Cleveland State University
The Art Gallery at Cleveland State University

A Different World

Gallery C

Work in Gallery C

October 23 – November 10, 2009
A Different World

Gallery talk with the artist:
October 23 at 6:00 pm

Featuring works by self-taught visual artist, poet, and writer Virginia Konchan.

November 13 – December 5, 2009
A Thin Red Line
Artist talk and reception:
November 13 at 11:30 am

With works by Nez Perce artist Rachel Allen in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. Curated by Jeanne Grosetti. Cosponsored by CSU’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

November 14 at 12:00 noon
Family print art workshop with Rachel Allen and Jeanne Grosetti.

In this exercise each participant will have a piece of printfoam to make their own images, marks, or symbols that represent them or their family.  Each participant will print a piece to take home and share with family.

The larger collaborative project will be a large piece of paper that can represent the community of families or individuals that participated in the workshop. On this paper we will print each participant’s printfoam to make a community piece.

October 23 – November 10, 2009
Gallery talk with the artist: October 23 at 6:00 pm

Featuring works by self-taught visual artist, poet, and writer Virginia Konchan.

Artist Statement

I began painting regularly in 2008, while studying at Cleveland State in the MFA program for fiction. I had always been fascinated by multi-media and collage art, and either unable or unwilling to take a separatist stance between writing and visual art, in this regard. Assemblage and textual fragmentation, to me, are about the collision of worlds: historic and actual, visual and auditory, spoken and recited, among others. Cy Twombly and Pollock (to a lesser extent Rothko and Chagall) gave me my sense of how to frame an idea in space, while allowing for the intrusion of text into the visual sphere. I began solely with a very materialist kind of collage art, using anything from sand to shredded photographs (and much glue) as well as oils and acrylics, to create a kind of visual texture that sought to defy two-dimensionality without resorting to sculpture. (This description mirrors my writing process.) Visual art, for me, was as a way to challenge the disappearance or distortion of the figure (in the various schools or expressionism, and cubism, respectively), and also in postmodern poetry. In time, I moved from collage to representation. If I’d had any training in drawing, my figures would likely be proportional, as I am somewhat of a perfectionist (photorealism appeals very much to my sensibility). As it was, I didn’t, so the greater challenge to me was not so much that of representation but of foreground and background—I had to literally fight against two-dimensionality, as I had absolutely no idea how to create a representational plane, let alone a figure. Thus, the canvas for me became a vortex, and my attempts at representation an exercise in not falling into the vortex. What resulted was a kind of vertiginous assembly of emotive bodies in various states of dissemblance.

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