September 7 – October 20, 2007
Since the early 1980s, Jane Calvin has been developing a personal artistic style that is undeniably her own. The photographs she creates are made by building large installations, often room-sized, where she combines slide projections and physical objects, text found in pulp romance and mystery novels or children’s books, and words and letters written out in Calvin’s own hand. Images are often layered over assorted women’s clothing, doll parts, and miscellaneous items that seem to float in isolation against a void or mesh into the complicated fabric of a heavy curtain. Calvin’s use and creation of space is remarkable and clearly a cornerstone of her work, which is visually dense, complicated and painterly. Added to the mix and unifying the pictorial plane is the routine usage of what is unmistakably Calvin’s combination of vivid color and rich black.
Photography has always carried a built in element of believability and it is that very thing that Calvin uses so masterfully. Calvin’s work functions on a high intellectual plane; it is fabricated yet real, illusory but concrete. In the digital age where PhotoShop is available to nearly everyone, Calvin’s work is a testament to craftsmanship. Shot with 35 mm film a single image can take her months of painstaking adjustments and fine tuning to create the desired combinations, with no darkroom manipulation.
Calvin’s fabricated photographic images rely on a demanding visual intensity, and as a result they reach us on several levels. The densely layered images that she builds present us with a range of concerns and ideas that both challenge and confront us. Woven into her work are issues of female identity, childhood experiences, love, gender, sexuality, mystery, danger, and more … much more.
Pivotal to Calvin’s work is the use of found objects as pictorial elements. The same elements that we see, process, make judgments about, and mentally carry with us our entire lives are in Calvin’s work. They are familiar, yet mysterious again. It is through those reclaimed images that she points to societal and individual concerns that touch all of us.
Jane Calvin was born inChicago. She received her MFA in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1982) and her BA fromBrynMawrCollege (1959). She is the recipient of an NEA Visual Artist Fellowship, an NEA Regional Visual Artist Fellowship, and seven Illinois Arts Council grants. Her work has been exhibited fromBeijing toChicago and is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Polaroid International Collection, Detroit Institute of Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, andIllinoisStateMuseum, among other public and private collections. She has been an adjunct instructor in the photography department at Columbia College, Chicago since 1988.
Paintings by Mark Messersmith
November 2 – December 8, 2007
The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison College is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by Florida State University Painting and Drawing instructor Mark Messersmith. The exhibition, titled “A Southern Landscape”, starts November 2 with an opening night reception to meet the artist and view the work. The reception starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m., Messersmith will discuss his work at 7 p.m. in the gallery.
Messersmith holds an MFA in painting from Indiana University, which he received in 1980. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2006, Florida Individual Artist Fellowships in 1987, 1993, and 1999, National Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation, Regional Fellowship for Emerging Visual Artists in 1988 and 1994, and Mark has received two Ford Foundation Fellowships, 1979 and 1980. Additionally, Messersmith has had one person shows and participated in group shows at numerous museums and university galleries, including in-state shows at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Art and Science Tallahassee, Polk Museum and Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art.
There is an underlying consciousness in Messersmith’s work that is refreshing and irresistible. Messersmith’s concerns are for an evaporating Florida environment and the intrusion of man into the habitat of hundreds of species of animals and plants. The paintings are dense, theatrical and uncompromising with combinations of plant and animal life mixed with the evidence of man’s intrusion; including things like telephone poles, roads and logging trucks. Messersmith’s work also incorporates three-dimensional carved animal figures, ladders, measuring tools and other elements, which serve as visual steps that take us into the paintings. There is a clear message in Messersmith’s work, one of a stark reality of a confrontation that is occurring all around us. By pointing to the obvious truth of human folly we are in fact left with hope. The hope we might see past ourselves to a better tomorrow where all life is sacred.
