D. Bill, Jay Boersma, Robert Gadomski, Michael Lash, Nancy Mladenoff, Benjamin Pranger, and Anne Whitaker.
Curated by Charles Thurow and Eileen M. Murray, the show exhibited the work of five artists who incorporated humor into their work through different media. Photographer Jay Boersma‘s work was a blend of experimental techniques borrowed from DAD and sixties experimentalism. Diverse in methods and technical execution, the pieces shared a common goal: to present information to the viewer in an unanticipated context. Sub-themes within the overall project investigated self-portraiture, male-female relationships, sacred cows, regular cows, the history of art and photography, as well as universal human attributes such as greed, lust, pretense, regret etc. All of this was enclosed in a layer of ironic humor. In the exhibition Photographer Anne Whitaker included a series of photographs depicting religious symbols found in unexpected places. Whitaker’s interest in these icons lied in the contrast between the religious icons to their found environment. Artist Robert Gadomski‘s work combined realistic representational images within a symbolically arbitrary, fractured format of rural and urban landscapes, figuration, still life and geometric abstraction. Gadomski’s personal experiences and observations of urban life influenced his paintings.
Nancy Mladenoff‘s mixed media pieces explored the ideological implications of children illustrations used in educational primers from the 1930’s through the 1960’s. Mladenoff used fabric as a collage element that referenced “pop cultural patterning” and as a way of evoking memory. By delving into the imagery of childhood culture, Mladenoff attempted to use nostalgia and humor as a tool for critique on gender, socialization and politics. Through the use of found objects artist Ben Pranger recovered personal and socially significant meaning from discarded items such as bottles, heels, shoelaces and eyeglasses. His practice of recycling and re-purposing found domestic objects meant to question the conventional object based assumptions of high and low status. The whimsical and humorous nature of his reconstructed objects questioned the authenticity and particularity of the once functional parts. The piece Bubble Machine that was on view in the exhibition altered a found eyeglass frame and a bicycle wheel into a functional machine that continuously filled the gallery with bubbles.