Group Show Featuring Five NYC-based Artists to Open in String Room Gallery

November 1, 2019
“The Strangeness of Structure,” an exhibit about the precariousness of our constructed environment, opens Friday, Nov. 8 with a public reception.
“Neighbors: N. Miro Revisited” (2018, oil on linen, 48x68”) by Laini Nemett

The String Room Gallery of Wells College is pleased to announce the opening of "The Strangeness of Structure," a group exhibition curated by Jonathan Duff. All are welcome to the Gallery for a public reception on Friday, Nov. 8, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.; the exhibition will remain on view until Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

First staged at the University Center Gallery at Adelphi University, this exhibition features the work of New York-based artists Siobhan McBride, Laini Nemett, Anna Ortiz, Kate Stone and Virginia Wagner. The work in this exhibition cites imagery of built and variously collapsing structures, illuminating a fundamental concern for the ways built and constructed systems are shifting, perhaps to our collective detriment. Paintings by McBride and Nemett illustrate instances of collapse found in residential spaces, while Wagner's and Ortiz's paintings use vibrant, hazy palettes to render structures in various states of undoing in relation to their environmental surroundings. Stone's central sculpture skews familiar domestic materials such as wallpaper, carpet, studded walls and a framed photograph to create a tension between dilapidation and the familiar.

Curator Jonathan Duff writes, "In an era of environmental crisis, mass immigration, war and changing national boundaries, space and structure have become core variables in the most important challenges we face as a species." Without explicitly employing specific images of these larger concerns—instead focusing on the intimate, quiet, or personal—these artists collectively suggest the precariousness of the constructed environment on which we have come to rely.

Jonathan Duff is the Exhibitions and Art Collection Curator at Adelphi University. He earned his MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art and is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has exhibited his work broadly along the East Coast, and had his work published in New American Paintings in 2013. While maintaining his artistic practice, he has worked in curation since 2009, when he helped to establish 1419, an artist-run space in Minneapolis. Since then, Duff has had both independent and institutionally affiliated curatorial projects in Baltimore, Virginia and New York.

About the String Room Gallery

The String Room Gallery is a center for the exhibition of contemporary art in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. Located on the Wells College campus in the southwest corner of the first floor of Main Building, the gallery is free and open to the public. For more information about the show at Wells, please see the gallery's website at wells.edu/string-room-gallery or contact Associate Professor Katie Waugh at 315.364.3237.

About Wells College

Wells College is a nationally recognized private coeducational liberal arts college located in Aurora, New York, on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake. Wells, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, helps students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to build their confidence and create their own unique path in life. With dozens of majors and minors available in the sciences, arts, humanities and preprofessional programs, Wells provides a purposeful curriculum and an immersive educational experience that is steeped in tradition. Students can also take advantage of 13 NCAA Division III athletic teams, 18 study-abroad programs; over 40 student-led organizations and clubs; and cross-registration agreements with Cornell University, Ithaca College and Cayuga Community College. More at wells.edu.

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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