Curator Andrea Packard '85
Discusses Latest List Gallery Exhibit
by Mary Prager '11
"I wanted to bring in artwork, especially paintings, that challenge us to expand our ability to look at and to understand information and to explore philosophical questions that are presented visually, not just orally." So says Andrea Packard '85, curator of the List Gallery, where the exhibit, "Painting Structures: Specificity and Synthesis," will grace the walls until the end of March.
Kevin Wixted, Gimignano 2, 2006, oil on canvas, 24x30in.
The exhibit features paintings by seven artists - Rackstraw Downes, Yvonne Jacquette, Sharon Horvath, Sarah McEneaney, Kevin Wixted, David Kapp, and Stanley Lewis - who depict familiar scenes in unfamiliar ways. "These artists take familiar scenes and try to capture an image that conveys their personal response to it," Packard says. "It's a process of translation. By translating the ordinary into art, they reactivate our own curiosity and intensiveness."
List Gallery Intern Andrew Taylor '09 and Clare Kobasa '10 will examine these different aspects of portraying architecture and how the individual pieces in the show are organized to create a cohesive effect in a talk and reception at the Gallery on Mon., Mar. 24. at 12:30 p.m.
According to Packard, the exhibit, part of this year's Cooper Event Series, is the product of two years of planning, thinking, and organizing. "Curating this show has been a long and interesting journey," she says. Packard has known four of the artists - Downes, Lewis, McEneaney, and Jaquette - for 20 years. The others she found more recently, through word of mouth, galleries, and the Internet. "Their particular apparatus has a poetry and a completeness and a sort of intensity that sets them apart from other artists," she says.
One idea the artists explore, Packard says, is how structures that we see everyday become imprinted in us and become a part of our visual memory and identities. The exploration of architecture to better understand the architecture of painting is also an underlying concept. Ultimately, Packard says, "it's more of a question than an answer."
After its sojourn at Swarthmore, the exhibit will travel to The Painting Center in New York.