Evangelists of the Obvious
June 4 – July 16
Engine’s gallery at 163 Main Street
Opening Reception: Saturday June 4, 4:00-6:30PM
Evangelists of the Obvious features three artists whose work aims to elevate objects and ideas that have been drained of all emotion and lost their profundity through over-use and collective cynicism. Through the reinvigoration of platitudes, these works play in the space between the sacred and mundane. The exhibition will include sculpture, printmaking, drawing, painting, and photography. Participating artists: Taylor French Benoit, Carter Shappy, and Rachel Romanski. Curated by Rachel Romanski.
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Typography design by @molliennis
Evangelists of the Obvious features three artists whose work aims to elevate objects and ideas that have been drained of all emotion and lost their profundity through over-use and collective cynicism. Through the reinvigoration of platitudes, these works play in the space between the sacred and mundane.
Taylor French Benoit combines elements of the natural and the distinctly human to explore the promises and pitfalls of how we choose to see, and separate ourselves from, the natural world. The psychologist and mystic, Ken Wilber writes in his book on non-duality, “nature isn’t smarter than we think, it’s smarter than we can think.” This concept is explored with the minimalist insistence on the here and now. ‘We’re all one’ and ‘be here now’ oozes a saccharine sentimentality, but within them lies the possibility of deeply nuanced truth.
Rachel Romanski uses imagery of the near ubiquitous granny-square crocheted blanket as a relic of middle and working class culture. Working specifically from a blanket made by her great grandmother, she memorializes this unique yet commonplace object by incorporating symbols of wealth, sanctity, and distinction. Particularly inspired by Italian Renaissance paintings and Art Deco over abundance, this combination asks us to reconsider the lens from which we experience the ordinary.
Carter Shappy takes inspiration from the fractal patterns found while exerting extreme force on printmaking ink. These patterns— often dismissed as an accouterment of hippie culture — have proven instrumental in broadening our understanding of a staggering plethora of scientific and mathematical fields of research. His practice proliferates similarly to the self-replicating nature of fractals. The large stand alone shapes he uses are extracted from the larger more intricate prints, and provide the basis for an evolving mythology. Like earthly constellations, these shapes take on personas both fantastical and archetypal.
The exhibition title is borrowed from Micheal Pollan’s book How to Change Your Mind (What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence). A special thank you to Mollie Ennis for her expertise in designing the exhibition typography.