Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey
20 Collaborations in Book Art
Saturday, February 15, 2014 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
at Art Gallery - Main Library First Floor
Come for the opening of 20 Collaborations in Book Art, an exhibit of 20 one-of-a-kind books by artists with a connection to Nashville.
PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Paul Bock ∙ Tim Brown ∙ Greg Chapman ∙ Claire Hampton
Alicia Henry ∙ Susan Hulme ∙ Jaron Jackson ∙ Melba Williams Kirk ∙ Rachel Kirk
Damon MacNaught ∙ Amanda McCadams ∙ Carrie McGee ∙ Sue Mulcahy ∙ Britt E. Stadig ∙ Robert Stadig ∙ Terry Thacker ∙ Scott Thom ∙ Lain York ∙ Mel Ziegler
ALSO IN THE EXHIBIT: Leslie Haines and Alan LeQuire
Contact: Nashville Public Library (615) 862-5800
Topical Areas: Featured, MAIN (Downtown)
Tags: Featured, Locations, location/Main (Downtown)
- See more at: http://events.library.nashville.org/cal/event/showEventMore.rdo#sthash.uozz88vg.dpuf
Lain York: Selection from the National Gallery January 31 - May 11, 2014
Nashville Artist Lain York Uses Abstract Vignettes to Link Historical Events to the Present in Frist Center Exhibition
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November, 2013)—Selections from the National Gallery, an exhibition of history-inspired works by Nashville artist Lain York, will be on view in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from January 31, 2013 through May 11, 2014. Employing a colorful visual shorthand, Mr. York invites viewers to think about the creative connections that shape our understanding of the continuing impact of American history.
The exhibition features a recent series of works relating to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and a 2012 series of vignettes inspired by David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize winning 2002 biography of founding father and second president of the United States John Adams. The works do not illustrate the book so much as provide a cryptic visual shorthand that defines the artist’s sense of the captions’ meanings and emotional resonance. Frist Center Chief Curator Mark Scala says, “Each body of works relates to the often combative circumstances that have marked partisan governance in the past, making more than a passing allusion to our current political dissonances.”
An avid reader of history, Mr. York is particularly interested in the notion of past as prologue. While reading the Adams biography during the 2012 presidential campaign, he was struck by the connection between the past and present. Mr. York comments:
“The underlying narrative of history, or the untold story that actually sets future events in motion, has been a consistent theme in my work. I have no wish to personally comment one way or the other, so I use the platform of an official archive, (which in most cases is anything but objective), to reinforce the thought of something larger than ourselves influencing the chains of events.”
The exhibition title Selections from the National Gallery is itself a reference to an ostensibly official museum record. To create his works, Mr. York relies on source material such as eighteenth and nineteenth-century documents, newspaper articles and engravings. His silhouetted figures wear period garb and pose in stiff pantomime. Titles such as Trashed in the Press, Battle on the Floor of Congress, and An XYZ Affair refer to political conflicts in which the artist perceives contemporary relevance. Yet his choice of stick-on vinyl—a cheap, elastic graphic material—as the primary medium, slyly counters the pomposity often contained in traditional history painting. “The works have a nonchalant sensibility,” says Mr. Scala. “The vinyl is often wrinkled or hangs loose, lending a quality of ephemerality, a lightening of the sense of dignity and scale that often marks history paintings as important.”
Known for creating works that hover between abstraction and representation, Mr. York is as concerned with figure-ground relationships, conversations in color and economy of form as he is with political ideas. He says:
“I really like the idea of giving the viewer a narrative source for abstraction. The hope is to draw the viewer in with imagery that might be recognizable with the added pay-off of specific references to American or European history sparking a conversation. I hope it helps to break down the conception that abstraction requires a working knowledge of the medium.”
The works of Selections from the National Gallery do not intend to teach lessons of the past, but rather remind us of the deep-rooted contentious nature of our democracy. “Beneath known histories are ghostly layers of triggering events and influential people that will never fully materialize even through a historian’s pen, and may only be brought into hazy view by an artist’s imagination,” says Mr. Scala.
About Lain York
Recognized as a vital member of and tireless advocate for the Nashville visual arts community, Lain York has been active as an artist since the 90s. He was a member of the Fugitive cooperative, which brought groundbreaking shows to Nashville, and introduced cutting edge work already being done here to the art-loving public. As current director of the Zeitgeist Gallery, he continues to influence the Nashville art scene.
