Billy Hassell, WATERSHED
Carol Selter, Animal Stories
An opening reception with the artists will be held Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
“That area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”
– John Wesley Powell
WATERSHED, an exhibition of paintings and color lithographs by local DFW artist Billy Hassell, surveys the current state of humanities most important natural resource, water. With keen observation, Hassell’s stylized depictions of our eco system center on environments with rivers, wetlands, lakes, and the vegetation that surround them. Amongst the vivid color, detailed patterns and simplicity in form, these landscapes also serve as a representation of the severity of water stress around the globe.
The title for the exhibition, WATERSHED, refers to the definition of watershed, stated in the quote above by John Wesley Powell (geologist, explorer, ethnologist 1834 -1902). Hassell applies the watershed moment – that pivotal moment of illumination or a turning of tides- to suggest that all sources of freshwater are, in fact, part of one large and intricate watershed that we all share.
Billy Hassell received his Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana in 1978 and his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts in 1982. Hassell’s paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas and various other private and public collections. Hassell is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas and William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth, Texas.
The MAC is pleased to present California Bay Area artist Carol Selter. Renowned for her use of photography, Selter explores our relationship to the natural world. Her exhibition, Animal Stories, unites three bodies of work that utilize taxidermy to contemplate the displacement of wildlife due to the actions or in-actions of humans.
The photographic series, The Calendar Pictures, subverts the conventional wildlife calendar that defines many office cubicles. These paper windows offer only illusions of animals undisturbed in their natural habitats. In an act of extending reparations, Selter stages taxidermy specimens in familiar landscapes, offering them a second chance at life through her photographs.
In the videos that comprise A Turtle and Two Squirrels Walk Into a Bar…, taxidermy appears again, this time with an inquisitive voice. Selter’s anthropomorphic subjects express emotional responses to events such as deforestation or loss of fresh water. Here we observe a sea turtle swimming laden with marine debris, a seagull searching for the inundated shore line where it used to nest, followed by squirrels discussing a recent heat wave. Selter’s witty approach does not trivialize the serious predicaments these animals are facing. Rather, humor and pathos form a dynamic equilibrium that make their situation relatable to the viewer. By contrast, the series, Burning Down the House, conveys no shred of humor. Selter re-purposes plaster masks of animals discarded by zoos and presents them as death masks. These masks, most of unknown origin, are grave reminders of extinction.
Carol Selter received her Master of Fine Art in Photography from the School of Art and Design, San Jose State University in 2002. She also holds degrees in botany and biology. Her work has been exhibited at Gallery 16, San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University and CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Selter will participate in the 2012 Dallas Art Fair with her gallery representation Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
NEW WORKS SPACE
Daniel-Kayne, a Houston based performance and installation artist, will exhibit Mine…Mine… in the New Works Space gallery. Mine…Mine… is a response to the notion of claiming ownership over natural resources. Kayne explores the struggle to attain fresh water in under-developed countries. Without a sustainable fresh water plan, the citizens of these countries suffer the consequences as their population expands. To delineate this imbalance, Kayne employs percentages as a visual tool. Fresh water is represented by the amount of water in the human body and the remaining percentage by human ash. Kayne’s motivations are multi-faceted. He seeks to inspire consciousness in our society to benefit not only the environment but humanity as a whole.
Daniel-Kayne studied painting at The Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and continued his artistic education through an installation/painting residency at the New York School of Visual Arts in 2006. In 2009, Kayne completed a residency with the Texan French Alliance for the Arts in Paris, France. After returning to Houston in 2010, Kayne has been involved in performance, installation, and sculptural projects at Diverse Works Art Space, The Orange Show and Deborah Colton Gallery. Recently, Kayne was involved in the design for a Texan French Alliance for the Arts project titled Notre Soleil located in Lyon, France. Notre Soleil, a 46 meter circumference sculpture and Earth permanent public art work, focuses on interacting and involving the children of Centre Léon Bérard Hospital in Lyon, France.