Marion Art Gallery to host ‘Artists as Innovators’ exhibition

Submitted Photos “Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships” features works including Wendell Castle's “Seneca Hall Table” (top) and Tony Oursler's “#ISO” (left.) It runs from Jan. 22 to March 10 in the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Works by 22 acclaimed contemporary artists will be on display when the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at the State University of New York at Fredonia hosts “Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships” from Jan. 22 to March 10.

Participating artists are: Elia Alba, Ida Applebroog, Dawoud Bey, Sanford Biggers, Ross Bleckner, Wendell Castle, Tara Donovan, Carroll Dunham, Chitra Ganesh, The Guerrilla Girls, Barbara Kruger, Christian Marclay, Marilyn Minter, Lori Nix, Tony Oursler, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, Dread Scott, Andres Serrano, Shinique Smith, Carmelita Tropicana and Fred Wilson.

The exhibition includes sculpture, furniture, animation, film, photography, painting and performance art. A reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Since 1971, the NYFA fellowship program has supported more than 4,000 artists in various fields in the visual arts, literature, and performing arts at critical stages throughout their careers. The artists in this exhibition are acclaimed and respected around the world, but what is less known is that they all received support from NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships at crucial points in their careers.

“Artists as Innovators” is curated by Judith K. Brodsky and David C. Terry with the assistance of Madeline Scholl.

The Marion Art Gallery is the fourth venue on the tour after the Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz; Dowd Fine Arts Gallery, SUNY Cortland; and Fosdick-Nelson Gallery at Alfred University. After Fredonia, the exhibition will travel to the Joseph C. and Joan T. Burke Gallery, SUNY Plattsburgh; Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Stony Brook University; and Center for the Arts, Westchester Community College.

Exhibition highlights include The Guerrilla Girls’ “How Women Get Maximum Exposure in Art Museums,” perhaps one of the most recognizable works of the feminist art canon. The feminist art perspective is further explored through the works of Ida Applebroog and Chitra Ganesh. Both Applebroog’s “Winnie’s Pooh” and several works by Ganesh reference mainstream imagery in surprising, sometimes disturbing ways that highlight alternate articulations of femininity to the broader public.

Other featured works include stills from Dread Scott’s “Money to Burn” performance on Wall Street, a transgressive act that questioned one of the foundations of the international economy; Dawoud Bey’s photographs; Tony Oursler’s mixed media work “#ISO;” Tara Donovan’s cube sculptures and the late Wendell Castle’s unique pieces of handmade sculpture and furniture created over four decades.

Through these works and others, the exhibition makes clear that NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellows are no strangers to confronting taboos, constructing alternate realities, or transgressing boundaries to question established systems.

“The work in this exhibition shows how these influential artists interpret our times, questioning our values and prompting social awareness, but at the same time creating works of art that are innovative and full of visual power,” said Judith K. Brodsky, co-curator, feminist visual arts advocate and NYFA Board Chair.

In addition to the exhibition and reception, Dread Scott, a performance artist and activist from New York City and exhibition participant, will speak about his work as part of the Visiting Artist Program on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m. in McEwen Hall, room 209.

“I make revolutionary art to propel history forward,” Scott said in a recent artist statement. “I look towards an era without exploitation or oppression. I don’t accept the political structures, economic foundation, social relations and governing ideas of America.”

The exhibition, reception and lecture are free and open to the public.

NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships are administered with leadership support from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Funding for Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) with shipping support from Atelier 4.

The Marion Art Gallery’s presentation of Artists as Innovators is supported by the Fredonia College Foundation’s Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery Endowment and the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center. Additional funding for the Dread Scott lecture is provided by Fredonia’s Convocation Committee as part of “The Search for Justice” programming.

Contact Marion Art Gallery Director Barbara Racker at barbara.racker@fredonia.edu or 673-4897 for more information about the exhibition or to schedule a group tour.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Located on the main level of Rockefeller Arts Center, the gallery is most easily accessed from the Symphony Circle side of the building.