@ The Object & Beyond

2008 Everson Biennial: The Object and Beyond
Sunday, June 08, 2008
By Melinda Johnson
Arts editor
For 30 hours, Edward Winkleman pored over multiple slides of artwork and videos of 266 artists from Central New York vying for inclusion in the Everson Biennial 2008.

Winkleman, director of the Winkleman Gallery in New York City, served as a one-man jury.

He winnowed the works in mediums ranging from paintings, video installations, sculpture, photographs, origami and more to designate 55 artists for the show, titled "The Object and Beyond," at the Everson Museum of Art. The show will open Saturday.

Winkleman was struck by the "incredible bounty of high-quality work," he said in a phone interview from his Chelsea gallery.

He also was surprised by the "brilliant sense of humor" in the submissions.

"I saw it more than I expected," he said.

Winkleman surmised that biennial shows attract artists interested in trying something new. It was obvious to him that the artists embraced the opportunity to engage the public and start a dialogue.

He cited several examples: the shadowy stack of cows above a milk carton, the bark-like texture of a ceramic teapot and a portable Irish pub in a trailer.

Debora Ryan, senior curator at Everson Museum of Art, attributed the variety of submissions to the "Object and Beyond" theme.

"The theme was meant to be wide open and more inclusionary than exclusive. So we were hoping to encourage artists who don't typically apply to the biennial, who work in different media that they may not think it's appropriate to apply for," she said.

From juror Edward Winkleman

An excerpt from essay by Edward Winkleman, juror for "The Object and Beyond: 2008 Biennial."

"The theme for the 2008 Everson Biennial, 'The Object and Beyond,' embodies the rich diversity of talented artists working in Central New York. Indeed, the variety of media represented in the exhibition from a broad range of sculpture and painting to bookmaking and performance, from textiles, ceramics and large-scale installations to video, audio, and interactive multimedia confirms the notion in this era of pluralistic practice that contemporary artists are communicating with nearly every means available to them.

"Long-established fine art genres are presented as evidence of their lasting and powerful ability to capture the imagination of both artists and viewers, as are works that transcend traditional crafts to present new ways of thinking about materials and process. New media works are included as well, as evidence that artists continue to push beyond the boundaries of what we expect or think we know about art, about life, and most of all about ourselves."...

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