ladder graphic
kaz mccue
projects

AGAINST TRADITION: TRENDS IN CONTEMPORARY PRINTMAKING

Against Tradition: Trends in Contemporary Printmaking is a group exhibition which seeks to investigate contemporary printmakers’ interest in the potential of printmaking to engage in a broader dialogue within the visual arts. Working against traditional forms and techniques, today’s print artists are more concerned with experimentation and alternative combinations rather than the continuity of the medium. Printmaking offers seemingly endless flexibility in the creation of new and exciting visual applications and it has established itself as a medium for artists seeking greater freedom of expression.

This exhibition will take place at the University Art Gallery / Indiana State University in March of 2004 and will include the work of thirty artists from across the United States, Canada and Europe. My interest in a project of this nature comes from the dramatic changes that have taken place within the field of printmaking over the past 20 years and reflects my personal interests and experiences within the medium. In addition to the exhibition, I will also be traveling to Scotland to conduct research, look at contemporary print work, talk about the project and foster an international exchange of contemporary printmakers.

* Support for this project is provided, in part, by Indiana State University, the Indiana Arts Commission, and Bradley University.

EXTRAORDINARY THINGS: A STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY ART THROUGH MATERIAL CULTURE

Material Culture is a term originally used by archaeologists to represent “the vast universe of objects used by mankind to cope with the physical world, to facilitate social intercourse, and to benefit our state of mind” (James Deetz). Material culture studies is now an accepted and thriving discipline that considers every aspect of the ways people imagine, create, use, and interpret their physical environment. Material culture studies are diverse and range from traditional formal analyses of artifacts to more contemporary focuses such as gender, consumption, perception, and social self-definition.

The Extraordinary Things Project was initiated in 1998 for the purpose of creating a visual and intellectual dialogue of contemporary art from a material culture perspective. The project focuses on how contemporary artists work with, examine, and interpret objects and artifacts and create visual interpretations or reflections of their own physical world. The underlying premise is that the objects made or modified by man reflect the values, beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions of the larger society to which they belonged.

The Extraordinary Things Project seeks to look at how individual artists embrace the methodology of material culture within their work. The group of thirty-five or so project artists create their work in the spirit of examining our culture through its materials. Although the focus of the project provides for a common method for creating visual works, the language of the works are quite diverse and vary based on the individual artist’s own interpretations. Ultimately, the intention of the project is to create a dialogue for looking at and creating art through a material culture understanding.

* Support for this project is provided, in part, by Indiana State University, the Indiana Arts Commission, Bradley University and Soundview Community Studio. Project exhibitions, lectures and panel discussions are available for travel. Project catalogs are available upon request.

TONGUE AND CHIC: 2 PERSPECTIVES

Tongue in Chic: 2 Perspectives is a collaborative presentation of works by Pamela Ayres and Kaz McCue. The project provides for an unusual blend of contemporary works by this dynamic husband-wife team and features a variety innovative works which play on the relationship between form and concept. Ayres’ work is materially sensitive and contrary while McCue works towards sarcastic insight. Ayres’ artistic background is in painting and sculpture and McCue comes from a background of photography, printmaking and sculpture. Despite the obvious differences in the form of their work, however, the two share a playful approach to subject and presentation.

This dynamic couple share their passion for the arts on many levels. In addition to their accomplishments as visual artists, the two also work as curators and educators. Ayres currently serves as Gallery Director at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI and McCue is Director of Visual Arts at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen MI. The pair met in graduate school at Long Island University / C.W. Post Campus where they both received their Master of Fine Arts degrees in 1993. The two have extensive experience in teaching and arts administration and both work tirelessly as advocates for the arts. Throughout their careers they have been leaders in their communities and have devoted themselves to arts education.

FREAKS OF NATURE: A PARADY OF ELEMENTS

The Freaks of Nature Project is a visual investigation of the concept of disparity. I began developing this body of work in 2000 in an effort to return to my formal roots in photography while continuing to work with found three-dimensional objects. The photographic images are derived from temporary site installations thta place a variety of found objects in environments that directly contrast them. The installations are then photographed as composed landscapes and digitally enhanced to affect the colors for psychological effect. Once the altered environments have been documented they are dismantled so that the only record for the installations are the printed photographic murals.

In creating this series of images, I am working to examine my own modern culture by exploring the material aspects of our society. The work makes use of found objects and modern materials, taken from contemporary material culture, and the various landscapes and environments found throughout the United States. In some cases the landscapes are natural environments and in other cases the environments are man-made. The contrast or disparity between the two aspects will draw attention to both and the two contrasting elements work together to create surreal visual relationships that focus on color and form.

* This project is supported, in part, by a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Multi-Media Arts / Interdisciplinary Practices

Material Culture Studies

Visual Culture Studies

Decline Male Gender Roles in Contemporary American Culture