Friday, June 29, 2007


1708 Gallery is pleased to be awarded a General Operating Support grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts in the amount of $23,000. A $6,200 increase over last year’s award, this is a generous endorsement of the Gallery’s mission to expand the understanding, development and appreciation of contemporary art.

1708 Gallery would like to thank the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for this award and for helping us to bring new and challenging art to downtown Richmond.

1708 is proud of the Commission’s acknowledgement of 1708 Gallery as “the anchor” of the arts on the Broad Street corridor with “wonderful cutting edge exhibitions.” 1708 Gallery strives to give public exposure and opportunity to emerging and established artists. By showing art that questions, challenges and redefines the social and aesthetic boundaries of the visual arts, 1708 offers an opportunity for the public to investigate and discover the most recent developments in contemporary art. Through diverse exhibitions, educational programs and services for the artists and the community, the gallery provides a forum for dialogue that contributes to the development and creation of culture.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Building Picturing ... A Painting Exhibition at The Painting Center

Featuring: Donald Beal, Martin Bromirski, Pamela S. Cardwell, Hannah Cornish, Michael Davidson, Vaughn Whitney Garland, Lenore Golub, Anne Gray, Julie Karabenick, Russell L. Roberts, Yolanda Sanchez, Jeffrey Stark, Elizabeth Ternhune, Timothy M. Trelease, David Webb, Susan Zurbrigg

Building Picturing features the work of sixteen painters whose approaches range from geometric abstraction to keen observation, from lyrical inventions with mark and color to restrained distillations of the landscape. These diverse painters are linked by their emphasis on the painting as a made thing, the result of an encounter with both tactile and formal constituents; paint and canvas, as well as color, shape, and placement. Neither hermetic nor na├»ve, these artists do not ignore the last few decades’ challenges to painting’s languages and ideologies in order to practice a nostalgic revivalism. They are fully aware that their images speak within a broader field that includes “high art,” news media, and cartoons, but they do not accept equalization as a premise, nor do they approach painting as a collage of readymade styles. Instead, they invest their very craft with meaning. Never simplistically painting “about painting,” they use the terms endemic to their practice to achieve the human qualities of curiosity, experiment, desire, and commitment.
The Painting Center
52 Greene Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY, 10013
(212) 343-1060
Curated by Vittorio Colaizzi
Main Gallery and Project Room
June 19 – July 14, 2007
Opening Reception: June 21, 6-8 PM

Talent on the 1708 Gallery Board!

Fiona Ross -Bethesda Painting Award Finalist
Read reviews of the show here and here.

Rob Tarbell - VMFA Fellowship


Friday, June 01, 2007

PLANE TEXT: A conversation with Brigham Dimick

1708: Are you a bee keeper? Or do you hangout with Beekeepers?

Brigham Dimick: Waxworks was developed out of a desire to have my body replicated by honeybees (Apis Mellifera). Because I am allergic to all forms of hymenoptera including
honeybees, I wanted to engage in a process of art making and choice of material that would be conceptually and personally meaningful. On one level, Waxworks are effigies, saggital sections of my head that are offered to the bees. On another, they are collaborations with these amazing architects of the animal kingdom.

1708: Wow! Did you create this piece especially for PLANE TEXT?

BD: Yes. Artists often work from traumatic personal experiences. These experiences help
one to consider one’s mortality more frankly, and serve as sources for re-imagining the creation of images. In August of 2003, two stings on my hand led to an episode of anaphylactic shock within ten minutes. Had my wife not returned from shopping within 15 minutes of these stings and injected me with epinephrine, I may not have survived. Since then, I have experienced two more episodes of anaphylaxis in my allergist’s office after being injected with
small amounts of hymenoptera venom (these small doses are intended to slowly build up antibodies that lessen reactions to future stings). Because intervention was more rapid during these two episodes, I remained conscious longer and hence, remembered the experiences more vividly. These experiences, though frightening, have been valuable to me in locating specific metaphors about process and material in relation to self-portraiture.

1708: Will you return the bees to their keepers or let them go free after this exhibition?

BD: A bee has a six week lifespan. How process and material interface with representation has been a central concern in contemporary art. One of the legacies of Minimalist art has been its focus on materiality. That is, that the physical substance of the artwork is central to its meaning. Post minimalist art has adopted a focus on materiality that leans toward a more representational language, with broader narrative and conceptual allusions. For example, in “Lick and Lather”, Janine Antoni made casts of her head and shoulders in chocolate and soap, respectively. She then eroded her own representation via processes of eating and cleaning. These processes of licking and lathering influence the interpretation of her sculptures

Similarly, the construction of my artwork is framed by its material and process. The honey is stored in wax cells that have been built by bees in my likeness. The very insects that place me in mortal danger inhabit the void of my body.

Waxworks 1 was made by casting my head and neck in plaster, then casting the negative space around the head in 1/2” sheets of plastic. Each sheet of plastic represents the space around a saggital section of my head, and served as the boundaries within which bees built their comb and raised their brood. These saggital sections were placed in frames that hung in a hive box in an apiary.

In Waxworks 2, three observation hives are displayed with live bees and images within that represent different stages of process of making Waxworks 1, from the plaster head being encased in plastic (left hive), to a photograph of bees working industriously inside the saggital mid-section of my head’s shape, to a representation of my actual head partially submerged in white liquid (right hive). The images are encased in beeswax to promote the bees in these hives to build comb directly on them and efface these images.