Derivative Composition Exhibition
WASHINGTON– VSA arts debuts “Derivative Composition” at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Gallery. A juried exhibition of artists with disabilities, “Derivative Composition” highlights the synergy among the disciplines, showcasing art that is inspired by the aesthetics of music, theater, and dance. The exhibition includes installation, performance art, sculpture, painting, woodcut, digital prints, video, and drawing.
VSA arts, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to the arts for people with disabilities, highlights the significant accomplishments of individuals with disabilities and supports those who wish to pursue a career in the arts. With exhibitions such as “Derivative Composition,” VSA arts introduces artists to the larger cultural community.
“This exhibition is one the most engaging that VSA arts has curated,” said Soula Antoniou, president of VSA arts. “Through this exhibition, the artists have created a powerful body of work that thrives on both the familiar and the unexpected, and the viewer is in a position to think about the intersection of the visual and performing arts.”
Katie Miller’s large-scale paintings focus on contemporary American culture in the suburban middle class. Miller, of Fairfax, Virginia, prefers ambiguity in her compositions and does not create them with a specific story in mind. Her work highlights the everyday moments of life that appear curiously strange or surreal when shown out of context. In this series, “Child Standing on a Dresser” and “Girl in the Yard” illustrates the dichotomies of childhood, such as the juxtaposition of innocence with a sense of threat. Through children, she explores the fine line between the disturbing and the comforting, the innocent and the provocative, the powerful and the vulnerable.
From Foster City, California, Emily Eifler’s whimsical sculptures are reminiscent of costuming, exploring boundaries in objects that are derived from the body. The resulting forms elicit an initial playful response. Upon closer investigation, however, they reveal a deeply personal experience with disability. Eifler, who has a progressive neurological disorder resulting in limited mobility, uses the work to examine biological forms in an effort to exert control.
From Manukau City, New Zealand, but inspired by the theatrics of U.S. politics, Ricky Subritzky’s collaborative installation with Australian artist Fiona MacDonald, “Lobby,” has two components: “Canopy” (ceiling) and “Movement” (silk drapes). The installation enfolds an image of America’s last Liberty Tree positioned as a mandala-like canopy circled by doves and hawks, while the surrounding space is completely wrapped with silk drapery, depicting a kaleidoscopic crowd scene. “Lobby” contemplates the struggles between citizens and governments, depicting aspects of the lineage of U.S. democracy.
The exhibition also includes:
Stephanie Andrews (Shoreline, Washington);
“accretion” series; digital prints
John Cadigan (Palo Alto, California);
“Monster Room I,” “Monster Room II,” “Monster Room III”; woodcut triptych
Terence Healy (Santa Monica, California);
“Andy”; animated film, pencil drawings
Sophie Kahn (Brooklyn, New York);
“Untitled”; short animation and Lambda print
Ken Morgan (Coventry, Connecticut);
“Two to Tango,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “The Last Dance,”
“Gray and White Dancers”; digital prints
Manjusha Rajadyaksha (Malvern, Pennsylvania);
“Pisces,” “Admiration”; enamel and acrylic on canvas
Barbara Romain (Los Angeles, California); “Hard Rain”; acrylic on unstretched canvas
Jeremy Schack (Waxahachie, Texas); “Adrianne”; video
Bill Shannon (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); “The Departure”; video
Mark Wittig (Tulsa, Oklahoma); “To Have Straights”;
sculptural installation and performance
Judson Wright (New York, New York); “Signature Sonata,”
“Portraiture”; interactive computer art
The distinguished jury included: Kristen Hileman, associate curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Astrid Persans, director of Powerhouse Projects; Lennox Campello, art critic, artist, and curator; and Rody Douzoglou, director of Douz and Mille.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F Street, N.W., and the Terrace Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed July 4. For more information, please call (202) 628-2800 or visit www.vsarts.org < http://www.vsarts.org/> .
About VSA arts
VSA arts is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. VSA arts provides educators, parents, and artists with resources and the tools to support arts programming in schools and communities. VSA arts showcases the accomplishments of artists with disabilities and promotes increased access to the arts for people with disabilities. Each year millions of people participate in VSA arts programs through a nationwide network of affiliates and in 55 countries around the world. VSA arts is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, please visit www.vsarts.org < http://www.vsarts.org>