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Press Releases

December 17, 2012

University Art Museum to host Day After Day: The Diaristic Impulse

On view February 5 through April 6, 2013

Artists’ Reception: Tuesday, February 12, 5-7pm

Public Program: Tuesday, March 5, 7 pm
Reading by fiction writer Ed Schwarzschild, whose short story will appear in the exhibition catalogue.

Free and open to the public.

ALBANY, NY--- The University Art Museum is pleased to present Day After Day: The Diaristic Impulse, a group exhibition featuring Guy Ben-Ner, Simon Evans, Ray Hamilton, Byron Kim, Meridith McNeal, Laurel Nakadate, David Shapiro, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Harvey Tulcensky, and Martin Wilner. The obsessive desire to record day-to-day activities, document private worlds, or chart the passage of time is reflected in work that serves as either a staging ground for more ambitious projects, or as an end in itself. At times confessional in tone, and presented in a range of media from journals and sketchbooks to video and painting, these artists draw upon self-imposed rituals, secret narratives, and personal longings to give tangible form to fleeting ideas, experiences, and emotions. Some artists present themselves as subject through self-portraiture, personal effects, or actual diaristic texts. Other artists look outward for inspiration, using history and current events to create personal chronicles of the larger world.

Guy Ben-Ner’s video Stealing Beauty (2007) documents the artist’s family performing daily activities (without permission) in IKEA stores around the world. Recorded over a two-year period, the store's showrooms serve as a backdrop to these surreptitious, absurdist, and ultimately subversive acts.

Simon Evans lays bare his anxieties in delicate text-based works that are collaged and assembled from prosaic materials that include found paper, Scotch tape, colored pencil, and Wite-Out. His detailed lists, charts, diagrams, inventories, diary entries, and imaginary cosmologies are part of an obsessive (read: futile) quest to remember absolutely everything.

Self-taught artist Ray Hamilton (1919–1996) continued to draw with his opposite hand after suffering a debilitating stroke at age seventy-one. Seeking out objects that were within reach—apples, lemons, cups, raisin boxes, Oreo cookies, hands and feet–– he traced and filled them in with repetitive marks and incised, often agitated lines. His drawing pad became the container for his experiences, the space in which he could organize and account for his increasingly confined world.

Byron Kim's Sunday Paintings, begun in 2001, are a record of the daytime sky from wherever the artist finds himself each Sunday. A diaristic entry, along with location and time of day, appears directly over the image. Lined up on the wall, the paintings take on a cinematic quality––still frames in an ongoing film. Kim will send a new Sunday Painting to the University Art Museum each week during the run of the exhibition.

Meridith McNeal’s life-size ink and watercolor paintings of window views from her studio at the American Academy in Rome were completed during a 2010 residency. Part window, part interior, they document the studio’s views at different times of day from each of its eight windows. With straightforward immediacy, McNeal captures the spaces that she occupies and commits them to permanent memory.

Laurel Nakadate’s series of photographs from 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears (2011), documents a performance in which she photographed herself before, during, and after weeping each day from January 1 through December 31, 2010. Her performance was a disciplined, durational exercise that required her to "take part in sadness each day" during the normal course of her life. This exhibition features several large Type-C prints from the series.

 David Shapiro’s year-long drawing project, Money Is No Object,includes thousands of meticulously rendered bills, checks, stubs, and receipts—all rendered by the artist's fastidious hand in ink, colored pencil, and gouache on twelve vellum scrolls (two of which are on view). Shapiro’s willingness to record the paper-based minutiae surrounding his day-to-day life could be viewed as a form of self-flagellation––or as an affirming and elegant gesture, a testament to existence itself.

Rirkrit Tiravanija‘s monumental print project, Untitled 2008–2011 (the map of the land of feeling) I–III,consists of three scrolls, each three feet high and eighty-four feet long. Running in a continuous strip through the middle of all three scrolls is a digital copy of the artist’s passports from 1988 to 2008. Surrounding imagery such as diary excerpts, arrows, time zones, recipes, maps, and other ephemera reflect Tiravanija‘s ongoing quest to connect quotidian experience to a larger discourse about social patterns and exchange.

Harvey Tulcensky’s Notebook Project brings together over 20 accordion journals filled end-to-end with densely hatched ink lines. His obsessive marks become the literal means by which he marks time and imbeds the rhythm of his days onto the page. The journals are stacked and pinned directly to the wall, forming an inter-connected single unit in which the shifting density of lines and the physicality of the pleated pages form an undulating mural-like installation.

Martin Wilner's pen, ink, and graphite drawings center on two ongoing projects: The Journal of Evidence Weekly and Making History. In the former, Wilner fills small sketchbooks with portraits of people he notices on the subway in New York on his way to and from his practice as a psychiatrist. In the latter, he fills in each box of a calendar with a drawing from that day's newspaper. Using elements of cartoon, calligraphy, cartography, and Surrealism, he departs from the standard reading of events to reconstruct stories of personal interest.

            Day After Day is curated by the University Art Museum’s Associate Director, Corinna Ripps Schaming and is documented in a fully-illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by art critic, Claire Barliant, and a newly-commissioned short story by fiction writer Edward Schwarzschild.

 The exhibition is underwritten by a generous gift from Kathryn Zox MSW ’83. Related events and publications are supported by grants from University Auxiliary Services and the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.

Museum programs are made possible with support from the UAlbany Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation.

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For more information, call (518) 442-4038

MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday, 10am-8pm; Wednesday – Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday, noon – 4pm.


Media contact: Naomi Lewis, Exhibition & Outreach Coordinator, nlewis@albany.edu


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