POSTED ON JUNE 8, 2011:
The Material Man
Philbrook moves from industrial design to the experimental assemblages of Robert Rauschenberg
In the last several years, the Philbrook Museum of Art has made a habit of hosting as many modern and contemporary exhibits as it does classical ones.
This weekend, arriving on the heels of American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow, which examined the rise of modern aesthetic in industrial design in 1930s-50s America, is Rauschenberg at Gemini, which explores modern art in a completely different way.
Rauschenberg at Gemini is an exhibit of two- and three-dimensional works by Robert Rauschenberg, who completely upended the norms of painting and printmaking with his groundbreaking Combines, assemblages constructed at a printmaking studio and publishing house in West Hollywood, Gemini G.E.L.
Rauschenberg spent ample time at Gemini -- which was originally launched as a lithography studio for well-established artists but quickly evolved to include younger and more experimental artists, like Rauschenberg -- from 1967 to 2001. His work there, collaborating with Gemini printers, yielded more than 250 two- and three-dimensional objects, and 50 of them will be on display at Philbrook beginning Sunday, June 12.
Monumental lithographs from the Stoned Moon series, based on the American Apollo Moon exploration program, are represented, as well as his innovative "Cardbird Door." Prints are also included from his two handmade paper series in the 1970s, as well as his three-dimensional editions "PUBLICONS," "Sling-Shots Lit" series and "Borealis Shares" series.
Using materials as varied as cardboard, silk, window shades, and fluorescent lighting, as well as his own photographs of Los Angeles, Tibet, China, and Morocco, Rauschenberg pushed the boundaries of printmaking -- in scale, scope, variation and interactivity.
In Philbrook's bi-monthly members magazine, a writer comparing the exhibit to American Streamlined Design writes: "Rauschenberg's art rebels against a culture geared toward progress and an insatiable demand for consumer goods with shining surfaces and aerodynamic form. Instead, Rauschenberg appropriates mundane fragments of popular culture and 'found' materials from everyday life to force re-examination of material culture and the tensions inherent in contemporary art."
The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 11.
Rauschenberg at Gemini also marks the kicking off of Philbrook's summer programs, which include arts camps for kids, the Summer on the Lawn film series and lectures and workshops for adults. For a full itinerary and more information about Rauschenberg at Gemini, visit philbrook.org.
On Thursday, June 9, Joseph Gierek Fine Art, 1512 E. 15th St., opens Killing Time, an exhibit of collage paintings by Detroit-based artist, Joseph Bernard, from 6-9pm.
The paintings are primarily acrylic on wood panel, with other materials collaged on. Their content references music, writing and art, as well as coded sources, like maps, X-rays and board games.
The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public, and the exhibit hangs through July 2. More information is at gierek.com.
All decked out
Chris Sker, a local graffiti and graphic artist, is opening Decked Out, a group show composed of about 20 artists of varying genre and media, Saturday, June 11, at 8pm at Pen and Ink, 1530 S. Harvard Ave., a tattoo shop owned by Tony Carrera.
The art, as diverse as the artists who've created it, has one thing in common: its canvas is a skateboard deck.
"When you look at a blank deck, it's basically a canvas," Sker said. "It has not been done in Tulsa before; it's something that's creative and innovative."
The artists, modern designers, tattoo artists, graffiti writers and fine artists, whose work will be on display this weekend -- the lineup includes local favorites David "HEK" Rogers, Steve Cluck, Gavin Elliott, Aaron Whisner, Daniel Gulick and Dylan Aycock, as well as artists from Paris, Portland, Los Angeles and New York -- donated their talent to the exhibit.
The decks will be sold via silent auction to benefit Sker's 12-year-old daughter, Maya, who was diagnoses with a rare autoimmune disorder, Juvenile Myositis, three years ago.
The disease severely affected Maya's muscles, putting her in a wheelchair. Though there's no cure for the disease, Maya is being treated, and her prognosis is good. She'll start physical therapy soon, and there's a good chance she'll be able to walk again.
"She's been steadily improving for a good long time now," Sker said. "Her spirit is beautiful and her attitude is amazing, and she's an inspiration to everyone in her family and everyone who talks to her. She's just an amazing little girl."
The money raised through the sale of the artwork at Decked Out will be placed in a special needs fund established for Maya by her parents to pay for her ongoing care.
Bidding for the artwork starts at $50 and is open until 10pm. The reception continues until 11pm and features music by DJ4. The event is free and open to the public. Additional information is available at sk-promo.com.
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