Monday, March 25, 2013

BENNINGTON: Laura Christensen at Bennington Museum

Laura Christensen
March 23 through June 16, 2013
Artist Reception: Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 3-4:30 pm

Works by Laura Christensen on view in Regional Artists Gallery
Described as delicate visual mash-ups, Laura Christensen’s work is created with subtly detailed painting or carefully cut fragments mixed with old snapshots and photographic portraits. These new composites tell mysterious stories that express personal reflections and light-hearted fictions. 
In one of the series of Christensen’s work, 1970’s color snapshots became substrates for new collages incorporating bits of art history. “Janson’s History of Art was the first victim of my Xacto knife,” states the artist.  Other art books followed. “Now, elements of paintings from many artists, including Giotto, Ellsworth Kelly, Jacques Louis David, and Grandma Moses, interact with the characters and places in the photographs. A few parts are cut from science books to create such scenes as a baby shark peering over a woman’s shoulder and a microscopic view of blood dancing with a cat,” the artist explains.
Here,Then,Today and Far Away, 2011
Another series incorporates photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “These I have altered, not with cut out collage bits, but by painting miniature images onto each photograph. In Here, Then, Today and Far Away, I painted a swarm of colorful flitting butterflies. I also crafted the cherry wood box and silk curtains to set the stage,” states Christensen.   In As Long As Breath Holds, a picture of water gushing from a dam was painted directly onto an antique tintype portrait. Below it rests a part from the score of Water Music, an early composition by John Cage.
From the Midwest, Christensen’s experiences gradually expanded to include the metropolitan buzz of New York City, the Rocky Mountains, New England woods, fifteenth-century Italian frescoes, and telemark skiing. She has studied German, Economics, and Art History, in addition to accomplishing the M.F.A. in drawing. Her artwork has been exhibited both in the United States and internationally.  Regionally, both The Art Center of the Capital Region and Kidspace at MASS MoCA have featured her work. Within the last several years Christensen was awarded an Artists’ Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Grant, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and an Individual Artist Grant, a fund of the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Currently, her artwork can be found at Hudsons in the MASS MoCA campus and in the exhibit, Some Assembly Required, at the Albany International Airport.

About the Museum
The Bennington Museum, located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington has the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings in the world as well as the largest collection of 19th century Bennington pottery.  In the other nine galleries, the museum presents a 1924 Wasp Touring Car, one of only twenty produced, military artifacts, one of the earliest ‘stars and stripes’ in existence, fine and decorative arts and more. On view November 24 through December 30 is Festival of Trees – Around the World.  The museum is open Thursday through Tuesday, 10 am to 5 pm.  Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18.  Admission is never charged for younger students or to visit the museum shop. Visit the museum’s website or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

Here,Then,Today and Far Away, 2011
Laura Christensen
6” x 15” x  3” inches
Oil paint, antique photographs, antique paper, cherry wood, and silk