Our Cult’s Classic

10 June – 10 July, 2011

Tim Bearse, Andrew Brehm, Nicholas des Cognets, Ana Esteve Llorens, Benjamin Jurgensen, Ashley Lyon, Will Machin, Ian McMahon, Oscar Santillan, Nataliya Slinko, Jennifer Lauren Smith, and Hannah Walsh.

Curated by Amy Hauft and Gregory Volk.

Press Release

OUR CULT’S CLASSIC features the work of twelve recent alumni of the VCUarts Department of Sculpture + Extended Media. The exhibition demonstrates the broad and eccentric talents with which the highly regarded department has become identified. The ambitious projects run the gamut of materials and themes, all with a marked sense of materiality and presence – each set off by an abiding sense of curiosity and intellect. The exhibition is on view at Pierogi’s The Boiler through July 10, 2011. The artists will be present for a reception on Friday, June 10 from 6 – 8 pm.

OUR CULT’S CLASSIC, curated by Gregory Volk (a professor at VCU and a New York-based art critic and freelance curator) and Amy Hauft (an artist and the chair of the department), features eclectic works by six newly graduated artists and six artists who graduated in 2010.  It is immediately apparent that there is no shared “look” to the works by these artists, no common VCU aesthetic, and that is a plus; the Sculpture Department is all about robust, idiosyncratic visions. Exquisite figurative sculptures (Andrew Brehm’s spectacular, shell-encrusted female sea creature; Ashley Lyon’s spare and enigmatic sculpture of two crossed legs and a chunk of faux driftwood) abut stunning photographs and a video of cheerleaders by Hannah Walsh, and Oscar Santillan’s enthralling video of a horse in the fog.  Seemingly abstract sculptures by Nataliya Slinko and Nicholos des Cognets are suffused with multiple connotations and also hint at landscape, topography, and geology.  Seemingly minimal sculptures by Tim BearseBenjamin Jurgensen, and Ana Esteve Llorens (including Esteve Llorens’ photograph of a cloud in a room, which functions as an aerial sculpture) reveal an exquisite use of materials and are also chock full of ranging ideas.  Ian McMahon’s “minimal” plaster and mixed media sculpture has grown to maximal proportions and reaches toward the ceiling.  Will Machin’s kinetic sculpture with projections turns urban detritus into a large, rotating wheel suggestive of both a nineteenth-century machine and a Ferris Wheel. Jennifer Lauren Smith’s video of an inflating hot air balloon, a balloon trip above the wintry Virginia landscape, and an opera singer is downright wondrous.

OUR CULT’S CLASSIC is the seventh biennial NYC exhibition of work by former students of the VCU Department of Sculpture + Extended Media. Numerous alumni who have exhibited in previous years have gone on to considerable accomplishment. This exhibition of idiosyncratic sculpture promises much for the future of these young artists, each having spent some of their formative years in the orbit of VCU’s #1 ranked Sculpture department. Each work in the exhibition is distinct, yet a complex, medium-spanning conversation develops between them, indicative of the actual conversations and intense interactions between young artists that so characterizes and influences graduate study at VCU.  The curators are delighted to bring this “conversation” to The Boiler, and by extension to Brooklyn’s renowned Pierogi, a gallery that has long doubled as think tank, meeting ground, and zone of inspiration.