Purdue Galleries opens season with 'Shifting Spaces'

August 24, 2015  

Shifting spaces

"Shifting Spaces" - Ben Marcin, Portugal Steps, color photograph, 2014. (Photo provided)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University Galleries will open its 2015-16 season on Aug. 31 with two new exhibits of artists deconstructing visual space and personal environments.

"Shifting Spaces" will be presented through Oct. 10 in the Robert L. Ringel Gallery in Stewart Center.

The artists in "Shifting Spaces" – Rachel Hellman (Terra Haute, Indiana), Ben Marcin (Baltimore), and Ryan Parker (Philadelphia) – draw inspiration from architectural environments, manipulating forms of color, line, and shape to reveal unique perspectives of space and place. The exhibit was curated by Liz Erlewine, coordinator of the Patti & Rusty Rueff Galleries, and Lisa Wicka, former demonstration assistant at Fountain Gallery.

Hellman, Marcin, and Parker work in a variety of media including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and video. The images fall between an abstract space and a figurative inhabitable one, underscoring the ambiguity of space and image and the visual tension between old and new technology.

Together, the three artists pay homage to the urban landscape by acknowledging the surrounding architecture, the artist’s own hand, and the human experience.

shifting spaces artists

Triple image of the artists in "Shifting Spaces" - Rachel Hellmann (left to right), Thin Like Oil, acrylic and graphite on board, 2014; Ben Marcin, Portugal Steps, color photograph, 2014; and Ryan Parker, Windows III, pastel, 2013 (Photo provided) 

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From 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 1, Purdue Galleries will host a gallery talk by Hellmann followed by a closing reception in the Ringel gallery.

"Tom Berenz: Towards the North" will be presented Sept. 1 through Oct. 10 in the Fountain Gallery in downtown Lafayette.

Berenz uses the disaster motif as a metaphor to discuss personal, socio­political, environmental and ideological issues in his large mixed media canvases. Through the motif of disaster, he explores the existential self and examines personal narratives, with some being more literal and others more enigmatic.

The imagery is in constant flux, but always returns to a pile. "A pile is everything and it is nothing. It is a mound that once was and now isn’t; a mass of information, both physical and metaphysical, organized and chaotic." Berenz is interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devasta­tion and the sublime.

galleries berenz

Tom Berenz, Red Flower Ashes, acrylic, oil, and spray paint on canvas, "55-by-60," 2014. (Photo provided) 

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From 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 3, Purdue Galleries will host a gallery talk by the artist followed by a reception in the Fountain gallery.

Purdue Galleries director Craig Martin says the works of these artists have an interesting similarity. 

"The 'broken' planes of vision in Shifting Spaces and the tossed physical remnants in Tom Berenz' work all speak to the breaking down of what we see and hold around us," he said. "In their way, all of the artists are seeking to show us a new way of seeing and interpreting our own worlds."

The Robert L. Ringel Gallery is located in Stewart Center on Purdue's main campus. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 8 p.m. on Thursday.

The Fountain Gallery is located at 330 Main Street, Lafayette, in the historic Perrin Building. The gallery is open noon to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. All Purdue Galleries exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

For class and group visits, contact Craig Martin at Purdue Galleries at 765-494-3061. For more information, visit http://www.purdue.edu/galleries or follow @PurdueGalleries on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Contact: Craig Martin, 765-494-3061, cdmartin@purdue.edu 

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