2009 Exhibitions


February 6 - March 4, 2009
Das my i$H

The color for a 25th anniversary is silver… but expect swirls and explosions of bright shades at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art when “Ish” celebrates 25 years as an abstract graffiti artist.

For Das my i$H, which opens Feb. 6 and runs through April, the artist (Ismael Muhammed Nieves) will transform the iMOCA galleries into his “crib.” This unofficial retrospective features such paintings as  “Babylon Gone #5″ and “Clap Your Hands”, along with several installations and even a sculpture of a chair with wild, flowing lines.

The exhibition of paintings and sculpture is sure to recharge the soul during the grey, dreary Indiana winter.

“My art is a lot of line work—shapes, images and moments formed by loose lines,” Ish said. “For me, drawing a line is equivalent to performing prayer. There has to be a trust that what you’re thinking and/or what you’re engaging in will manifest itself close to your intention.”

As befitting a Purdue graduate with a degree in electrical engineering, Das my i$H is sectioned into parts, all working together in a closed circuit.

Das my i$H is part of a partnership with the Indianapolis Public Schools, which features Ish and seven other artists on an interactive DVD to be used by more than 20,000 schoolchildren.

Ish became exposed to street art while growing up on the lower East Side of Manhattan. The work of this self-taught artist has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Indiana University Gallery for Contemporary Art, South Shore Arts in Munster, Purdue University Calumet and the CISA Gallery, among others. He has been part of group exhibitions at the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute and South Shore Arts.

Exhibition possible through the support of Katz & Korin, Efroymson Fund, 92.3 WTTS, Rowland Design, IMC, NUVO, The Indianapolis Foundation, Allen Whitehall Clowes Charitable Foundation, Stellar Gin, Arts Council of Indianapolis, and LevelSix.

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May 8 - July 25, 2009
Jen Davis: New Photographs

Body-image issues, self perception and attraction are explored in New Photographs by Jen Davis, the subject of a solo show at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) May 8 through July 25. Images available upon request. Davis’ self-portraits evaluate her self-image as an overweight female in her late 20s dealing with the pressures and expectations of the outside world, while her photographs of men create an intimacy with her subjects that she yearns for and does not have emotionally or physically. Her work has been described as ranging from sensuality full of rich colors to a tense scrutiny of her isolation.

In her self-portraits, “I deal with my insecurities about my body image and the direct correlation between self-perception and the way one is perceived by others,” said Davis, an Akron native who received her MFA in Photography from Yale University School of Art in 2008. With her photographs of men, “I am interested in investigating the male gaze not as a theoretical abstraction, but as a personal and sexual exchange,” she said. “Every frame is a record of a hypothetical and fictional relationship that formed between us … a visual record of not what actually took place, but what I imagined it to be.”

Davis is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award, a Community Arts Assistance Program Grant through The Department of Cultural Affairs, and two Albert P. Weisman Memorial Scholarships.

In 2005 Davis had two solo exhibitions: “Jen Davis: Recent Photographs at ” Texas Woman’s University Fine Arts Gallery, Denton; and “Self-Image,” Photo Passage at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada.   In 2008 her work was included in exhibitions at major museums and collections in the US—Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Bank of America LaSalle Collection, Chicago; Milwaukee Art Museum; and Yale University School of Art.  Additional permanent collections include the Art Institute of Chicago; Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.

Exhibition made possible through the support of Katz & Korin, Efroymson Fund, 92.3 WTTS, Rowland Design, IMC, NUVO, The Indianapolis Foundation, Allen Whitehall Clowes Charitable Foundation, Stellar Gin, Arts Council of Indianapolis, and LevelSix.

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August 14 - September 26, 2009
The Cursed Chateau

Artist/curator Timothy Hutchings has collected a disparate band of contemporary artmakers, including performance artists, digital artists, sculptors, painters, musicians and various in-betweens, all united by a direct or indirect relationship to role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.  Hutchings has shoved these artists into the unaccustomed role of illustrators for the role playing game adventure book “The Cursed Chateau”, written by James Maliszewski.

