A full scale airplane made by Von Kommanivanh is called "Ether." Although planes are made to fly, this one is on the ground without wings. The title "Ether" suggests an anesthetized state. However, the artist views his work as a tool to reach an elevated state of consciousness.The work balances these dualities between flight and immobility. Contrary to the artist's desire of flight, the artwork itself has some menacing notes such as the existence of a rifle. Kommanivanh, a Chicagoan who immigrated from Laos, is a former graffiti and tattoo artist. He turned to fine art as a way of finding more creative freedom. "Ether" can also be seen at the upcoming Bridge Art Fair in Miami, December 2006.

Zhang Huan's piece, "The Seeds of Hamburg" is a photo series documenting a performance piece. Zhang is generally acknowlegded as the father of Chinese performance art. In this performance, the artist was covered in honey and birdseed and sat in a screened cage full of doves. As the birds sensed their immobility they pecked at the seeds on the artist's body. Zhang has exhibited worldwide with such prestigious exhibitors as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and at the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

In "No. 2 Materialist (Man)," Beijing-based artist Wang Guangyi has created a sculptural icon of the Cultural Revolution. A figure from the Cultural Revolution holds a brush in his right hand toward the sky, full of zest and patriotism. The sculpture was created from the waist up; in other words, the artist has emasculated the figure. He has no real power since he has no legs or feet with which to move forward. This sculpture is one of a group originally displayed at the Guangzhou Trienniale (2002). Wang's work has been shown internationally, including in the 45th Venice Bienniale, the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland, and PS 1 in New York.

In Beijing-based artist Lin Tianmiao's digital print on canvas from the "Focus" series, a bald woman stares at you. Covering the image and the surface of the piece are a series of delicate strands of thread. The face is disembodied and its placid immobility is at once beautiful and disturbing. Lin Tianmiao's work has been included in exhibitions at the Smart Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and in the "About Beauty" exhibition at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. Her work was also displayed in both the Shanghai Bienniale and Guangzhou Trienniale in 2002.

New York-based artist David Servoss presents a video called David. In this piece, the artist, who can trace his lineage both to US President James Monroe and to the Chinese Imperial family, studies his own identity, heritage and name. David, refers not only to the artist's own name, but is a reflection on the Biblical tale of "David and Goliath." Servoss has transformed his camera into the proverbial stone of David's sling, and the artist himself becomes the young hero in the moment before the fateful throw. As the camera revolves and rotates on the end of David's string, the viewer is temporarily suspended in the critical moment of tension before release. The artist is still and swings the video camera around him. The resulting image is one of frenetic movement despite the reality of his actual immobility. Servoss has exhibited his work in both Chicago and New York, including at the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago.

Exhibition catalog available.

Contact gallery at 312.829.3312.