Mr. York has exhibited in Tennessee at Cheekwood Museum of Art; Leu Gallery, Belmont University; the University of the South, Sewanee; and Zeitgeist Gallery; and elsewhere at Bolm Projects, Austin, Texas; Flood Projects, Asheville, NC; Tulca Arts Festival, Galway, Ireland; the University of Alabama Huntsville; and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. His artwork is in the collections of FirstBank Tennessee/Ayers Collection of Community; EMI Music, Los Angeles; St. Andrew's- Sewanee School, Sewanee; The Savannah College of Art and Design; Tennessee State Arts Commission; Tennessee State Museum; The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission; and Trans-Financial Bank, Nashville.
Mr. York earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1990. He is represented by Zeitgeist Gallery.
Related Public Programs
Friday, February 21* ARTini: Lain York: Selections from
7:00 p.m. the National Gallery Presented by Lain York
Meet at exhibition entrance
Gallery admission required, members free
Are you curious about art? Do you want to learn more about the content and concepts behind an artist’s work? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then the ARTini program is for you! ARTinis are designed for everyone—from the novice to the connoisseur—and include informal and insightful conversations that offer a deeper understanding of one or two works of art in an exhibition.
Join Mark Scala, the Frist Center’s chief curator, in a conversation about select works by Nashville-based artist Lain York that were inspired by nineteenth-century American history as presented through texts, political cartoons, newspaper articles, and engravings. Lain York: Selections from the National Gallery is on view in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery through May 11, 2014.
*This event will be offered again on Tuesday, February 25 at 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 27 Artist’s Tour: Lain York: Selections from
6:30 p.m. the National Gallery Presented by Lain York
Meet at exhibition entrance
Gallery admission required, members free
Nashville artist Lain York’s series Selections from the National Gallery was inspired by David McCullough’s biography of President John Adams. By rendering significant scenes in loosely hung, cut-vinyl silhouettes, York’s work brings humor and wit to an art historical genre steeped in pomp and circumstance—history painting. Join the artist for a discussion of his sources of inspiration and working methods in this gallery talk.
“Lain York: Selections from the National Gallery” at the University Art Gallery Oct. 25-Dec. 15 18 October 13
The University Art Gallery presents Lain York: Selections from the National Gallery, on view from Oct. 25 to Dec. 15. Silhouettes derived from 18th and 19th-century caricatures populate abstract fields of shiny, colored vinyl, inviting the viewer to imagine unfolding stories. Correction tape slices across wooden panels, evoking muddled paths and archeological digs. These playful, largely abstract images explore formal concerns, but also point to the subjective, constructed nature of historical record, and to the way the past echoes in the present.
York will present his work in conversation with Assistant Professor Jeff Thompson at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Convocation Hall. A reception will follow.
Inspired in part by resonances between the 2012 American presidential election campaigns and his reading about the first four American presidencies, in this exhibition York explores the idea of “a visual archive of collected images,” or “an information stream.” The silhouettes, extracted from their historical contexts, surface in these compositions as if from a collective memory, and are offered to the viewer for reinterpretation.
Constructed from ephemeral, “charmingly cheesy” materials, like correction tape and stick-on vinyl, these works also play with medium, materials, and mark making. As York asked in a 2012 interview published in Nashville Arts Magazine, “What makes a painting a painting if you take away the paint?” York’s accessible, everyday materials encourage an informal, experimental approach, aligned with contemporary “provisional painting.” (Right: "An Audacious Young Citizen," vinyl, acrylic paint, correction tape, graphite on panel, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.)
Lain York has been called the “Mayor of Art Town” for his essential role in the Nashville art scene. An accomplished painter, he is also the gallery director at the Zeitgeist Gallery.
Sewanee’s University Art Gallery is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
zeitgeist gallery/nashville, tn
nashville convention center
2 commissions slated for the new Nashville Convention Center 2013
when the whip comes down
new work showing with Ed Saunders, Jr. at the Bank in dowtown nashville, TN. october 6-december 31/reception saturday, october 6/6-9PM
Exhibit Your Symptom/zeitgeist gallery
Exhibit Your Symptom
group exhibition at Zeitgeist gallery, Thursday January 5, 2012
1819 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
Bedrock/ Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Bedrock opens December 1, 2011 and runs through January 27, 2012
reception: Wednesday January 11, 5:00-7:00pm
gallery talk at 5:30pm
Belmont University/Leu Gallery
1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212