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"Brought to Light" at Martina}{Johnston Gallery

 

December 11th, 2010 to February 6th, 2011
Reception: Saturday, December 11th, 4 to 8 p.m.
Closing / Art Talk: Saturday, February 5th, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Martina }{ Johnston Gallery is pleased to present Brought to Light, an exhibition featuring the films and installation of Rose Khor and the paintings of Matthew Troy Mullins.

The multiplicative effect of technology on humanity's instinct to collect and catalog has led the inhabitants of our computerized, postindustrial societies to think of information as something abstract, disembodied, replaceable and disposable. Using differing theoretical approaches and tools of art practice, Khor and Mullins explore the physical architecture of the archive, focus on the significance of the unique historical object and, in the process of creating artwork, reinvent their personal relationship to the forgotten articles of the endless catalog. Each of their work functions as a model of how to keep humanistic values alive in the face of the overwhelming.

Matthew Troy Mullins is exhibiting a current, ongoing series of large scale watercolor and gouache paintings on paper. To create this work Mullins researched and gained access to the private and semi-public archives of various museums and learning institutions around the Bay Area. Based on photographs from these sites, the images in his paintings hint at the awesome scale of these undertakings, while their free flowing, delicately meticulous, yet deeply felt rendering enables the viewer to connect to these overpowering products of human endeavor at an emotionally comprehensible level.

Down dimmed, climate-controlled corridors, the archive occupies row upon row of generic metal shelving, boxes stacked in towering columns, strictly labeled sets of drawers, and cabinets brimming with outdated media formats, suggesting that the Modernistic grid is the contemporary mode of being. But Mullins has taken down the boxes and opened the drawers to reveal the fascinating contents; with great care each is observed and passed along to us.

Matthew MullinsComment