Exhibit preview: “The Origins of Abstraction” offers insight into the method

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From the August 14, 2014 edition

“The Origins of Abstraction,” the current exhibit at the Carnegie Gallery, presents a wide array of abstract works from local artists with a singular goal.

“[‘The Origins of Abstraction’ is designed] to be an education on what abstract art is. So we decided to do the origins of what [artists] can abstract from,” said Peggy Mintun, who co-organized the exhibit with gallery director Stephanie Rond. “We wanted to give people the idea that’s it not just putting paint on canvas; I don’t know where this is going to go.”

Mintun, whose “Broken Butterfly” oil painting is featured in the exhibit, said abstraction can form organically during the process of creation, but often the artist sets out with a foundation. It’s the reason the exhibit’s call for artists asked for participants to enter works with “a definitive source of abstraction.” Nature, emotion, architecture, gender and technology are just some of the sources artists examined for the exhibit.

The collection of works — juried by Elsie Sanchez and Barbara Vogel — features many individually strong pieces by a number of accomplished artists, including former CCAD president Dennison Griffith and Kaveri Raina, who was awarded GCAC residencies in Dresden this year. The best representations of thoughtful abstraction were selected from more than 150 submissions by 68 artists.

“I’ve been involved in juried shows and abstract shows, but I’ve never seen so many entries. We wanted to be very selective of what we put in the show and to have a variety of different mediums,” Mintun said of the two-dimensional, ceramic, sculpture, mixed media and photography pieces in “Origins.”

Also important was the placement of the individual works in relation to other adjacent ones within the gallery, which is located inside the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s main branch downtown. Some are situated as groupings to flow together, either aesthetically or conceptually, while others act as juxtaposition.

Mintun wants viewers to recognize the most important relationship each work in “Origins” has with abstract art as a process.

“I want people to take away that there’s a lot more consideration and knowledge that’s put into it,” Mintun said.