WALLS, FLOORS & CEILINGS  

The monumental exhibition is an homage to the genre of installation art. It includes large-scale works by 15 artists from across the United States.

Included are Kristine Donnelly (Cincinnati, OH), Nancy Dwyer (Burlington, VT), Sam Gilliam (Washington, DC), Peter Haberkorn (Cincinnati, OH), Ann Hamilton (Columbus, OH), Stephen Hendee (Las Vegas, NV), Ik-Joong Kang (New York, NY), Amy Kao (Brooklyn, NY), Donald Lipski (Philadelphia. PA), Tim McMichael (Cincinnati, OH), Paul Mitchell (Cincinnati, OH), Matt Mullican (New York, NY), Jason Rogenes (Brooklyn, NY), Margo Sawyer (Elgin, TX), and Tony Tasset (Chicago, IL).

Installation art is, at its most basic, a transformation of space. Through their work, installation artists create new environments into which the viewer is invited. As such, the typical art/viewer relationship is disrupted. The viewer is no longer a passive visual recipient of an isolated object; she or he is now an active participant in new surroundings. The exhibition focuses on the transformation of space and this disruption of the art/viewer relationship.

Some of the work, like Ann Hamilton’s accountings . soot wall, is site-specific. Columbus-based Hamilton has an international reputation for creating large-scale sensory installations. Her work, often concerned with time and materials, has lead her to the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1999) and earned her a MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1993. For the Carl Solway Gallery, Hamilton has delicately burned walls to create a dense environment, into which viewers are destined to get lost.

Brooklyn-based Amy Kao’s work for this show is also site-specific. Her hand-cut vinyl piece will stretch from wall-to-wall, and is adhered directly to it. Nancy Dwyer’s Entitled to What also is applied directly onto the wall, like wallpaper, eliminating the need for frames. Dwyer’s work is a new kind of trompe l’oeil, with negative spaces spelling out a phrase. The work deals not only with the position of the viewer – it also addresses issues of ownership and acquisition.

Las Vegas-based artist Stephen Hendee created his large-scale installation for Walls, Floors & Ceilings specifically for the space. Hendee uses colored lights and hand-taped wall modules to transform a white gallery wall into an illuminated, color-strewn, temporary, false environment, much like a set design. Margo Sawyer’s installation of metallic rods, Cloud of Unknowing, has been reformatted to fit the space at Solway Gallery. The Texas-based artist also works with modular formats to create her “cloud,” which hangs and extends from the wall and acts as an entire environment, a “drawing in space” inside which the viewer exists. Jason Rogenes’ site-specific, lighted, cut styrofoam installation also works as a temporary space into which the viewer is invited.

Donald Lipski and Paul Mitchell each amass small individual units to create one major installation. Lipski’s Gathering Dust is a group of 90 tiny found objects. Each object is a bit of trash, like a cigarette butt or a discarded bottle cap, but manipulated by the artist in some way and then pinned directly onto a wall. Cincinnati native Mitchell sculpts his inch-sized penises and breasts in clay before glazing and firing them. Each small piece is nailed directly into the wall, creating illusions of male and female identity.

The installations crawl up to the ceiling, as well. Cincinnati-based artist Kristine Donnelly uses both the wall and the ceiling as an installation site. Her cut vellum work is rearranged to suit its space.

Sam Gilliam’s painted pieces offer a new way to see a canvas – crumpled and hanging from the ceiling. The length of Gilliam’s drop determines the viewer’s place within the gallery space. This installation works as an interruption of space. Peter Haberkorn also focuses on the ceiling space, but follows the Duchampian tradition of found objects. His installation comprises old telephones adhered to the ceiling, with the receivers, muted, hanging down into the gallery space.

The artists included in this exhibition also find their way to the floor – the location most at-odds with the idea of fine art. Ik-Joong Kang transforms the precious, iconic, ancient image of a Korean Moon Jar into a seemingly mass-produced object. He shrinks the Moon Jars into small sculptural forms – 900 of them -- and puts them on short white wood bases with electronic wires and speakers that issue bird noises.

Tim McMichael is known regionally for his cast resin pieces and print work, but he takes a new direction in Eddy, a floor piece made for the Solway exhibition. McMichael here pulls together his interest in geological forms – specifically, the mapping of ocean currents – with his precise attention to details. Here slick black resin splashes into what looks like an oil spill.

Internationally renowned artist Matt Mullican, who was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, transforms cultural signs into something ultimately unreadable, toying with what is personal and what is public. Here his granite tablets lie on the floor, re-placing the sign system one step further.

In Rainbow Rocks, Tony Tasset elevates the lowly painted rock from the worlds of children’s crafts and garden ornaments to the level of monumental conceptual installation.  Tasset, a graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, incorporates over 40 colors from an enamel paint color chart in creating this large-scale stack of stones.

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
KRISTINE DONNELLY
Cover up,
2008
Hand screen print on vellum
Dimensions variable

NANCY DWYER
Entitled to What
, 2006-2009
Digital ink jet print Dimensions variable, 88.5 x 166 inches as installed The artwork can be re-sized for site-specific installation.

SAM GILLIAM
Dance Me, Dance You 2
, 2009
Acrylic on polyester
Approximately 48-52 x 32-35 inches (diameter) each

PETER HABERKORN
Rescue Me
, 2009
Telephones, life ring
Dimensions variable
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
ANN HAMILTON
accountings - soot wall
, 2009
Flame-licked walls
Dimensions variable
STEPHEN HENDEE
Screentime
, 2009
Polypropylene, tape, wood, fluorescent lamps with gels
Dimensions variable
IK-JOONG KANG
Moon Jar
, 2009
Ceramics, speakers, wire, MP3 players, wood bases
143.5 x 143.5 inches
AMY KAO
Fire Water
, 2009
Vinyl cutouts on wall
Dimensions variable, 139.5 x 312 inches as installed
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
DONALD LIPSKI
Gathering Dust,
1978
Mixed media
Dimensions variable
TIM McMICHAEL
Eddy
, 2009
Screenprints on epoxy
Dimensions variable
PAUL MITCHELL
Green Boot
, 2009
Glazed ceramic
108 x 72 inches as installed
PAUL MITCHELL
Yellow Necktie
, 2006
Glazed ceramic
108 x 72 inches as installed
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
MATT MULLICAN
Untitled
, 1989
Engraved granite
Each panel: 48 x 96 inches
JASON ROGENES
Stargazer 5.10
, 2009
Extended polystyrene foam inserts, electrical components, 20 fluorescent lamps Dimensions variable
The artist would design and install a work for a site specific location that could be a wall or ceiling.
MARGO SAWYER
Cloud of Unknowing
, 2005 (2009 variation) Anodized aluminum, powder-coated aluminum, plastic-coated stainless steel wire Dimensions variable
TONY TASSET
Rainbow Rocks
, 2008
Enamel paint on rocks
Dimensions variable