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Spring 2019 Exhibitions



January 18 – March 8, 2019
Artist Lecture: January 17, 7 pm, ACB 310
Opening Reception: January 18, 5-7 pm

This exhibition explores the convergence of sound and the body in the work of Jefferson Pinder. From human beings to automobiles, the artist utilizes the body as a kind of medium and a physical space. Featuring Pinder's video and objects from the past two decades, the exhibition explores the slippages between human and machine, from the anthropomorphizing of cars to the physical force of the human body. Sound, from sampled music to garbled noise, plays a driving force in Pinder's videos as well as objects, ranging from quotidian to extraterrestrial.

For Pinder, the automobile is like a shell or skin—a kind of sanctuary. He has always been fascinated with cars and the connection between driver and vehicle as powerful metaphor for the body. It can serve as an extension of one's own body but also a formidable force to be controlled and exerted by its driver. In Sonic Boom (2018), the most recent performance video in his "Inertia Cycle" series, Pinder tests the limits of a red 77' Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale once owned by a veteran. The performance is an extension of Pinder's interest in physicality, endurance, and exertion and the emotional and sometimes meditative response it elicits.

The exhibition title, Thin Skin/ Shock Layer, is drawn from a 2014 work in the exhibition by the same name. In this piece, Pinder utilizes salvaged street lines once used to demarcate lanes in the road to create a kind of textile. The lines peeled from the road bear signs of age and wear—having been driven over countless times—but also retain traces of their original reflective quality. Implicit in the work are references to racial trauma and deterioration, but also resilience. More obliquely, Pinder alludes to speed and sound—invoking theories relating to hypersonic aerodynamics and car design to describe the time-worn tapestry. The sound-based sculpture Funknik (2014), Pinder's refashioning of the Soviet-era satellite Sputnik I, similarly relies on found materials imbued with history and life. The orb-like object is faced in decorative tin from an old house in Baltimore and pulsates with layered sound coming from its embedded speakers. Like a relic of the Space Race that has fallen from the sky, Funknik, transmits Pinder's reflections on the past and fantasies of the future.

Jefferson Pinder received a BA in Theatre at University of Maryland in 1993 and an MFA from the Asolo Theatre Conservatory MFA Program Theatre at Florida State University in 1994. He went on to receive an MFA in Painting and Mixed Media at the University of Maryland in 2003. He has been featured in numerous group and solo shows including exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, Netherlands, The Tate Modern in the UK, The Phillips Collection, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Recently, Pinder was exhibited at the 2016 Shanghai Biennale, and at the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. He was awarded the 2016 United States Artist Award in the field of performance. He also was the recipient of the 2017 Moving Image Acquisition award and was a 2017 Guggenheim Foundation fine arts fellow. Pinder resides in Chicago, where he is Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Image: Jefferson Pinder, Funknik, 2014. Tin from Baltimore house, steel, wood, speakers, and audio. 80 x 60 x 52 in.; 45 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.




January 18 – March 6, 2019
Opening Reception: January 18, 5-7 pm
Artist Lecture: February 21, 7 pm, ACB 310

Erin Harmon's work dwells in the twilight zone between painting and sculpture. Filled with longing for places that do not actually exist, contradictions flourish with invocations of both the animated and the arrested, the joyful and the staid, the high and the low. Material and processes become sites for fantasy, illusion, and the interplay between flat and not-flat. The vibrant work in Aggregate Optics of Make-A-Do tinkers with scale to produce environments that we can project ourselves into as landscapes, even while confronting their qualities of un-nature.

Borne from Harmon's previous body of painted paper collages, her new work is influenced by techniques common to theatrical painters, a lineage of shapes and images become a trail of breadcrumbs from one idea to another. These materials are scoured, drawn, painted, cut, and recycled over time, one idea begetting another, endlessly self-generating. Whether it be through ceramic, painted muslin, or projection animation (a collaborative video in which Harmon's gouache-on-paper cut-outs have been animated by artist and musician Kyle Statham), the finished works encapsulate a romance with materials and processes.

Erin Harmon was raised in the suburbs of southern California. After graduating from San Diego State University with a BA in studio art, she earned her MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. She has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions around the country including at LAUNCH Gallery, Los Angeles; Field Projects, New York; the Target Gallery at the Torpedo Art Center, Alexandria, VA; the Atlanta Artists Center & Gallery, GA; and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, TN. She is a founding member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Los Angeles. She lives and works in Memphis, TN, and is Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Rhodes College, where she served James F. Ruffin Chair of Art.

Image: Erin Harmon, Proscenium Hedgerow, 2018. Latex on three cut muslin panels, dowels. 10 ft. 4 in. x 9 ft. x 2 ft. Courtesy of the artist.



March 29 – April 19, 2019
Opening Reception: March 29, 5-7 pm

So yeah umm... ya know, but right?, the Spring 2019 BFA Thesis Exhibition, features the work of nine graduating seniors of The University of Memphis Department of Art: Amber Banks, Julius Berry, Lesley Diamond, Zahria Cook, Stephanie Curry, Megan Dukes, Jordan Fisher, Lizzie Gray, and Elise Mckenna Wilson. The exhibition is a compilation of works in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, and ceramics. The presentation celebrates the completion of undergraduate studies and the culmination of each student's artistic exploration and experiences.


May 2, 2019, 6-8 pm