Lichtundfire is happy to extend Chewing Tar, a tightly curated group show by Linda Griggs, which sheds a light on artists working with non-traditional materials, usually used in a different non-art context. The use and inclusion of nontraditional, commercial materials to make art leaves the option for an infinite expansion of the creative field and encourages the redefinition of what has been perceived as distinguishably artistic.
From the the Catalog Essay by Linda Griggs:
Chewing Tar brings together fourteen artists working with materials typically manufactured for non-art purposes. Included are roofing tar, fibrated asphalt, tire rubber, wood shims, aluminum oxide, Tyvek®, 3D printing, and fused plaster.
These artists come to their materials differently. Some find that the material inspires the art. There is an irresistible attraction in shiny tar, shimmering aluminum, and thick, black rubber. For others, when a preconceived idea can’t be executed using traditional art supplies, non-traditional materials are sought out. In either case the industrial materials intended purpose is discarded in favor of its visual potential.
This show differs from up-cycled shows in that the artists did not choose their medium based on its ubiquity as a discarded material … and offers a view of these non-traditional art materials focusing on the rich, the lush, and the refulgent, often showcasing the tactile or voluptuous qualities of the medium.
The artists choices, humble or high tech, present an element of surprise as we become aware of the materials original purpose and its newly elevated and highlighted significance in these handsome, visually textural pieces.
Chewing Tar Lichtundfire is the second installment in the ongoing Chewing Tar series, which began with an exhibition at the UMASS Amherst Fine Arts Center, Hampden Gallery, March 2016. The title Chewing Tar refers to the childhood pastime of chewing on melting, sticky tar found on the side of the road in the summertime.
Linda Griggs (MFA Hunter College, BFA Virginia Commonwealth University) has curated or assisted on 12 exhibitions. Her past shows include All | Together | Different: A Survey of Working Artists on the Lower East Side, reviewed on PBS Arts Watch, ARTslant Worldwide, ARTslant, Bedford + Bowery, IdeaSmyth, DART and Visual Arts Daily. It included over 100 artists including Kiki Smith, Roger Welch, Richard Hambleton, Kembra Pfahler, Anton Van Dalen, David Sandlin, and Susannah Coffey. Mapping Heaven, a group exhibition at Front Room Gallery, NYC, was reviewed in Arts in Bushwick. In Worth Telling, co-curated with Erik Sanner at The Clemente, NYC, artists responded to writers including Luc Sante, Jose Antonio Vargas, Duke Riley and Nicole Wittenberg. Sweetness and Light and Where There’s Smoke were shown at the Hampden Gallery, UMASS Amherst. She directs E32, an ongoing Lower East Side crit/discussion group.
The catalog can be viewed online at https://sites.google.com/site/