Feature Articles

April 2014

SECCA in Winston-Salem, NC, Features Works by Jennifer Meanley and Eric Fertman

The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, is presenting Jennifer Meanley: Far away, in the meadow, on view through May 24, 2014. The solo exhibition was organized by SECCA and curated by Steven Matijcio. SECCA will also present Eric Fertman: A Comic Turn, on view from Apr. 1 through June 30, 2014. This exhibition is SECCA Curator of Contemporary Art Cora Fisher’s first show at the museum.

A joint opening reception for Jennifer Meanley: Far away, in the meadow and Eric Fertman: A Comic Turn will be held on Apr. 1, from 6-8pm. Guests will be able to experience the exhibitions in the company of both artists. Refreshments and a cash bar will be provided.

The paintings and collages of North Carolina-based artist Jennifer Meanley lure us into richly hued and strange worlds. The exhibition includes new work by Meanley and features a site-specific 27-foot collage, which draws on classical narratives and further demonstrates the emotional complexity of the artist’s imagery and storytelling.

The title, Far away, in the meadow, comes from Ray Bradbury’s 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, where - in what the writer calls “the Mirror’s maze” - shadows flicker “as if parts of someone’s life, yet unborn, were trapped there, waiting to be lived.”

“Such is the case in Meanley’s lush, mystical gardens, where the shards of men, women, animals, and the in between frolic in a carnival on the cusp of being,” writes Matijcio, currently curator at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. This is Matijcio’s final exhibition at SECCA concluding a vibrant five-year tenure.

Meanley studied painting at the University of New Hampshire and received an MFA from Indiana University. Since 2007 Meanley has been represented by Jacqueline Stoneberger at Les Beaux-Arts des Ameriques Gallery in Montreal, Canada. Since 2006 she has exhibited and lectured extensively at venues including the Manifest Drawing and Painting Center in Cincinnati; the University of Louisiana, Monroe; Ferrum College in Virginia, and at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Currently Meanley teaches painting and drawing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Eric Fertman: A Comic Turn, curated by Cora Fisher, explores object-based humor through the medium of sculpture in a survey of Fertman’s work. Fertman’s practice gives absurdist humor many forms, from the wordplay of a title to gently ironic manipulations of the Modernist canon, to cartoon motifs lovingly crafted in wood, evoking a more sophisticated sense of humor. Alongside a comprehensive survey of three bodies of work by the artist from 2007-2014, the exhibition will feature several new sculptures by Fertman created for SECCA.

SECCA Executive Director Mark Leach says, “We’re thrilled to invite the community to get acquainted with Cora’s imaginative and playful curatorial vision. I think our public will thoroughly enjoy her intelligent gathering of the featured work and her insightful analysis of Mr. Fertman’s creative practice.”

Also included in the show are three video works by performance and conceptual artists whose works capture humor enacted with and through objects, creating a conversation across media. Ger van Elk’s 1970 “Well-shaven Cactus,” Kate Gilmore’s 2010 “Pot, Kettle, Black” and Cynthia Maughan’s “Coffin from Toothpicks” add moments of performative jest and surprise – or comic turns, as suggested by the show’s title. “Together the works play on expectations and allow us to explore humor both as a physical encounter and an idea,” says Fisher.

Fertman graduated from Cooper Union in New York City. Since 1997 his work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Sculpture Center in New York; Museum 52; the Guild and Greyshkul Gallery in New York; the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York; the 2010 Brucennial in New York; the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, MO; the Roberts and Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles; and at the Ritter/Zamet Gallery in London. He is represented in New York by the Susan Inglett Gallery.

In conjunction with Eric Fertman: A Comic Turn SECCA will host “Pun Intended Comedic Tours” on May 22 and June 26. Breaking away from traditional docent-led tours, this 30-minute comedian led tour will provide participatory and playful elaborations of the exhibition. The free tours will begin at 6pm.

The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art seeks to enhance perspectives, inspire community and ignite new ideas at the intersection of art and its visitors. SECCA is an affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art, a division of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. SECCA receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Additional funding is provided by the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings or visit (www.secca.org).

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