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Press Releases September 16, 2013

Fall Exhibitions Feature works by Kate Gilmore and Suzanne McClelland at the University Art Museum

Kate Gilmore: A Tisket, A Tasket
Suzanne McClelland: Furtive Gesture_CEDEpart2>
October 18 through December 14, 2013

Artists’ Reception: Friday, October 18, 6 - 8 PM
Artists’ Gallery Talk: Friday, October 18, 5 PM
Exhibition Tours: Saturday, October 19, 11 AM and 1 PM
Free and open to the public.


ALBANY, NY--- The University Art Museum is pleased to present new work by Kate Gilmore and Suzanne McClelland in two concurrent exhibitions this fall.   

Kate Gilmore: A Tisket, A Tasket

As the sole protagonist in her performative videos, Kate Gilmore struggles to overcome absurd and manufactured challenges—climbing out of holes, jumping rope in heels, squeezing out of tight spots. Her performances share a lineage with time-based "endurance" work of the 1970s, such as that of Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, and expand on feminist and performance art in the tradition of Joan Jonas and Marina Abramovic. Like these artists Gilmore uses her body to explore physical limits and social norms.  Performing in prim dresses and the right shoes, Gilmore adds a comedic element to her exertions underscoring the conflicted social messages that women navigate on a daily basis.

This exhibition will bring together seven key works on video and a newly commissioned performance, displayed in the gallery as both video projection and large-scale sculptural installation.

For A Tisket, A Tasket Gilmore will be videotaped in a private performance in which she will push baskets filled with paint around an 8-foot high maze-like climbing structure complete with spiral ramps. As she moves up the ramp, the baskets will slowly release the paint, creating spontaneous "drawings" on the surface of the climbing structure. The structure is designed in response to the open verticality of the museum's first floor gallery allowing the video to be shot from above resulting in a visually flattened space that fills the camera frame. Shot in one take, Gilmore is in full command of the video’s compositional integrity. The final outcome of her performance, on the other hand, is an unknown variable.

In referencing art historical actions and forms such as the Abstract Expressionist “drip” and the Minimalist monolith, Gilmore's A Tisket, A Tasket presents a comic send-up with serious undertones of the persistent stereo-types and heroic myths still used to define artistic merit.  Equally resonant is her use of physical comedy in the tradition of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. Playing off the machinations that these comics pursue in their efforts to garner attention, achieve success, make things right, Gilmore says,” I often think about Lucille Ball's assembly-line scene [in the “chocolate factory” episode of  “I Love Lucy”], where she’s trying to put everything together but the conveyor belt is going too fast for her to keep up. She needs to improvise. This scene seems to sum up a lot of my work. Starting out with a logic––this should work!––no matter how absurd, and then through the process everything gets out of whack, and it’s my job to fix it.” 

Kate Gilmore was born in Washington D.C. in 1975 and lives and works in New York. Her work has been exhibited at the 2010 Whitney Biennial; the Brooklyn Museum; The Kitchen; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Bryant Park (Public Art Fund); White Columns; Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati; Artspace; The J. Paul Getty Museum; The Rose Art Museum; and PS1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center. Gilmore has been the recipient of several international awards and honors, such as the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Award for Artistic Excellence, the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance, The LMCC Workspace Residency, New York Foundation for The Arts Fellowship, and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Residency. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art; the Brooklyn Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color brochure with an interview by Suzanne McClelland.

Suzanne McClelland: Furtive Gesture_CEDEpart2
Suzanne McClelland is best known for incorporating language with vivid abstract compositions. Fusing energetic scrawls, drips, and splashes of paint with “found” dialogue and fragments of overheard conversations, she turns on end the context in which language is perceived and meaning is formed. 

For this exhibition, McClelland continues her interest in giving visual form to the language and gestures that influence political and social exchange. Riffing off the word cede and its homonym seed, McClelland's hybrid presentation considers the many ways in which power shifts, separates, and grows. As in all her work, this newly conceived installation can be "read" on many levels and is meant to be experienced in a physically immersive way. It begins with a wide chalk board band that spans the circumference of the museum's second floor gallery and serves as a ground for over 300 poster-size inkjet prints, paintings, and spontaneous chalk drawings mounted in accumulated layers. The whole piece is splayed out at eye level like an unbound book so that one must actually walk the circle in order to read it.

Culling freely from a vast archive of contemporary source material, McClelland mixes words, images, and mediums in an unfolding rumination on the unruly, yet often calculated machinations that fuel our public life. Interspersed throughout the installation are multiple definitions and foreign translations of the word cede painted directly on the wall in McClelland's characteristic hand, excerpts from  Ann Landers’ The Ten Commandments of How to Get Along with People, and names of  top rappers of the 20th-century. Also included are a host of found images: handshakes between political leaders, pointing fingers of iconic figures throughout history, digitally merged portraits based on photographs of public figures with seemingly nothing in common—like Tammy Faye Baker and Newt Gingrich. McClelland deftly combines these unlikely pairings into singular images that zero in on shared hand gestures, rather than individual facial features further thwarting conventional readings of celebrity and power.

At the conclusion of the installation, one enters the museum’s Liddle Gallery where Carry On (2011), McClelland's video collaboration with artist Theresa Friess is projected onto a draped scrim originally from Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Combining an array of soundtracks and film footage including a music video by the early female rap artists Bytches With Problems performing "We Want Money" and Hans Namuth and Paul Falkenberg's documentary Jackson Pollock 51, McClelland’s Carry On underscores thematic connections related to language, mark, and physical gesture that are at the core of her installation presented in the museum’s main gallery.

Suzanne McClelland was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1959 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Every Inch of my Love at Team Gallery in New York City (2013); STrAY at University of Virginia Art Museum in Charlottesville, Virginia (2013); left at Sue Scott Gallery in New York City (2011); Scratch at Shane Cambell Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2010); and TOY at Galerie Andres Thalmann in Zurich, Switzerland (2010). Selected group exhibitions include Frieze Art Fair New York at Shane Cambell Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2013); NYC 1993 Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Starat The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City (2013); Kind of Blue at Larissa Goldston Gallery in New York City (2012); Loughelton Revisited, curated by Barbara Broughel at Winkleman Gallery in New York City (2012); Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts atAmerican Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City (2012); and Art from the Heart atWeatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina (2012).

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color brochure with an interview by Kate Gilmore.


The exhibitions and related publications are made possible with major support from the UAlbany Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, University Auxiliary Services, and the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. Special thanks to the UAlbany Performing Arts Center for their generosity in loaning equipment for this exhibition.

Museum Hours: Tuesday 10 am – 8 pm; Wednesday through Friday, 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday noon – 4 pm. Expanded Homecoming Weekend Hours: Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20, 11 am – 4 pm. Closed Thursday, November 28.

For further information on exhibitions and programs, call (518) 442-4035.



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


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