Consumerism, feminism, xenophobia, personal growth and other important themes share wall space in “Out of Context,” an exhibition of text-based work at OneWay Gallery, January 19 through February 25.
“I like text in art, and I wanted to see more of it,” says co-curator Scott Moran, who will show two new conceptual pieces : a one-ton construction-grade sack (“Consume,” 2017) and a canvas sign with the text, “Milk, Bread, Cigarettes” (“Convenience is Killing Us,” 2017). “You can look at art and be amazed or impressed, but text art puts you in direct conversation with the artist concerning message and content.”
With text art, Moran says, an artist’s ideas are conveyed in an instant and promote long-term contemplation –– and potentially a paradigm shift.
“All artists can create a piece that’s full of emotion and meaning,” he says. “But when you use text, the meaning isn’t open to interpretation. It adds that direction to give you a deeper understanding, and it can redefine concepts that you believed you already knew.”
Moran points to artist Lois Harada’s series of letterpress prints inspired by her grandmother’s internment in Arizona during World War II, along with 120,000 other people of Japanese ancestry. In “Out of Context,” Harada will show “Notice” (2017) and “Reminder” (2017), two powerful re-appropriations of signage from the camps.
Also showing work is Stephen Cook, OneWay’s owner and co-curator of “Out of Context.” In addition to movement-based contemplations, Cook will present the new work, “Sorry I Was Really Pushing 4 U,” which juxtaposes charcoal drawings of the Dark Knight with words reflecting on defeat and rejection.
Mixed media artist, Jessica Cabral, whose art is ripped-from-the-headlines relevant, will also show new work in “Out of Context.” Her collage, “The Economics of Consent,” borrows the phrase “anoint or destroy me” from an essay by actor Brit Marling on director Harvey Weinstein’s legacy of sexual abuse. The piece features a photo of the shark from the film Jaws, but gutted of its mechanics.
“It exposes this terrible beast for what it is,” says Cabral. “This is a dawn of a new era. It’s very exciting, because now there are finally consequences for things that have always been true.”
Also showing new work is Connecticut-based artist, Nick McKnight. Best-known for text art in neon, McKnight’s central piece in “Out of Context” is a two-year labor of love with marquee letters and dried Spanish moss, which conveys decay and growth.
“Out of Context” will also include work by painter Evans Molina, printmaker Amanda McCorkle, mixed media artist S.W. Dinge and a collaboration between photographer Christian Harder and designer David Lindwall.
The public is invited to an opening reception on January 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Regular gallery hours are Friday 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment.