The visitors to the final Ringling Underground of the Spring 2015 season will encounter a range of mediums including an interactive performance piece with Vincent Kral, paintings by Laine Nixon, sculpture by Matthew Drennan Wicks, and a site-specific installation by Michael Covello. Artists will visually transform the courtyard by challenging the spectator’s perception.
“My practice expresses itself through an idiomatic language of hybridized abstraction, where diverse formal elements contradict and complete each other. The spaces I depict within a painting or installation are densely layered and at times antagonistic in their composure; with shallow fields of clashing images, patterns, and color palettes. I am not interested in making work that is easy to view- instead I strive for a language of excess, where a maximalist non- representational vocabulary creates a challenging space for the viewer to inhabit. By provoking my audience to re-evaluate their methods for viewing, I am confronting the typical relationship we have to image, architecture, and environment. The motifs of assembly, demolition, accumulation, and containment are common throughout my work, and highlight the temporal process of creation. For instance, through masking, over-painting, and removal, compositional elements undergo continuous cycles of emerging, shifting, and concealment. Thus, as I work on a piece, attempts to organize a space are constantly being folded back in on themselves as the process evolves. As an artist exploring and reacting to this unsteady terrain, I see my artistic process as a suspension between remembering, forgetting, and rebuilding.” –Michael Covello
“My current studio practice is a process-based exploration of traditional craft in a contemporary context that highlights specific domestic materials and the intrinsic properties of clay. This often leads to the transformation of materials through specific craft-based processes. While notions of beauty, kitsch and class all bubble under the surface of my work, I strive to challenge the viewer’s perceptions of familiar materials and forms and their pre-loaded content.” –Matthew Drennan Wicks
“I will be performing a piece called the Return of the Ink Panther, before the event starts I will set out pink colored Easter eggs all around the space with clues or about the other artists participating and possible hint at some imagined mystery. During the event I will appear as Inspector Clouseau and engage the visitors in character and ask them if they have found any clues. The piece is about enjoying art having fun and interacting with the artists and asking questions. The Eggs can be returned or kept by visitors.” –Vincent Kral
“I pursue my work through a studio practice, developing non-objective paintings that subtly embody the conflict between visual perception and the physical object. Zuhanden, a series of 4’ x 4’ non-representational paintings, are responsive works where I embed thinned washes, pours or otherwise watery paint within a heavy-bodied, textured acrylic gradation. The first layers are applied thin and wet – they tend to run, dart, bleed, and are generally unpredictable. In contrast, the gradation is a highly organized and repetitive exercise, where I slowly string small beads of paint together increasing the pigment in one-step increments. The process allows me to first experience the thrill and uneasiness of the unknown, and then to enjoy a deep retreat into a slow, meditative period of organizing the initial chaos. The formal challenge that I have issued myself is to see if I can reverse the typical salient and recessive properties of transparent and opaque marks in order to provoke a subtle sense of confusion, a moment of uncertainty.
In my explorations, one constant is that my work must highlight the tension between the painting (the illusion) and what is actually there (the physical object) – or between thought and thing. For me, there is no definitive hierarchy between the two; if asked, I would encourage the viewer to oscillate back and forth in order to experience both realities. I tend to enjoy this ambiguity as a path to refuge which in turn leads me to all kinds of other good things such as understanding, perspective, mystery, or even peace and joy. These are the aspects I wish to share by sharing my work.” –Laine Nixon
Musical entertainment for the evening includes Lady and Gentleman, Maximino, and Young Rapids. Additional details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1612258982341793/
Ringling Underground is always free for college students with a valid college ID. It is an extension of the Art After 5 program held on Thursdays after 5 p.m. After hours discounted admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-17, children 5 and under and Museum Members are free.
Ringling Underground is a rain or shine event. Food and refreshments are available for purchase. Share your Underground experiences on social media using the hashtag:
For additional details about exhibiting at Ringling Underground, please contact the Artist Liaison, Natalya Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org