The University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor opens three new exhibitions mid-January: “DAN DOWD: thick skinned,” “JON DAVIS: Three-Sided Dream,”and “RICHARD WHITTEN: Studiolo.” UMMA brings modern and contemporary art exhibitions to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. UMMA’s winter exhibitions open to the public on January 15 and run through April 30, 2016. Admission to the Museum of Art is free in 2016 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.
DAN DOWD: thick skinned
Maine-based artist Dan Dowd exhibits a new series of wall-based assemblages that incorporate found fabric, rusted metal and rubber. Old woolen blankets, blemished rubber tires and sections of knit sweaters are layered and wrapped around found, wooden bases.
Dowd’s compositions draw connections to the works of Joseph Beuys, Claes Oldenburg, Lee Bontecou and Robert Rauschenberg, each of whom utilized cloth in their sculptures and assemblages. The artist is inspired by the varied histories of these discarded items. Dowd states, “I am interested in their markings—from when they were first manufactured, to the patina and maculations they have attained over time.” Bright red, orange and striped cloth is juxtaposed with faded, black rubber riddled with patches, oxidized passages and surface imperfections.
JON DAVIS: Three-Sided Dream
Miami-based artist Jon Davis’ exhibition features an array of compositions rooted in collage which incorporate images appropriated from throughout art history—from Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio to Thomas Eakins.
Davis’ source materials are re-contextualized through his creative and forced associations. “By taking art masterpieces and combining them with old found photographs, I am creating new narratives that address a myriad of emotions including fear and desire,” says Davis.
Although oriented to the walls, the artist’s compositions have dimensional interplay; fragments of imagery are rearranged on multiple layers of glass and spaced out in the frames. Several of the works contain lenses, which further distort the dissected images, as well as light elements that enhance the theatrical quality of the assemblages.
RICHARD WHITTEN: Studiolo
Richard Whitten, who lives and works in Rhode Island, exhibits a stunning assortment of shaped paintings, whimsical sculptures and preparatory drawings that offer visitors a unique view into the creative process. The title of the exhibition, Studiolo, reveals much about the artist’s work as objects of inquiry. (A studiolo is a small room found in affluent fifteenth century homes, often elaborately decorated and set aside for study and contemplation). Whitten’s paintings depict imagined machines within Romanesque and Renaissance style architecture.
Whitten states, “These paintings imply the existence of places and objects of desire that, like the garden in Alice and Wonderland, can be glimpsed, but not reached or acquired. I am intensely curious about the nature of the conceptual transformation that occurs when objects I have constructed are represented as an image.” Whitten’s complex three-dimensional toy-machine models featured in the exhibition are used as references for the curious objects that occupy his shaped compositions.
UMMA is located at 40 Harlow Street in Bangor and is open Monday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. For more ifnormation visit www.umma.umaine.edu