July 10, 2002
WOOSTER, Ohio — Internationally acclaimed artist Ann Hamilton will open a new season at The College of Wooster Art Museum with “Ann Hamilton: tracing language,” a selection of photographs, video, and sculpture, which will be on display in the museum’s Sussel Gallery and Burton D. Morgan Gallery in the Ebert Art Center (1220 Beall Ave.) Aug. 27–Oct. 6.
Hamilton will speak about her work on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.) as part of the 2002 Wooster Forum, “Beyond Boundaries: Re-Mapping the Contemporary Arts.” A reception with the artist will follow in the Art Museum.
Though difficult to define, Hamilton’s work epitomizes the ways in which art can transcend categories and boundaries, according to Kitty McManus Zurko, director of The College of Wooster Art Museum.
“Fundamentally, Ann Hamilton investigates the manner in which knowledge is generated and perceived,” said Zurko. “She is best known for her site-specific projects and installations that typically overwhelm the senses with materials, sound, and smell, and involve a person performing a repetitive act. ‘tracing language’ includes work in which aspects of language are the subject; such as a video titled abc (1999) where a finger erases letters printed on a glass plate, and poems by Susan Stewart etched into a gold thimble and embroidered on a glove.” In these works, Hamilton considers the roles of the artist, or author, and the experience of the reader, or audience.
Often capturing a fleeting feeling or forgotten moment, Hamilton’s art tugs at the edges of one’s comfort zone. “Her environments engage the senses in an all-encompassing manner,” said Zurko. “They are familiar, yet unsettling.” In the Iris print “reflection (12:05)” (2000), an image of Hamilton behind water glass is barely perceptible as the artist comes in and out of focus. This series of 12 was photographed every five minutes for one hour in Venice when Hamilton represented the United States at the 48th Venice Biennale. As Hamilton has said about her work, “The challenge . . . is to make visible those things that become invisible to us. How to make an absence present and experienceable.”
The exhibition at Wooster features a video from an earlier installation — lumen, presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania in 1995 — and more than 50 photographs and objects. The 30-minute video, lumen (hand/ring), will run continuously in the Burton D. Morgan Gallery and features the shadow of a surrogate hand trying to catch the flickering image of a ring. All works in the exhibition are courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.
Hamilton, a professor of art at The Ohio State University, received her MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art and her BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas. Her many honors include the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award in 1998; a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and an NEA Visual Arts Fellowship in 1993; and a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1989. She also represented the United States at the 21st International Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil, in 1991.
Hamilton’s work is featured in collections around the world, including London’s Tate Gallery; Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art; France’s Musée d’Art Contemporain in Lyon; and New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art. Forthcoming projects are scheduled for Denmark, Sweden, Israel, Japan, and Britain.
As Robert Storr, senior curator in the department of painting and sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, has said about Hamilton’s work, “It’s all elegantly simple and gently disorienting; walk-in Surrealism with the formal economy and referent of a Shaker homestead.”
This exhibition at Wooster is funded in part by The College’s Wooster Forum and the Ohio Arts Council with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
All receptions, lectures, and exhibitions at The College of Wooster Art Museum are free and open to the public. Group tours are also available. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1–5 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday.
For more information about exhibitions, please call 330-263-2495 or visit.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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