Gallery showcases art exploring the 'built environment'
“High/Low Density,” in which a group of artists consider, respond to or critique broad themes surrounding the built environment, continues the season at Rowan University Art Gallery. Co-curated by Mark Campbell and Mary Salvante, the exhibition runs March 26 – May 12, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 29 from 5:30 – 7 pm.
Responding to the theme of “critical mass,” the curators have brought together eight artists and designers – Campbell, along with Anthony Angelicola, Kim Beck, Kara Crombie, David McQueen, Erin Murray, Peter Rose and Blaise Tobia. The central focus of the exhibition is the current discourse over patterns of settlement within the urban/suburban world and the subsequent social and cultural meanings surrounding issues of concentration and dispersal.
A centerpiece of the exhibit is Conflation: Living Above the Store, a collaborative installation by Campbell, Rose and Angelicola that reimagines Cherry Hill Mall and its environs, referring expressively and symbolically to dynamic and chaotic energies of high density, integrated life.
With a diverse range of media and formats, including painting, photography, video, sculpture and installation, the artists explore these themes in more than a dozen works selected from their oeuvre as well as those created specifically for the exhibition. Using images of architecture and landscape, Beck makes drawings, prints, paintings and installations that survey peripheral and suburban spaces, urging a reconsideration of the built environment and bringing the banal into focus. Campbell’s work has dealt with issues derived from the interface between constructed and natural systems and (in addition to conceiving and co-authoring Conflation) offers images from a new series of photographs anticipating alternative futures for a multi-million dollar home. Crombie is a video artist and photographer who references digital culture and explores the ways in which our environments inform and are formed by our identities. McQueen makes machines and landscapes that re-present architectural inventions as natural formations: hive-like constructions lifted from their foundations and separated from their landscapes. Murray’s drawings of vernacular architecture employ classicizing elements and unusual perspectives to draw out the embedded information inherent in all human-built structures. Rose, whose work has been concerned with new forms of vision, the structures of language and the pleasures of obscure journeys, developed the cinematic imagery for Conflation; Angelicola, a filmmaker and video artist developing non-narrative, richly textured and constructed cinematic compositions, authored the sound design for Conflation. Tobia, a visual artist working primarily with photographic imagery, presents a video showing the stark boundary between the dense developments of Broward County and the undeveloped Everglades in Florida.
Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10 am to 5 pm (with extended hours on Wednesdays to 7 pm); and Saturday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/fpa/artgallery. Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the university campus, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.