Sunday, October 31, 2004

Exhibit delves into making of art



By Jackie Demaline
Enquirer staff writer

IF YOU GO

What: Liner Notes: Processes in Creative Work

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 24

Where: Reed Gallery, Room 5275, DAAP Complex (corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Clifton Avenue), University of Cincinnati

Admission: Free,(513) 556-2839

Liner Notes: Processes in Creative Work at University of Cincinnati's DAAP through Nov. 24, is something that those who enjoy, but don't make, art rarely get to see: a fascinating show about the process of making art.

"It's an 'unplugged' exhibit of efforts that often find their way to a dusty shelf and moments that become lost," says Jim Postell, who organized the show.

Is it only the final creative product that's important? This exhibit presses home that the process of creation is rich, complex and usually arduous.

Liner Notes includes work by architects, artists, craftspeople, curators, designers, musicians and photographers. Installations include original notes, sketches, drawings, models and more from conception to completion.

How did Itaal Shur write "Smooth" for Santana? (There are earphones and a boom box so you can listen along.) Who would guess that Patrick Mills' walk home in a bad mood through Burnet Woods would turn into video art?

Or that Paul Shortt's design for The Wizard of Oz back in 1990 has behind it story boards, painting elevations, research including Sears and Roebuck catalogues from the turn of the last century and working drawings of cyclones and the Emerald City as well as three-dimensional models?

One of the great mysteries of the art world is unveiled with Anne Timpano's installation that illuminates what it is a curator does.

The director of the DAAP Galleries takes viewers behind the scenes of William Christenberry: Architecture/Archetype from 2001.

What went into creating a retrospective of sculptor, artist and printmaker Christenberry? Lots of detail work.

There are samples of the three years of correspondence to museums, galleries and private collectors that began in 1998. There are lists of potential objects for the show and dozens of snapshots "just to help remember the images," says Timpano. These were arranged and re-arranged into the final wall display.

Several hours of Timpano's audio interview with Christenberry (from 2000) can also be heard. "No one had ever done an exhibit based on his sculpture," says Timpano. "His work can be abstract, naturalistic, surreal. I wanted to do a theme that invited a conversation."

There are spread sheets from the database that cross-references images, the collections and shipping information as well as hundreds of photos of the intricate packing so student assistants could re-create it for the return trip.

It wasn't just a matter of protecting small and fragile parts of multi-piece sculptures, a challenge in itself. "Some of the sculpture was set on beds of dry, red Alabama clay," Timpano recalls with a smile. "The clay arrived in Ziploc bags. The dirt had to be scooped up and put back in the bags and returned with the sculptures."

Timpano has begun the curating process all over again for an exhibit by painter-printmaker Katherine Kadish from Yellow Springs. That show will open at DAAP in January.

E-mail jdemaline@enquirer.com




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