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2018 KRANZBERG EXHIBITION SERIES

DAVID HUTSON, MEMORY & DESIRE: A PERSONAL EXPLORATION OF NEON ART PAST AND PRESENT

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018–JANUARY 13, 2019

Whitaker Foundation Gallery, Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center / Outdoor Galleries

Curated by Dana Turkovic

“Let there be Neon,” Rudi Stern exclaimed, “neon is sculptural, architectural and when done right, is highly aesthetic.” Identifying this, a handful of contemporary artists like Bruce Nauman, Keith Sonnier and Tracey Emin have exploited the medium. Recognizing its cross-over appeal, Laumeier Sculpture Park’s 2018 Kranzberg series David Hutson, Memory & Desire: A Personal Exploration of Neon Art, Past and Present showcases a large-scale outdoor neon sculpture paired with Hutson’s extensive collection of reclaimed and restored vintage neon signs, alongside, and in conversation with, a diverse grouping of sculptures from his current body of work.

Known locally for his neon sign conservation efforts, this exhibition sets the stage for Hutson to communicate his philosophy of this exclusive medium mixing rare earth gasses and fragile glass. Hutson developed a fascination with neon at an early age: “As a teenager I began scouring the nooks and crannies of my home city for neon relics of a bygone era.” Part of that collection was seen at Laumeier in 1984 in the exhibition Neon 1-2-3 when he was just 17. Since then, his budding fascination became a vocation, with an expanded collection and countless hours devoted to the painstaking fabrication process, he deepened his bond to neon, testing both concepts and technique.

Installed in the Aronson Fine Arts Center, Hutson’s work will be part of the 15th iteration of the Kranzberg Exhibition Series, a longstanding annual program that supports the development of exhibitions and large-scale sculptural commissions for regional artists. The mixture of new work by Hutson and restored vintage signs will activate imaginations through this decidedly retro, yet strangely contemporary medium of bendy gaseous typography.

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HOW WE SEE: THE MATERIALITY OF COLOR

march 2–June 30, 2019

Whitaker Foundation Gallery, Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center / Outdoor Galleries

Curated by Dana Turkovic

We can understand color in an approximate sequence of Newton’s spectrum: dark red, red, 
orange, yellow, green, blue, dark blue, violet. From a distance this distinction of colors shimmers like a rainbow if made from light or is solid like a candy if made from an opaque material. Spread out across a floor or composed in quadrants on a canvas or isolated in so many individual items, color is not a self-contained sculptural object. Its experience invites comparison with epistemological and metaphysical speculation. We know what a color does to excite us but it is hard to tell what it is. Why do we even perceive it?  These sculptor’s colored materials, however, are the product of modern technology in material sciences like biology, chemistry and physics. Their very choice, transferred and arranged for a museum context, does more than show that the artist’s creations have beauty, but rather suggests that the artist’s production of endless color variations is not unlike nature’s manner of reproduction.