Gallery Talk by noted New York sculptor Kate Clark, one of the artists featured in ANIMATOPOAEA: A MOST PECULIAR (POST MODERN) BESTIARY
The exhibit is an amusing and engaging exploration of animal imagery through the works of 19 contemporary artists.
Gallery Talk on Saturday, February 23 at 11 a.m.
Exhibit runs through March 2. Free and open to the public. Exhibit Hours: Monday and Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 12 to 8 p.m.
The Galleries at Cleveland State University 1307 Euclid Ave. in the Cowell and Hubbard building.
Kate Clark lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her sculptures synthesize the human face and the body of wild animals – leaping, running, crouching. She utilizes animal hides in her work while shaving the skin to create human-looking skin and features. In Clark's view, the lifestyle of modern humans does not allow for much physical interaction with wild animals, yet we continue to be fascinated by characteristics we no longer see in ourselves, including fierceness, instinctiveness and purity.
"When encountering my sculptures, the viewer is faced with a lifelike fusion of human and animal that investigates which characteristics separate us within the animal kingdom, and more importantly, which unite us," Clark explains. "The sculptures visually, emotionally and intellectually explore this overlap."
In addition to exhibits throughout the United States, her work is collected internationally and is in public collections such as the David Roberts Art Foundation in London and the C-Collection in Switzerland. Clark attended Cornell University for her BFA and Cranbrook Academy of Art for her MFA. She has been awarded fellowships from the Jentel Artists Residency in Wyoming, The Fine Arts Work Center Residency in Provincetown, Mass. and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program in New York.
Her sculptures have been featured in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Art21:Blog, The Village Voice, PAPERmag, The Atlantic, NYArts, Arte Mondadori, Hi Fructose, the BBC World News Brazil, Hey! magazine and other publications.
For more information, call 216-687-2103 or visit www.csuohio.edu/artgallery.
Background on the exhibit:
This unusual exhibition explores animal imagery in the works of 19 contemporary artists and is based on an obscure list of categories of animals in a groundbreaking book on Postmodernist thought, The Order of Things by Michel Foucault, the postmodern thinker and social theorist. A quote by the Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges claims that the list came from a translation from an ancient Chinese encyclopedia. The list divides all animals into one of 14 categories:
"The works in this exhibition comprise a collection that will, it is hoped, edify, amuse, and engage, and bring some light to the darker recesses of the human imagination," says Robert Thurmer, Director of The Galleries. "With this 'most peculiar' list of categories as a starting point, curator Omid Tavakoli brings together works that strangely echo the unfamiliar ideas presented in the 'list.'
"Whereas each artist has a unique take on animals as a subject in their art, the exhibition as a whole presents a certain mood of postmodern anxiety and uncertainty that is reflective of the state of contemporary culture," Thurmer added.
"We live in a moment of history when the natural world seems both fragile and furious – imperiled, cornered, doomed; torn apart by climate change, invasive species, genetic engineering, culture wars, the clash of civilizations, depletion of natural resources, and global anxiety expressed in post apocalyptic scenarios. We expect mutants and zombies to populate our future and we have a keen sense that we might end up in the caves from which our distant ancestors emerged."