Laurel Garcia Colvin
MAY 03 - JUNE 06, 2001



Press Release

Gallery 49 is pleased to announce the opening on May 3, 2001 of an installation by Laurel Garcia Colvin. The installation titled Remembrance - Reflection, consists of two series of works done as a tribute to her late father, the attorney, civil rights advocate, and photographer Emmett Colvin. Colvin's artistic focus, deriving from life experiences and from her study of Asian art, is the juxtaposition of image and word and the transformation of their visual and verbal meanings.

The installation is designed to recreate in three-dimensional form the essential complementary opposites found in Chinese landscape scroll paintings (and as found in traditional Chinese gardens) of rocks and water. And like the unrolling and viewing of a scroll, this installation allows visitors to enter a meditative space and contemplate not only the work but also the visitors' own lives and the people who have influenced them. The Fisherman series: Words of My Father consists of eight scrolls using the traditional Chinese symbol of the fisherman within a handscroll format of transferred photographic images, ink painting and text. Many of the transferred photographic images were taken by her late father and depict rivers, rocks, mountains, and other outdoor environments. The images are juxtaposed by the artists' words and memories of her father, and each scroll is themed to one of the values he embodied in life. Each scroll appears to be unrolling from a scroll box. The scrolls are individually mounted in large black/black-lined shadow boxes measuring 57 1/2 inches in length by 20 1/2 inches in width by 6 1/2 inches in depth. The Eulogy series consists of two large companion hanging scrolls, measuring 100 inches in length by 48 inches in width. Entitled Courage and Compassion, they are made from layers of translucent fabric that
juxtapose photographic images of and by the artist and her father with Chinese ink painting and text from the artist's eulogy delivered at her father's memorial service.

The installation features river stones throughout the gallery and the sound of water rushing over rocks. There is a long, narrow scroll table containing unmarked scrolls and writing tools for visitors to draw or write about a person who is or was important in their lives. As the visitors' paper scrolls are completed, the artist will fold them into long strips and lay them within the space to create a visual metaphor of water/streams running around/over the rocks within the space. "Mixed media provides me the best medium for exploring my visual concerns," says Colvin. "With written or mass-produced text alongside drawn or painted images or images from the mass media, I am able to reconfigure these new materials into creative works with both personal and public meanings within the traditional Asian formats of the folding fan, hanging scroll and handscroll." Colvin was a museum educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she recently wrote and designed one of the museum's websites on Chinese painting. She has an MFA with highest honors and a BFA with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and also studied at Pratt Institute in New York. Her work has been exhibited in several New York City galleries and also in Barcelona, Spain, Ireland, Texas, Westchester County, Connecticut and New Jersey. As requested by Ms. Colvin, a percentage of the sales proceeds will be donated to BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS.

Laurel Garcia Colvin's installation will be on view at Gallery 49 from May 3 to June 6, 2001. A reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, May 3 from 6 to 9 PM. Gallery 49 is located at 322 West 49th Street.

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