Ruined - Artist Talk by Doug Russell
- Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
- Cheever Hall - view map
The School of Art at Montana State University and the College of Arts & Architecture invites the public to a presentation by artist Doug Russell on Thursday, October 27th at 6:30 pm. The talk will be held in Cheever 215 on the MSU campus. This presentation is in conjunction with the Upon all of their Tomorrows exhibition currently on display at the Helen E. Copeland Gallery in Haynes Hall.
Doug Russell is a visual artist who lives and works in Laramie, Wyoming. His work has been exhibited in solo shows at the Missoula Art Museum, the Leedy Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work has also been shown in numerous group exhibitions including The Architecture of an Idea at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art, Evidence and Residues: An Investigation of Contemporary Drawing at Indiana State University, and three International Drawing Annuals (INDA) published through Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Art at the University of Wyoming where is coordinator of the drawing program.
In my work I explore and contemplate the inevitable effect of time upon human aspirations. I build improvised and invented realities born out of my love of direct observational drawing and architectural form. The imagery and process express the cycle of human construction and natural decay in the tradition of the architectural capriccio. Often individual architectural forms are piled on top of each other in multiple layers growing like impossible cities – living and dying, expanding and disappearing. The genesis of this work occurred while living in Turkey – where in a dense and layered landscape I saw an overwhelming and immense wealth of ruin and renewal. Following two large solo exhibitions of my large architectural drawings, my studio practice moved into a period of creative rebuilding and reflection. Early in 2015 I spent a month in Cambodia exploring the ruins of the Angkor Wat and other Khmer sites. In May 2015 I returned to Turkey to visit various Greek and Roman ruins, tombs carved into rock cliffs, and ancient multi-story underground cities. In my studio I have focused on building an ever evolving and enlarging architectural model entitled Styropolis – constructed from discarded materials (primarily Styrofoam). By recreating the illusion of ruin within my studio I internalize and bring home my experiences of actual sites around the world. This improvised architectural folly then acts as inspiration and source material (along with sketches done on site, audio field recordings, and thousands of photographs) for my current large scale drawings - as I examine a variety of questions: Why are ruins fascinating and compelling? What inherent aesthetic, social, political, and historical meaning do ruins hold? How did ancient and how do modern ruins come into existence? What political, cultural, and environmental forces led to their current state? How are ruins transformed over time from mere abandoned broken buildings to venerated tourist and cultural destinations? How does the contemplation of ruin and loss inform our own present and future? When I am among these ruins I experience a timeless meditative stillness – a sense that human ambition and desire has passed them (and me) by – leaving a profound and lasting silence. In this silence I sense both an eternal evolution and an eternal stillness – a kind of persistent residue of ceaseless change.
Free and open to the public
- College of Arts and Architecture