Installation of Olga Lah's work Amass and Swell, Photograph courtesy of the artist

BOUNDLESS

November 25, 2022 through February 26, 2023

On view in the Atrium, Blackmon, Goldman, Richard, Rushton Stakely, and Weil Galleries

Overview

BOUNDLESS epitomizes the words of 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” In this exhibition, six artists from across the country transform the galleries with colossal works of art. Created specifically for the MMFA, these works break free from the constraints of traditional frames and pedestals by spanning across walls into the room itself, projecting into the galleries, or hanging from the ceilings. Some artists play with perceptions—by using everyday objects combined with traditional materials, they draw not on paper but instead in the space itself—while others create environments that encourage a new look at our surroundings. Vacillating between abstraction and representation, these installations playfully engage us while exploring concepts like memory, identity, consumerism, and notions of home.

Organizer + Sponsor

Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.

This exhibition is funded, in part, by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Support for this exhibition was provided by lead sponsor Lamar with additional support from co-sponsors Captrust; Ms. Camille Elebash-Hill and Mr. W. Inge Hill, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. L. Daniel Morris, Jr.; Dr. and Mrs. Alfred J. Newman, Jr.; and Warren Averett, LLC.

Above: Installation of Olga Lah’s artwork Amass and Swell, 2015, at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA, Photograph courtesy of the artist

Participating Artists

Lillian Blades | Atlanta, GA

Ashley Blalock | San Diego, CA

Dave Eppley | Brooklyn, NY

Olga Lah | Long Beach, CA

Melissa Vandenberg | Richmond, KY

Jamele Wright, Sr. | Atlanta, GA

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”

 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(French, 1712–1778), philosopher

Meet the Artists

Lillian Blades was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1973 and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. She holds a BFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and an MFA in Painting from Georgia State University. In addition, Lillian has studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and Caversham in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

San Diego-based artist Ashley V. Blalock is best known for her enormous crocheted red doilies. She uses craft-based processes to create objects and site-responsive installations inspired by everyday artifacts from the domestic sphere. Through the meditative process of crochet, where every stitch is evidence of work by hand, she explores themes of discomfort and the coping mechanisms used to provide solace from the stress and trauma of modern life. Her series of installations called “Keeping Up Appearances,” which is both anachronistic and antagonistic. This series consists of vibrant red forms nailed and tied to the walls, floor, and ceiling that are actually giant crochet doilies. Although non-threatening in a domestic setting, in the gallery and at this scale, the forms overtake the viewer and loom menacingly. The doilies represent a certain desire to keep up the appearance of gentility expressed through the arrangement of objects in the domestic setting. Inherent is a compulsion to arrange and place and decorate in order to control or influence a perceived outward appearance. The red color gives away the futility of such an act and hints at the unease that exists behind every well-decorated home and lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange.

Dave Eppley uses geometry and sign-making materials to investigate and intervene in architectural spaces. His work is an attempt to draw the intricacies out of each individual space and find the connections that lie amidst them.  With his application of vinyl onto walls, flooring, and space, Eppley brings attention to that which we often ignore, encouraging us to see a space anew.  Eppley holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) and has installed site-specific installations at such institutions as the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa, the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Wisconsin, Oboro in Montreal, and the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in New York, among others.

Olga Lah is a second-generation Korean-American, born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She currently resides in Long Beach, California. She received a double B.A. in Studio Art and Art History from the University of California at Riverside. She also received an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is interested in creating site-specific installations that point to ideas on existence, transcendence, and memory. She has exhibited extensively including at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Los Angeles International Airport. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Korea Times, LA Weekly, OC Weekly, KCET Artbound, and Los Angeles Magazine. Her awards include an Artist Fellowship with the Arts Council for Long Beach, the Korea Arts Foundation of America Bienniel Award, and the Goldman Fellowship for residency at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program.

Born and educated in Detroit, Melissa Vandenberg is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and curator living in Eastern Kentucky. Her studio practice explores the political landscape using national identity, folk art, ancestry, immigration, and the perception of a homeland as points of departure. She gravitates to everyday materials like matches, fabric, stickers, wood, and commonplace objects. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Iceland, and extensively throughout the United States. Melissa received a BFA in 1999 from Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan and a MFA in 2005 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has been the recipient of numerous grants including a Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant, the Al Smith Fellowship, Great Meadows Foundation Travel Grant, and was shortlisted for the Luxembourg Art Prize in 2016. Melissa is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Kentucky University.

Born and raised in Ohio, at the age of 22 Jamele Wright, Sr., moved with his family to Atlanta, Georgia. While raising a family, Jamele produced art, jazz, and poetry events throughout Atlanta. Realizing that there were many young artists not being represented, he started a gallery called Neo-Renaissance Art House. After curating the gallery for over a year, Jamele was inspired to pursue his own artistic career and was in a number of solo and group exhibitions. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Art History with a concentration on African and African American Contemporary Art and a Masters of Fine Art from School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York. He completed a fellowship at Project for Empty Spaces in Newark, New Jersey. He lives and works in Atlanta, GA.

Example Installations

These photographs reflect the breadth of each artist’s work. Actual installations at the MMFA will vary.

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