Feature Articles

December 2011

Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC, Offers Works by Carmela Laganse, Sean Riley & Allison Reimus

Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC, will present the exhibit, Home Again, Home Again: Featuring new works by Carmela Laganse, Sean Riley and Allison Reimus, on view from Dec. 8 through Jan. 14, 2012. A lecture given by Allison Reimus and Sean Riley will be held at Redux on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, at 5pm followed by an opening reception from 6-9pm.

These three artists, with seemingly remote inspirations, share interests in the way that humans choose to fashion interior surroundings, and the reactions and emotions that these surroundings incur. Beautiful, rich textiles and familiar shapes, patterns and forms become curious and puzzling, perhaps even threatening under closer inspection. Each artist plays with the form and function of interior spaces, and the subsequent feelings and psychological states that are created by these spaces. Laganse’s furniture explores the aesthetic of luxurious fittings, while questioning the role and purpose of everyday pieces that we take for granted. Riley’s quilts develop detailed abstractions, created as a memorial that considers the historical and symbolic. Reimus’ paintings play with the influence of textiles, and create subtly emotional scenes that transcend the wood’s surface.

Carmela Laganse’s work is a series of unusual pieces of furniture designed to be ideal for bloodletting. She is fascinated with the role and implications of figures in popular culture, in this case, vampires. The titles of her works recall blood, or cuts of meat, and lead the viewer to balance disgust with interest, repulsion with attraction. Her ceramic work is constructed in unique, yet oddly familiar ways, and combined with textiles and woodwork that is reminiscent of Victorian luxury. Her work ultimately incorporates decorative interior elements in a way that makes us question our preconceptions of comfort and consider the human body and psyche.

Sean Riley’s work began as a memorial piece in remembrance of his late father, and all of the textiles used in the quilts came from his father’s wardrobe. The quilts served as a journey to learn about the art of quilt-making and to discover new forms or methods of abstraction. Throughout the construction of these pieces, Riley incorporated elements of symbolism with the goal of creating beautiful, functional objects with personal significance.

Allison Reimus’ paintings on wood panel replicate textiles and interior elements. Her work primarily uses color, line, repetition and abstraction to “transform a surface into something other than what can be defined by its physical properties.” Her paintings make us question the role of form and function. The two cannot be mutually exclusive, and the blurred line between them poses a fascinating question. Reimus wonders at the role and purpose of artists and art making in relation to this issue. However, her work does not seek to answer these questions, simply to explore them further, and investigate their implications for the human experience.

Laganse began her career with a background in ceramics and received her BFA at the University of Manitoba and her MFA at Ohio University. She has worked and taught at institutions including Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, and at White Mountain Academy for the Arts in Elliot Lake, Ontario. She has exhibited in Canada, Europe and the US at locations including the Gardiner Museum, Seigfred Gallery and Lynn Merhige Gallery. Laganse’s work explores haptic experience, play, emotion, idealism, romanticism and the human body through the use of modular environments and diverse materials and textiles.

Riley was born in Wareham, MA, and received his BFA in Painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He went on to receive his MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylania. Since his graduation he has received many honors including the Charles Addams Memorial Scholarship and the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant. Riley has been featured recently in several group exhibitions in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. His first solo exhibition, Everything in OK, was held in June of last year at MCLA Gallery 51, in North Adams, MA, where he currently lives and works. His recent work is a multimedia exploration of abstraction and symbolism that he uses to learn about the historical development of the art of quilt making and pattern-based painting. The quilts at the center of the project serve as a memorial to his late father.

Reimus was born in Saginaw, MI, and received her BFA from Michigan State University, and her MFA from American University in Washington, DC. She has received many awards and honors, most recently she was the 2009 recipient of the Crisp-Ellert Prize, and was featured in New American Paintings, No. 88 South Edition as an Editor’s Selection. Reimus has exhibited at numerous locations throughout the US, recently at Nudashank and School 33 Art Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and Grizzly Grizzly in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work explores ornamentation and various household objects of the domestic interior. The emotional, psychological aspect of her work addresses the philosophical questions that arise from the role and purpose of ornamentation. Her recent work specifically targets the role of painting in the scheme of the decorative interior.

Redux Contemporary Art Center is a Charleston, SC nonprofit organization committed to the fostering of creativity and the cultivation of contemporary art through diverse exhibitions, subsidized studio space for artists, expansive educational programming, and a multidisciplinary approach to the dialogue between artists and audience. Housed within a 10,000 square foot warehouse are two galleries, 22 private artist studios, print shop, darkroom, woodshop, classroom, and film-screening area. Redux is committed to showing artwork by national and international artists, supporting local artists, and enriching the Charleston community by offering adult and youth education programs. As the only arts organization in Charleston providing these much needed opportunities, Redux maintains an ambitious schedule of exhibition, outreach, and studio programs to accomplish our goals.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 843/722-0697 or visit (www.reduxstudios.org).

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