The participating artists include Chris Bors, Olaf Breuning, Jeffrey Brown, Kitty Clark, Alex DeMaria, Don Doe, Giovanni Fenech, Andrew Guenther, Ketta Ioannidou, Josh Jordan, Matt Lock, Fiona Macneil, Chris Patch, Jason Phillips, Owen Rundquist, Rebecca Schiffman, Siebren Versteeg, Todd White, Sherry Wong, Kadar Brock and Steve Zeiser. Also contributing are the old school game illustrators Pixie Bledsaw and the renowned Erol Otus.

Concurrent with the exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art will be a related booth at GenCon, a yearly gaming convention hosted in Indianapolis.  GenCon is the most important game event in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and acting as a platform for major industry releases and premieres. This year, GenCon runs August 13 – 16.

Exhibition made possible through the support of Arts Council of Indianapolis, GenCon, Katz & Korin, Efroymson Fund, Hotbed Creative, and 92.3 WTTS.

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October 9 - November 21, 2009

On October 9 at 6 p.m., the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) celebrates the opening of its latest exhibition, “Phenomenon,” featuring Indianapolis artists Casey Roberts and Lori Miles. The show includes their interpretations of unexplained phenomenon such as UFOs and Sasquatch and is linked with a series of events featuring internationally known experts on these topics.

The The show runs at iMOCA through November 21, 340 N. Senate Avenue. It is linked with the Big Curiosities series at Central Library that features lectures by internationally known Bigfoot expert Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum and UFO expert Stanton Friedman.

Miles, an assistant professor of art at DePauw University who works in sculpture and installation, has a long-standing interest in exploring the unexplained and the unexplainable. “I love information that can’t be acquired by traditional methods of inquiry — religion, art, and marginalized ideas/ideology like UFOlogy — those things that can’t be proven or verified or studied into existence,” she said.

And Miles isn’t sure if she believes in alien life or not. “I don’t really care, actually. What I know is that I can’t live in a world where everything is known. The types of knowledge I’m in love with can’t be evidenced, they can’t even be seen, but they instead require an intuitive type of belief- the leap of faith — to trust what we know, internally, to be true.”

Likewise, Roberts’s work, which is created through a photochemical process called cyanotype, often illustrates a fantastic landscape and represents nature’s subtle way of dealing with the peculiar aspects in the relationship with mankind.

“A giant glow-in-the-dark heart, or a pile of precious gems tells us that we are loved, just as blood squirting from an oak tree trunk says, all is not well. I am inspired by my conversation with the landscape, I imagine long monologues when pine forests make me laugh and mountains test my patience.”

Miles received her BFA in sculpture from Herron School of Art and Design and MFA in sculpture from University of Notre Dame. Roberts also attended Herron School of Art. He received the Lilly Endowment’s Creative Renewal Fellowship and the Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellowship.

Exhibition made possible through the support of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, GenCon, Hotbed Creative, Katz & Korin, Efroymson Fund, and 92.3 WTTS.

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December 4, 2009 - January 16th, 2010
Projected Curiosity

Click here to see photos of the opening reception.

After five years at 340 N. Senate Ave. on the west side of Downtown, iMOCA has moved to a newly renovated 2,000-square foot space on the main floor of the Murphy Art Center which has been dubbed the “Temporary Contemporary.”

A pair of Indianapolis-based artists will be the first featured in iMOCA’s Temporary Contemporary  in the Murphy Art Center in Fountain Square when their show of installation and sculpture opens Dec. 4

Jeffrey S. Martin and Brose Partington’s show, Projected Curiosity, runs through January 16th.

Martin’s work focuses on connecting with the audience, finding common ground.

“I am most interested in creating a dialogue with the viewer that is derived from a common experience,” Martin said. “I do not limit my work to any one medium, but rather utilize a variety of traditional and non-traditional media to make this connection.”

