We’ve had a busy couple of months here at the Art League. Planning for the Northside Festival, installing new shows, hosting concerts by the Lexington Philharmonic, and getting ready for the upcoming Member’s show has kept us all scrambling to make things happen! However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want you stopping by to say hey and check out the amazing art we’re currently showing. In fact, there’s nothing we’d like more!
We have three great shows going on right now by three very different but talented artists. All three exhibits feature a wide array of artistic mediums: print, painting, sculpture, photography, and video art.
Ken Howl, American Exceptionalism, Degenerate Counterculture, and the 100 Seconds Till Midnight, September – November 2020
American Exceptionalism, Degenerate Counterculture, and the 100 Seconds Till Midnight features a series of paintings and digital works by Lexington-based artist Ken Howl. This highly charged show interrogates notions of patriotism, nationalism, and Americanism in our current moment. Howl’s work expresses the anxieties and fears that plague contemporary America using images and sounds that are as abstract as they are chaotic. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, his show is an apt illustration of everything that’s happened over the last several years.
Kristina Arnold, It’s Probably Not Contagious, 2013 Ink, graphite, cut paper, stitching 10” x 14” x 2.5” $550
Just across the hall from Howl’s show is Manifesting Presence, a group show featuring work by Kristina Arnold, Leslie Nichols, and Yvonne Petkus. This is the first time that the three artists have exhibited work as the ‘Critique Collective’; an artists’ group they started in Bowling Green six years ago. Manifesting Presence explores the ways in which we hold space: both as individuals and as groups. The show asks: what does it mean to hold space? And how do biological, psychological, historical, and social environments shape this process? The works shown in this exhibit feature a variety of different mediums, reflecting the many ways that space can be held. Arnold’s installations use cast glass, mixed fiber media, paper and ink; Nichols plays with text-based work through manual typewriters and a letterpress printing press; and Petkus makes sculptural paintings using plexiglass, mylar, panel, and canvas.
Leslie Nichols, Siobhan (Parliament 1882), 2016. Typewritten ink on paper 16” x 16” $800
Yvonne Petkus, Tensile/Release, 2020. Oil on canvas 42" x 42" x 2" $4,400
And finally, Being in the Land is on view in the Neal Sulier Gallery. Featuring a series of photographic artworks by artist Robyn Moore; Being in the Land visually expresses the intangible and inaccessible forces that dwell within our world. Using two distinct processes, pinhole photography and photopolymer gravure, Moore explores how the Land carries within it a biological and historical significance that is immaterial but present. In the small gallery adjacent to the Neal Sulier, Moore is also showing work from a related series called Embodied Knowledge. This series develops and expands on the ideas that undergird Being in the Land. These works reflect on ‘embodiment’: the philosophical/psychological theory that knowledge is something that we experience through our physical body. Knowledge is, as the name implies, embodied. Together, Being in the Land and Embodied Knowledges reflect on the unseen forces within nature that effect and shape us in ways that we often don’t recognize.
Robyn Moore, Osprey Nest, Chesapeake Bay VA), 2016 Archival pigment print from 4x5 inch pinhole negative 16” x 20” $800
These three shows, though quite different from one another, offer an exciting and fascinating juxtaposition. I think that, together, these shows ask us (maybe even force us) to consider our relationship to the world(s) we’re enmeshed in. Howl’s show confronts us with the anxiety and discomfort of many Americans at this time. We’re forced to consider (even feel) the oppressive forces that the governing authorities inflict on people every day. Manifesting Presence explores the revolutionary potential of presence and shows us the many ways that it is expressed. Finally, Moore’s work contemplates the ways that presence can be embodied and the ways in which we embody forces larger than ourselves.
American Exceptionalism, Degenerate Counterculture, and the 100 Seconds Till Midnight, Manifesting Presence, and Being in the Land are on view at the Loudon House until November 6. We encourage you to stop in and see them or take a virtual tour of the exhibitions. These can be found at http://www.lexingtonartleague.org/current.html.
Author: Aaron Reynolds
Aaron Reynolds is the curatorial intern for the Lexington Art League. He holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and visual studies from the University of Kentucky, and is now working towards an MFA in curatorial studies.
Public Gallery Hours
Saturday 12pm - 5pm
Viewings also available by appointment
The Loudoun House
209 Castlewood Dr.
Lexington, Ky. 40505
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All Lexington Art League programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts. LexArts allocation of $50,000 represents the largest single donation to the operations of the Lexington Art League.
The Kentucky Arts Council, a state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Art League with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Lexington Parks & Recreation.