Woven Sticks by Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon
DANBURY, CONN. — Internationally acclaimed artists Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon will show selections from their year of creative exchanges by mail in an exhibition titled “?” that will run from Thursday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center Art Gallery at Western Connecticut State University.
Wrapped Rock by Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon
The works in the exhibition were inspired by the artists’ collaboration as co-authors of the book “?” published in 2017 by Atropos Press. An opening reception and artist talk for the show will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 25 in the VPAC Art Gallery on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The exhibition will be open for public viewing during gallery hours from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission for gallery viewing and the opening reception will be free and open to the public; reservations to attend the reception should be made online on the VPAC events web page at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com. The Art Gallery exhibition program is sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art with support from gallery patrons; donations to sustain the program will be accepted.
Goldberg, an artist who pursues his career at a studio in his native New York City, and Scoon, an artist, philosopher and educator residing in Pelham in western Massachusetts, created and mailed to each other a series of artistic objects over the course of a year. Neither knew when or how many objects they would receive. The works selected from this exchange present a conceptual and intentionally ambiguous exhibition exploring the nature of art, collaboration and ownership.
Goldberg and Scoon described the collaboration as “a direct confrontation to the obsession with borders, separation, power and status. When viewing the anonymous objects, the audience is able to experience their materiality and idea without the maker. The feeling of coming to a work for the very first time, unencumbered, is akin to the thrill of meeting a stranger.” The artists said that the process of collaboration and editing enabled them to see their work change “until the identity of the origin is erased, and a new condition emerges.”
The ”?” book that inspired the creative collaboration and exhibition presents the text of a continuing conversation between the two artists. The summary notes for the book described the conversation as a quest to “challenge themselves to articulate their questions and insights” covering a diversity of topics including “ownership, instability, nature, curiosity, language, contemporary art, ghosts, religion, fetish objects and consciousness.”
Reporting on the authors’ discussion of “?” last year at the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution School of Art, where both Goldberg and Scoon have served as visiting instructors, Adrianna Jereb wrote in the The Chautauqua Daily that their book “features selections from transcribed conversations between the two, but without identifying whether Scoon or Goldberg is the one speaking. The book also leaves room for interaction on the part of the reader, as all the pages on the left-hand side of the book are blank.”
Goldberg, recipient of an M.F.A. from Queens College at CUNY, has shown his works at more than 40 exhibitions across the United States and in Germany. Recent solo shows have been held at the New York Studio School and the Luther Brady Gallery in Washington, D.C. His works are held in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum and National Academy of Arts and Letters, all in New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C.; the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts; and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.
His numerous honors include grants from the Edward F. Albee and John Simon Guggenheim foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. Artist notes for his 2015 show at Betty Cunningham Gallery in New York observed that Goldberg draws inspiration from a culturally eclectic range of sources: “Goldberg’s compositions, consciously devoid of a narrative context, allow for the discovery of layered visual references ranging from the decorative arts to childhood imagination.” He currently teaches at Queens College and previously taught at the New York Studio School and the Cooper Union School of Art. He also is a visiting artist for the Master of Fine Arts program in the Department of Art at WCSU.
Scoon, who received an M.F.A. in Painting from American University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought from the European Graduate School, has participated in more than 40 solo and group exhibitions across the United States and in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, Ukraine and Iran. She has served as the John Berger Fellow at the European Graduate School since 2011, research professor at the Institute for Critical Philosophy in the Global Center for Advanced Studies since 2015, and adjunct professor at several colleges including WCSU. She also is the director of the Art and Philosophy Seminar program at the American Academy in Rome, where she also received a visiting artist appointment in 2015. In addition to “?’, she is also the author of “Quantum Art,” “Quantum Art (Second Edition): Mimesis, Uncertainty and the Infinite,” and “Conversations and Uncertainty.” Her research interests include contemporary art and the relationship of art to philosophy and science.
Scoon has received numerous recognitions including grants from the National Endowment for the Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts; an artist in residence scholarship at Scuola Grafica in Venice, Italy; and the Lugar Comum Art Residency in Lisbon, Portugal. She also has participated in art workshops in San Antonio, Texas; Kingston, New York; and Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
For more information, contact the WCSU Department of Art at (203) 837-8403.
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