Interlude: Unfinished Works at the Target Gallery

Torpedo-Factory-003.jpg
Image Credit: Melissa Forkner Lesher, “Gray Matter”, 2017. Heavy Duty Packing Tape, Marble Dust, Charcoal Powder. 

Opening Reception: Friday, December 15, 7 – 9 pm | Gallery Talk 7:30 pm

The newest exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, presents artwork left both intentionally and unintentionally unfinished. Interlude: Unfinished Works features the work of 21 artists from across the globe. It is on view Saturday, December 9, 2017 through Sunday, January 21, 2018.

Unfinished artwork gives insight into the artist’s hand and methodology. The unresolved and open ended nature of the art gives the viewer new context of the themes and meanings of the works created. Juried by Curator Betsy Johnson, the exhibition creates a dialogue on what it means for art to be “resolved”.

“Arguably as daunting as facing a blank canvas, identifying the finished state of an artwork can prove difficult; at times even impossible,” said Johnson. “There are countless stories of artists who have rounded completion only to change their mind, radically alter the work, and start anew. Even after a work is completed, there is nothing forcing it to stay that way. In many ways, due to the very open-endedness of the creative endeavor, artworks are—by their nature—in a perpetual state of unresolved.”

These concepts in Interlude: Unfinished Works are represented through a wide diversity of media. Diane Charnov’s Unfinished SAT: Pencils Down is a silkscreen transfer of an incomplete SAT scantron onto unglazed raw clay, encapsulating that feeling of dread at handing in an incomplete test. Gray Matter by Melissa Forkner Lesher is an installation of two piles of packing tape rolled into cylinders covered with remnants of marble dust and charcoal powder. It displays the individual components of a larger project created without assemblage.

Harleen Moon’s Happy Dust is an installation and ‘zine that categorizes evidence of a crime, left intentionally open-ended for the viewer to piece together the clues. Britt Thomas’s video Duets: Faithless captures an intimate moment between a young couple, moving in a slow-motion loop, creating suspended tension that is never resolved.

“I am interested in the concept of art as process,” said Target Gallery Director, Leslie Mounaime. “So much of what sets contemporary artwork apart is due to the process or method in which it’s made. This exhibition allows us to hit pause and capture this state of impermanence.”

Participating artists are:

The public reception for Interlude will be during Torpedo Factory’s Late Shift event, Friday, December 15, 7 – 9 pm, with Johnson’s comments at 7:30 pm. Target Gallery is open daily from 10 – 6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursdays.

About the Juror

Betsy Johnson is a specialist in modern and contemporary art history and theory with expertise in curatorial practice, community engagement, museum education, and public programming. She is currently a curatorial assistant at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. where she has worked on Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change, Ragnar Kjartansson, and Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History. She earned a Master of Arts in Art History from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004 and is ABD in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland. She has curated exhibitions for the Arlington Arts Center and The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland, College Park and serves on the Arlington County Arts Commission and Public Art Committee.

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