David Alban & Julie Anne Ward
Artspace Loveland Gallery
September 18th - October 2nd, 2017
Opening Reception and Artist Talks: Saturday September 23rd, 6-9pm
Julie Anne Ward and David Alban often work in sculpture, employing clay, cast metals, plaster, and wood. Recently however, they have both turned to the a focus on line and movement within more two-dimensional work. Exploring narratives of change, loss, and the trials of human experience, Dimensions Variable features energetic work in graphite, collage, and abstracted photography, with a sculptural twist.
Julie Anne Ward has been interviewing truckers in the States and now in Japan, studying the loss of this way of life due to technologically-driven government regulations. She has created a series of abstracted digital prints, which she's presenting here in sculptural format, of the flashy Dekotora trucks from Japan. Each incredibly unique and a vehicle for personal expression, these colorful images and energetic forms are a celebration amidst the loss of this social subculture.
David Alban is a ceramic sculptor who uses simple clay bodies paired with reactive lithium glazes, creating chunky, abstracted forms based off of teeth and mandibles, in response to extreme dental work he's endured, and the visual and cultural importance society puts on teeth. Here he is presenting drawings made with graphite, cut up and glued together into layers of rocky landscape-like forms, scratched and erased and repeated again.
With a shared visual emphasis on movement and lively repetition of form, these two artists have seemingly disparate subject matter, until one looks closely at the interwoven themes which bind them further: the social and cultural importance of the visual image, in reference to our bodies and the vehicles that become an extension of ourselves, and the loss of something we are so deeply connected to and which is ingrained in us. Can we celebrate this loss?
Curated by Amy Joy Hosterman
My recent work has centered on teeth, and mandibles coming from some industrial strength dental work I have endured. Teeth are very prominent in all of the animal kingdom. They function as tools and weapons, and much attention is paid to them visually. Our culture assigns an utmost importance to their image. Likewise, the mandible is a very prominent feature. It is the first bone to develop in utero. I want them to be large enough to remove you from the experience that we all have in front of the mirror, of picking, brushing, and flossing. I sometimes pattern them off my own, using a plaster bitewing my dentist cast of my mouth. When fabricating I am reminded of the studies I have done in the anatomy lab and the discovery an archeologist must feel in the field.
My drawings are stand-alone pieces, and working plans, if you will. I use a smooth plate paper, drawing with soft graphite, conte, erasures, and pencils. I do a lot of erasing, searching for the form, and really carving into the surface of the paper for the contours. Forms will emerge and inform passages that I will later explore in metal or clay. The investigations are moving into landscape, forms that have grown out of a macro-focus on teeth from a dentist’s view.
David Alban works primarily in ceramic sculpture, choosing clay as a material and process because of the massive physicality it affords. He is very interested in the alchemical processes of the kiln and the glaze lab, generally firing his work to about 2000 Degrees F, and occasionally firing in the wood-burning kiln. He chooses simple materials: terra cotta, white casting slip, white and black slip, red Sigillata, and a couple of very active lithium-based glazes. Alban holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. He has been an art fabricator at Polich/Tallix Art Works in Rock Tavern, NY since 2005, and has been building kilns commercially since 1991. His work has been internationally shown and collected, including Panevezys Civic Art Gallery in Lithuania, the International Museum of Ceramic Arts and The Decorative Arts Museum in Czech Republic, and the Ceramic Arts Museum in Boleslawiec, Poland. David Alban currently teaches at Pratt Institute in New York City, NY.
I am currently working on a new project that examines the Dekotora trucking movement in Japan. This research is evolving into the foundation of a large body of work encompassing all forms of sculpture. As I filter through miles of video footage and listen to hours of audio, I find that I am still seeking something that is not present, and I am discovering that the work has multiple layers both visually and formally. When you stand next to a Dekotora truck, you are immediately aware of the reflections and movements within and upon the surfaces of the truck itself. Your morphed reflection within an oversized chromed bumper and the abundance of dancing lights are reminiscent of a carnival ride. The dazzling display can shift you in and out of reality.
This project builds on the foundations of my previous research to explore ways in which the ideas of loss, can be celebrated. In my first thesis, I examined the loss of traditional techniques of making due to the advent of technology. For my second thesis I then explored the loss of a way of life for independent truckers in the American Midwest due to technologically-driven government regulation. I now focus on the loss of an entire social subculture unique to Japan. The work to be featured at Artspace in Loveland, Colorado will focus on sculptural digital prints, and small sculptures.
Julie Anne Ward’s work embraces the shift from the physically laborious raw materiality of an iron sculptor to the contemporary technologies of the cool blue screen. In addition to material shifts, she risks exploring collaborative making by inclusion of a variety of artforms and artists, such as musicians, to trace experience beyond the visual. Conceptually, Ward’s work folds in the remnants of vanishing industrial practices. The fading past and rapidly evolving present occupy the striated spaces of history, giving us glimpses of the spaces between parallel worlds: between past and present, between old and new, between traditional and contemporary, between the material and the ephemeral. Ward graduated from The Ohio State University in 2010 with an MFA in Sculpture. In 2014 Ward completed a second MFA in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati’s department of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Julie is currently an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.