Curator Michael Goodson’s recent move from New York to Columbus helped inspire the current two exhibits at the Columbus College of Art & Design’s Canzani Center Gallery.
“Bending the Mirror,” an 18-artist exhibit, is about the legacy of the figure and its role in contemporary art. During Goodson’s first visit to campus last June, he was struck by the figuration in the students’ work. Now, as the director of exhibitions, Goodson has created “Bending the Mirror” as a guide to artists navigating the body.
“It includes things that either continue the lineage of figure in art or take it in a completely different direction,” Goodson said.
For example, Alison Elizabeth Taylor’s sparse marquetry portrait shows a naked, distressed young man sitting in an arm chair playing a video game and drinking a beer. The 18th-century elite favored marquetry (wood inlaid upon wood) to depict their ornate lifestyles. By contrast, Taylor uses it to “depict people who are lost in our culture,” Goodson said. “She’s displaced the craft for displaced people.”
“Art has always been one thing, person or movement reacting to another,” Goodson said. “To be in denial of that indicates a lack of understanding of what you’re doing.”
“Bending the Mirror” also represents Goodson’s goal to include work by noteworthy regional and local artists with that of internationally known artists in CCAD’s shows — Columbus artist Christian Faur alongside Folkert de Jong and Erwin Wurm.
The second exhibit, “Home: A Meditation on Suburbia,” is a survey of three artists’ takes on the suburbs. Goodson’s move inspired the topic.
The artists are Bill Owens, an iconic photographer who captured suburbanites during the 1970s; Jessica Rohrer, a New Yorker who paints insightful scenes that examine what suburbia says about our priorities; and Mark Slankard, a Cleveland photographer who takes photos of homes in northeast Ohio’s suburbs.
“All is code for the fact that you can escape to suburbia or wherever, but you can’t escape life,” Goodson said.