Art exhibitions opening: panel discussion and reception

  • on 22 Feb 2013
  • Convocation Hall

The University Art Gallery, in coordination with the Carlos Gallery of the Nabit Art Building and the Jessie Ball duPont Library, presents David Henderson: A Brief History of Aviation in duPont Library and the Carlos Gallery, and Brandon Morse: Dark Matter, in the University Art Gallery. The opening of all three exhibitions will be celebrated with a panel discussion between the artists and Assistant Professor Jeff Thompson of the Art and Art History Department at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in Convocation Hall, followed by a reception in the lobby of duPont Library at 5:45 p.m. Sewanee’s University Jazz Quartet will perform at the reception, and light refreshments will be provided.

A Brief History of Aviation will fill the periodicals area of duPont Library with luminous, soaring fan vaults derived from the 15th century architecture of Bath Abbey. Transmuted into glass and carbon fiber, transported into the contemporary world, do these forms still carry the impact of their gothic models, their power to move the viewer? What can they tell us about the revivalist architecture of our own campus? The exhibition of the same name in the Carlos Gallery is dedicated to the evolution of Henderson’s forms, and to his resolutely anti-heroic creative process. His sculptures are monumental in scale, but remarkably lightweight. His forms are resonant with meaning and strikingly beautiful, but he prefers to talk about their materials, and how they were made. Meticulously designed with 3-D modeling programs, they are constructed by hand, preserving the traces of that hands-on process on their surfaces. (Above: detail, David Henderson, "A Brief History of Aviation," 2010, foam, fiberglass, aluminum, Dacron. Courtesy of the artist.)

Brandon Morse’s Dark Matter will transform the space of the University Art Gallery with hypnotic generative video projections and sound. Entropy and emergence, growth and decay—physical phenomena are all simulated through digital systems, scientific algorithms, and programming code. Morse’s video simulations at times evoke the atmospheric shifts of weather systems, at times the life and death of underwater creatures. His digital systems are powerfully evocative, and serve as open-ended metaphors for broader social and political issues. (Above: Brandon Morse, "In the Shadow of the Valley of Death," 2012, 2-channel generative video. Courtesy of the artist.)

Where Henderson is primarily interested in the concrete facts of materials and structure, Morse explores systems, change, and metaphor. Both, however, experiment with abstract forms and with how those forms communicate; both create works that envelop the viewer, pulling them into transformative spaces and experiences.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, the University of the South will host a Campus Gallery Walk between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Visitors are invited to visit Dark Matter and the two parts of A Brief History of Aviation, and also to visit Archives and Special Collections for Plans and Changes in Sewanee’s Campus, an exhibition of materials related to the revivalist architecture of the University of the South, Sewanee’s very own transformative environment. Come and meet the artists, and explore the dialogue between our four exhibitions and our campus. Complimentary light refreshments will be provided.

David Henderson is based in Brooklyn, NY. His sculpture has appeared at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, N.J., at the Richmond Center for the Visual Arts at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, at Knoedler Gallery’s Project Space in New York, on the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University,  and at galleries in Baltimore and Santa Fe. His work was featured in the January 2013 issue of Sculpture magazine.

Brandon Morse is a Washington, D.C., based artist. He has shown his work in video, video installation and sound art in museums and galleries across the United States, Europe, and Asia including the Nanjing Museum, the Frankfurter Kunstverein and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. His work has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, LA Weekly, and Art in America among others. He is an associate professor of Digital Media at the University of Maryland.