He said his goal is to create a form of escapism and suspend time. “A disconnection to the outside world is achieved,” Martin added. “Ultimately, it is an experience that I am creating for the viewer. In doing so, I am attempting to cross barriers between media and expand barriers of what has traditionally been perceived as art.”

Partington’s work focuses on motion and how it effects time, patterns, and the cycles of history. “I have represented my ideas about movement through the use of motors, electronics, and the mechanisms I develop,” he said. “Although the creation of the idea and the mechanism are distinctly different processes, if the work is successful, there is an inevitable and natural reconciliation of the two.”

Recently, Partington’s work has explored the natural world versus mankind’s created world. “This work reflects the inherent conflict of space between humans and nature, and it emphasizes how those elements can interact differently,” he said. “I want to continue to investigate these ideas and create ways to represent them in urban and natural environments, but instead of using motors and electronics I want to incorporate the existent kinetic energy of objects to power my works.”

Micro-interview with Jeffrey S. Martin:

Why are you excited about this show?
Most of the opportunities that exist for installations are 1-2 day events and take place in alternative venues. Private galleries need to make sales to survive, therefore it can be counter-productive for a venue to devote it’s space to an experience based medium. Since IMOCA is a museum, it isn’t dependent on sales for financial stability and allows it to showcase a wide variety of exhibits. I’m excited to have the opportunity to exhibit an installation in a formal space for more than just a day or two. This will allow more visitors the chance to experience the piece for the first time or to re-visit it many times.

How will it be challenge?
Installation art inherently follows a different set of rules than object-based medias. Many times, you don’t know exactly how a piece will work until it is set up in the space. Some preliminary work can be done ahead of time, but for the most part, the majority of the work is done in a very short amount of time. This element of working against the clock is very exciting and one of the most challenging aspects of installation art.

How the ideas came to you for the pieces you plan on making for the show and/or the meaning behind the pieces?
Switch (working title) is rooted in childhood wonderment. As I observe my own children interacting with their environment and asking questions about things that I hadn’t thought about since I was a kid. “Why do I have a shadow?” “Why does it follow me?” “Does everybody have one?’ etc… As I re-live this curiosity through my children, I ask myself “How can I recapture a piece of this and share it with others?”  I have chosen to utilize the night light, a universal standard in children’s rooms, to engage the viewer through a common experience. Ultimately the piece is about exploring cause and effect. The goal is to do it in a visually interesting way that recalls the common experiences and wonderment of childhood.

Conditioning p2 (One time I fell and scraped my knee.)
This piece is part two in a series of three installations that explore a journey by dividing it into nine stages. The first piece (Conditioning) explored the first three: Temptation, Trepidation, and Departure. They were presented to the viewer while he/she was riding a slow moving motorized merry-go-round. Because riding a merry-go-round as a child is an experience most people have had, it immediately laid a foundation for accessibility.

Conditioning p2 goes on to explore the stages four through six: Elation, Obstacle, and Frustration. Once again the installation is based upon a specific experience. As we age, many people have to have an MRI for one reason or another. It is this common experience that allows for an immediate connection to the viewer.

Another important element of this series is the sound, specifically the constant droning of the bass and the disclaimer. They were present in p1, again in p2, and will be in p3. They are representative of the constants in our lives whether they be literal, metaphorical, or the ridiculous.

Micro-interview with Brose Partington:

Why are you excited about this show?
I’m excited to show my new body of work in my hometown of Indianapolis, where people have seen me grow and develop as an artist. These new sculptures reflect some of the ideas I’ve learned from my travels and exhibits abroad.

How will it be challenge?
The challenge for me was to utilize everyday machines used in construction or household activities and repurpose them in a new way that reflects cyclical patterns of development, comparable to how a society evolves and changes. I hope that this new creation from an old machine will spark curiosity in my audience, so that they can look at an everyday object and see it a bit differently.

How the ideas came to you for the pieces you plan on making for the show and/or the meaning behind the pieces?
Actually, Indianapolis has factored into the creation of this exhibit, as most of my ideas for this show came from watching the machinery used in the construction and growth of the city.