aac exhibition - SPRING SOLOS 2011 APR 15 - JUNE 5, 2011


APR 15 - JUNE 5, 2011

TRAJECTORIES: Panel discussion and closing reception June 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 with all six artists.

For AAC SOLOS 2011, DC collector and curator Michael Pollack and independent international curator Melissa Keys, formerly of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Australia, selected this year’s crop of promising emerging contemporary artists from across the Mid-Atlantic region. Our Spring installment of SOLOS includes Mindy Hirt, Mariah Anne Johnson, Ailsa Staub, Leigh Davis, Joshua Wade Smith, and Jennifer Coster.

View installation photos here.

Ailsa Staub
Ailsa Staub

Ailsa Staub (Baltimore, MD) uses clearly recognizable everyday materials to build her sculptures. The lawn chairs, cheap wood paneling, and camouflaged fabrics she employs are heavy with associations relating to family life, social strata, and consumer culture. Staub works intuitively, stacking and layering these unlikely art materials into awkward, humorous, or even unexpectedly poetic combinations.

Jennifer Coster (Baltimore, MD) uses nature’s own dynamism and growth patterns to create works of art that change over time. For Untitled (Cityscapes), Coster arranged sand and gold glitter in ten identical ant farms, allowing the ants contained in each to create strange, shimmering compositions—each recalling, according to the artist, aerial views of city lights glimpsed from an airplane window at night.

Mindy Hirt (Westminster, MD) activates galleries with dense semi-invisible webs of string. Her large, room filling installations typically respond to the architecture of a given space, and overwhelm the viewer with complexity and scale--while at the same time demanding close observation due to the delicacy and near-imperceptibility of her materials.

Mariah Anne Johnson (Washington, DC) constructs temporary sculptural arrangements using sheets and pillowcases purchased from second-hand stores. She wraps dense layers of these linens around chairs or tables--or elaborately ties and drapes them to accentuate a space’s most notable architectural features. The resulting pieces work as purely formal explorations in pattern, texture, and folding systems, but also reference domesticity, intimacy, and the human body.

Joshua Wade Smith (Baltimore, MD) bridges the gaps between performance, installation, and sculpture, creating objects that are meant to be worn or that serve as obstacles for absurd athletic feats. His performances often involve activities akin to running, mountain climbing, or cycling, and take comic digs at stereotypical constructions of masculinity. Ultimately, Smith’s feats of strength in the gallery seems to be a parody of the valorization of male postwar modern artists.

Leigh Davis (Washington, DC) creates photographic projects investigating how institutional living spaces are conceived, constructed, and inhabited. At AAC, Davis will present The Brothers, a project documenting the eviction of five elderly men of a religious order from their home of 60 years—on the grounds of a former military hospital in New Mexico.