April 4 – May 10, 2009
The William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut is pleased to present the works of the 2009 Master of Fine Arts degree candidates in an exhibition entitled apperceptions. The public is invited to meet the artists at a reception in their honor on Friday, April 3, 5-7:30 pm. The exhibition is on view April 4 through May 10.
Michael Donovan, a sculptor and printmaker, was born in Bridgeport, and currently resides in Naugatuck, Connecticut. In 2005 he received his Bachelor of Science degree in studio art with an emphasis in sculpture from Southern Connecticut State University where he received the Third Annual Olafs Zeidenbergs Award. Donovan’s work was included in “The Lasso Project” at Art Space in New Haven in 2007 and has appeared in several exhibitions in the New Haven and Storrs area.
Artist Statement: I create sculptural implements fixed in mid-function as absurd monuments. Using wood and steel, my work embodies both the structure and utility of a tool as it acts upon itself. The physical task that each piece performs creates tension and potential energy within the work that is never released. Each piece performs a designated task with no true purpose other than sustaining the level of energy generated within it. Interacting within each piece structural elements become dependent on one another, maintaining a senseless state of permanence. By perpetually engaging tool with task my sculptural objects become self- contained events.
Artist Statement : In my photographic work, I document a variety of arbitrary points of human measurement and the landscapes found at their intersections. I often create rules whether geographical, mathematical, historical, or memory-basedgoverning my choice of or approach to a site in order to make a series of photographs. This method stems from my interest in maps and mapping, and takes inspiration from earlier photographic and conceptually-based practices. By measuring, coordinating, and locating myself within the world, my work has naturally progressed from documenting universally recognized notions associated with location to addressing more intimate connections with place and home.
Artist Statement: My work is storytelling. Narrative and musical traditions of the Ozarks, Appalachians, English broadside ballads and Delta blues all inform my work. I communicate tragic narratives while exploring the nature of narrative itself, such as the qualities that emerge through repetition. The threads prevalent in these traditions are passed on without a sense of authorship, and no two versions of the same story are identical. Retelling an original story, whether it is based in fact or fiction, simultaneously expands and focuses its meanings and implications. My work emulates tendencies inherent in narrative’s history of repetition; I use printmaking’s unique capacity for seriality and multiplicity to compose a set of elements and create several versions of the same account that, like the story on which they are based, originate in reality. In this way, I explore the grey area between fact and fiction that every chronicle occupies.
Artist Statement: Through my paintings and installations, I search for new realities that turn ideas on their heads and break down preconceived notions. I picture my own fantastical land, mixing media and methods. Emulating children’s play, I learn by way of exploration. I paint, print, and sculpt, often combining approaches to discover new synergies. Collaging elements in my work allows for changing contexts. Recently, deep-sea animal imagery appears as a metaphor for that which has yet to be explored. My fish and other characters live in a land with its own language that offers expansive interpretations of existence.
Artist Statement: Figuration is the foundation of my paintings. Having begun with observed form, my current work seeks the transcendent and intangible aspects of what makes up the human being, using myself as point of reference. When I paint, I seek to maintain a meditative-like state in which I’m present and in the moment, experiencing what T.S. Eliot calls “a still point of the turning world.” Freed from ordinary time, I give myself a place to ask questions and search for assurance; painting on large surfaces, engaging the scale of my whole body, I use my physical energy and materials to catch a glimmer of something ineffable beyond myself. Tracing my body’s movements, I generate a language of marks across a ground, leaving physical evidence of my presence, residues of energy transcribed over time as lyrical passages. In the sum of these marks, I discover a confluence of the spiritual and the material.