McKnight Fellowship Award

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and The McKnight Foundation are proud to announce the eight recipients of the 2014/15 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists: David Bowen of Duluth, Sam Gould, Alexa Horochowski, Michael Hoyt, Alison Malone, Lamar Peterson, Joe Smith, and Tetsuya Yamada, all of the Twin Cities.

Designed to identify and support outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists provide recipients with $25,000 stipends, public recognition, professional encouragement from national visiting critics, an individual artist book, and an opportunity to participate in a speaker series. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from The McKnight Foundation and administered by MCAD.

The 2014 McKnight fellows were selected from a group of 271 applicants by a panel of arts professionals of varying backgrounds whose careers intersect with the visual arts in different ways. This year’s jurors were Xandra Eden, curator of exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Hesse McGraw, vice-president of exhibitions and public programs at the San Francisco Art Institute; and Deborah Willis, a practicing artist and professor and chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch Center for the Arts at New York University.

ClubDisminucion

Alexa Horochowski: Club Disminución

The Soap Factory, September 6 – November 9, 2014

The exhibition Club Disminución (“Club of Diminishing Returns”) was instigated by Alexa Horochowski’s artist residency at Casa Poli, Coliumo, Chile, 2012/2013. Designed by architects Maurizio Peso and Sofia Erlichshausen, Casa Poli, a minimalist, cement cube, functions as a cultural art center/artist studio. Built on a jagged cliff overlooking the Pacific, 30 miles from Chile’s second largest city, Concepción, Casa Poli appears perched at the end of the world. It offers views of the ocean from three of the cardinal points (South, West, and North), and directly below Casa Poli, the surf pounds into a narrow cave. The separation between landscape and architecture is indistinct.

In her pursuit of the physicality of form Alexa Horochowski uses a wide range of elemental media to render sculptures that defy their native qualities. Hard becomes soft, soft becomes hard, gestures are frozen. Natural objects, flotsam, and ‘naturalized’ garbage, combined with studio-generated objects, suggest a post-human natural history of the future. Sculpture, video, and large-scale digital prints work together to depict the struggle between the human drive to create lasting symbols of culture, and Nature’s indifferent, persistent erasure of these symbols.

The landscape is distilled into distinctive objects that are charged with elements of the alien or unknown. Horochowski molds cochayuyo (Durivillaea antartica, kelp that grows on the shores of Chile and New Zealand) into cuboidal forms that merge the mechanical with the organic/living. Sponges are translated into bronze so that they resemble pumice, and natural materials take on the qualities of man-made objects. The work explores entropy and the passing of time by imitating the natural processes of accretion and aggregation found in caves or the persistent impression left by fauna and water on architecture and the landscape. A fossil of a credit card heralds a post-consumer future, beyond the Era of the Anthropocene.

Mundane Train, an installation by Alexa Horochowski

May 16 – June 8, 2014

Materials associated with modern infrastructure – railroad ties, cinder blocks, safety cones – are presented in unexpected and dynamic relation to one another. In a nod to high culture, each sculpture offers a formal experience of materiality – featuring texture, balance, and unity – while remaining grounded in the mundane. The anachronistic industrial process of iron casting (used to produce Cooler, Pallet, and Safety Cone) foregrounds the discardable objects that litter the human landscape by transforming them into ossified facsímile of the original. In their relative permanence these figures assume the role of unglorious monuments – heralds of a post-consumer future, beyond the Era of the Anthropocene.

 

 

Durvilaea Antartica hung from a window during my artist residency at Casa Poli, Coliumo, Chile, 2012

 

Installation exhibited at Burnet Gallery, Minneapolis, 2011. Manufactured minimalist forms, photographs, modeled wax, and cast metal sculptures function as props that lend the exhibition space qualities of the natural world.  Polished steel functions as a stand-in for reflective water and sky. A black and white photograph of tree bark emphasizes the subject’s map-like structure; delicate metal rods chart a crystalline structure.

Oligarchy was built out of wood, cloth and wax and cast in bronze to resemble a hybrid fallen chandelier/stalactite. The transformation of the rivulets of wax into bronze are similar to formations found in caves.

Rock is built out of steel rod and mirrored steel producing a structure whose reflections and shadows have more impact than overall mass.

The Christening of H.M.S. Speedwell took place at Silver Lake with the assistance of the Sea Clamp.

Fata Morgana is an Italian phrase signifying a complex, rapidly changing mirage that can occur on land or sea often distorting dramatically the object one sees. To make this sculpture I dripped wax over a common model ship. I wanted the ship to look encrusted, as if it sunk to the bottom of the sea where over time it was covered in barnacles. Its surface references the passage of time and gives it a melting, surreal quality. The ship is cast out of bronze and weighs about 123 lbs. It is kept afloat by a submerged buoy. The buoy allows the ship to rise up and down as water from the lake evaporates or increases with rainfall.

Silver Lake at Silverwood Park, Minnesota, Summer 2012 and 2013

Dowel Mountain

Installation using 600 dowels at Art of This, Minneapolis.

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