MARC AWODEY RETROSPECTIVE
ART’S ALIVE GALLERY @MAIN STREET LANDING’S UNION STATION
Painting IS the Object: a Retrospective of the Work of Marc Awodey
The Potato Eaters
There will be a reception for this exhibit on Saturday April 27, 2013 4pm-8pm.
Gallery Talk by the Curator Mark S. Waskow at 4:30pm.
5:30 – 6:30pm Poetry of Marc Awodey featuring readings by:
Michael Nedell & Michael Jordan Evans.
7:00pm Steve Goldberg…and more!
Food by Skinny Pancake and a Cash Bar provided by Finnigan’s Pub.
This event is free and open to the public.
Gallery Hours: Mon- Fri 10am- 4pm.
This exhibition was previously installed at the Christine Price Gallery at Castleton State College, VT from March 4 – April 5, 2013 and is being curated by Mark S. Waskow.
Painting IS The Object
Marc Awodey lived existentially. He didn’t do drawing; he was drawing. Marc didn’t do painting; he was painting. Marc didn’t dabble in anything, but he excelled in a lot of different things. He was a true renaissance man. In addition to being an award winning visual artist, Marc Awodey played bass, was a published writer of both prose and poetry, was a publisher and ran an independent imprint of Northern New England writers: The Minimal Press, as well as being a deep and critical thinker. He ran the Rhombus Gallery, an alternative space for all manner of arts that was very popular during the 1990’s, located in downtown Burlington, Vermont. He also was the primary art critic for what is arguably the most art-centric newspaper in Vermont, Seven Days. In 1997, he won the John D. Donoghue Arts Criticism Award from the Vermont Press Association. This is the top honor in this field of endeavor. He won top honors for his visual art at juried, invitational and prestigious annual competitive exhibitions in three different states. Most recently, he co-founded Vermont Art Zine, an online resource to highlight, review and discuss visual art exhibitions in Vermont. A perfect exemplar of Marc’s prodigious abilities is his last minute entry into a haiku poetry contest which he didn’t know he would be attending and certainly one in which he did not plan to participate, and ended up being awarded the top prize, which was the title of Haiku Master Champion at the National Poetry Slam in 2000.
Marc spent part of his life formally as a teacher. He held adjunct posts at five different colleges (not all at the same time). He really enjoyed this, and even before he started teaching formally, it would have been clear to many, that Marc was destined to do this. He was extremely bright and articulate, willing to share, always interested in helping others to gain insights into the fields that captivated him and was generally quite patient about these things. His views and insights were often world class; that is, he engaged in original thought on a regular basis, and as a result, he had great clarity about many issues related to his passions.
Marc had two periods characterized by essentially abstract work. The first of these was toward the end of his undergraduate studies at Johnson State College and the time between these studies and his graduate work at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. During this period, some of his largest and most complex pieces were created. Many of them were used in a variety of performances, with very few surviving into the present time. The second period was between roughly 1997 and 2001. This was the intense poetry period for Marc. He was converting now obsolete, through legislation banning their use, cigarette vending machines into poetry machines, and installing them in nearly every New England State and New York as well. He was also just starting The Minimal Press and was consumed with writing poetry. He was also reading from his writings in public, sometimes at planned places and times and sometimes rather spontaneously. This free-form-ness found its way into his painting as well.
For most of his visual art career, Marc was an expressionistic figurative painter, and it is for this body of work that he is best known. During several years, he would purchase random, unidentified photographs on e-bay and base his paintings on these images. Ironically, the content of his work was, most often, of no consequence to him. In fact, often when Marc was viewing art for his art criticism column, he would be somewhat oblivious to the content of the composition at hand. What mattered to him were the formal considerations: How did the artist work with his/her media?-Did they demonstrate a respect for it/them?-Was the composition balanced?-If so, was this intentional or accidental; and was it a good thing or not in that case?-Did the lines increase or kill the “action” in the piece?-If color was involved, was it manifested with care and consideration? In concert with his judgments of others’ works, he also was quite often totally uninterested in the object or subject he was painting. It was truly just another wonderful excuse to paint. As the title of this show suggests, the objects he depicted were not the sum of the painting, rather painting itself was the object.
This show is intended to be a tribute to Marc Awodey, who passed away way too soon on October 13, 2012, at the age of 51. His was a deep and keen intellect tethered to that rarity; a kind and compassionate man.
Mark S. Waskow, Director/Founder-The Waskowmium, Curator
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