Emerging Artists Showcase Exhibits Work By Jason Mortara

A work by Jason Mortara

Jason Mortara “Encampment” and “Public Sculpture”
Tuesday, April 10 through Tuesday, May 1
Barbara Walters Gallery
Hours: M - F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. S/S 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 12, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sarah Lawrence College is pleased to announce “Encampment” and “Public Sculpture,” two new bodies of work by Jason Mortara. On view at the Heimbold Visual Art Center’s Barbara Walters Gallery, it is free and open to the public. For more information please call 914-395-2355 or e-mail cstayrook@slc.edu.

Jason Mortara’s exhibition is a part of the ongoing emerging artists series held during the 2006-2007 academic year. Members of the college’s visual arts and visual culture faculty in conjunction with their students select each artist in the series.

For “Public Sculpture,” Mortara presents a series of photographs edited from hundreds of shots of “found sculpture” at various construction sites. “To me, the places around us which are under construction are sites of the continual birthing of our world, in a similar sense that active volcanoes are sites of the continual birthing of the natural world. At construction sites one can find temporary public sculpture, created not for the viewer but as one step in the thousands of steps towards a finished product. In these sculptures, produced globally at a rate probably exceeding that of all living sculptors combined and which exist from minutes to weeks before they are transformed into some new stage, one can find examples of Minimalism, Postminimalism, Cubism, Conceptualism, Abstract Expressionism, Installation, Earth Art, Arte Povera, Constructivism, Readymades, and other art movements,” he said.

In the center of the gallery, Mortara presents “Encampment,” an installation influenced by, among other things, wilderness survival books, a variety of Discovery Channel and homebuilding shows, and native architecture of the world. After an amusing albeit discouraging interaction with the librarian of an esteemed institution who insisted that Native Americans did not have architecture, the librarian then proceeded to reluctantly disprove her own opinion, eventually pointing him to a large book titled Native American Architecture. “I’m not sure why I expected to find something that looked strange and unfamiliar to me within its pages. After reviewing every photograph and diagram I felt oddly comforted, in that despite how much things have changed on this continent in so little time, and in such overwhelming ways, there are certain things that are universal. Shelter, and its basic design, is one,” he said.

Jason Mortara lives and works in Boston MA. He has exhibited at New Langton Arts, Mission 17 and The Oakland Art Gallery in the San Francisco Bay area, at WORKS/San Jose in San Jose CA, and El Pobre Diablo in Ecuador, among others. He attended The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2006 and is editor of Satellite, a magazine of art and writing. He has just been awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in Peterborough, NH for the 2007 season. This is Jason’s first solo show in New York.