January 11 – February 9, 2008
The gallery is pleased to welcome back world renowned artist and gallery name sake Robert Rauschenberg. Often cited as the most important artist of his generation, Rauschenberg did more than any other artist to reach beyond contemporary thinking by challenging limits, perceptions, materials and every other boundary in sight. Among those shattered boundaries is an erased de Kooning drawing, one of the most notorious art objects of the century. Rauschenberg also created a tire impression on paper with John Cage, worked extensively with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, ushered in “Happenings” and “Pop Art,” and influenced virtually all artistic thinking since Abstract Expressionism.
A career retrospective was organized by and displayed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and theGuggenheimMuseum,Soho, in late 1997. The exhibit of more than 400 pieces showed Rauschenberg from 1948 to the late 90’s. After decades of a relentless pursuit of imagery, Rauschenberg’s mark of free association and experimentation is certainly seen on painting, performance, collage, sculpture, printmaking, and photography. It was Rauschenberg’s first retrospective since 1976 and one of the largest exhibitions ever held of work by a living artist. Following theNew Yorkopening the exhibit began touring with stops inHouston,Texas, as well as venues inGermanyandSpain.
The exhibit atEdisonfeatures more than 3 dozen framed prints produced between 1966 and 2006 that reflect Rauschenberg’s commitment to making the world a better place. The exhibition includes prints created for and often donated to such organizations as the United Nations and the American Environment Foundation. Also included in the show atEdisonare all of the exhibition prints from the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) as well as numerous other exhibition posters. Additionally there are prints in support of or that bring attention to issues and events like Earth Day, Tibet, global population and the ozone, to list a few.
Gallery Talk, January 30, 1 p.m. in the Gallery: Donald Saff, a longtime friend of Rauschenberg’s, is an artist, printmaker and educator who has been a major force in the American prints and multiple movement since the 1960s. Saff founded Graphicstudio / The Institute for Research in Art in 1968 on the campus of USF, inTampa.
February 22 – April 5, 2008
The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at EdisonCollegein Fort Myers, Florida, is pleased to present New Century New Painting: Recent Acquisitions from the Martin Z. Margulies Collection. With a scope that includes the work of 14 prominent artists, with origins in countries around the world, this exhibit offers a unique perspective on the condition of painting today. From Japan, to Vietnam, to Sweden to the USA and beyond, each of these artists has found a unique vision to use as their platform for painting. Rough, finished, found, poured, taped, stapled, brushed, sprayed and cut only touch on the approaches these artists have accumulated to develop their ideas. This cutting edge exhibit offers a remarkable collection of work that includes acclaimed artists Sook Jin Jo, Chris Ofili, Karin Davie, Tal R, Jonathan Meese, Karin Mamma Andersson, Mike Cloud, Nikolaus Moser, Bram Bogart, Clare Woods, Ulf Puder, Oliver Dorfer, Tam Van Tran and Claire Sherman.
Some highlights from the exhibit include pieces by German performance, installation and visual artist Jonathan Meese, whose work is an onslaught to the senses with his self-professed responsibility to neutralize the radical by making something more radical. Also included is British artist Chris Ofili, who has a now famous exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum to his credit, as well as the Tate Museum’s Turner Award and an appearance in the pivotal Venice Biennial. His work is anchored in his African heritage and the work in this exhibit is one of 6 pieces from the Christmas Eve series. Canadian born Karin Davie’s ground breaking work has redefined the relationship of gesture and line in painting, setting them in concert with color to penetrate the flatness of the canvas, creating a tentative coexistence between surface and pictorial space. The highly sought after Tal R, with his colorful compositions and a deceptively easy going style, adds a unique element to the exhibit. Bram Bogart, one of Europe’s preeminent painters, has brought new vocabulary to painting, blurring the line between painting and sculpture with his ultra-impasto multi pop-colored pieces. Also, Sook Jin Jo’s elegant meditative constructions of found wooden panels, and Karin Mamma Andersson, another Venice Biennale representative for Sweden, round out a sample of key elements from the exhibit.
Looked at as a whole, this exhibit shows a range of ideas and technical concerns that collectively foretells an unpredictable and exciting future for painting.
The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery would like to express our sincere appreciation to Martin Z. Margulies for his generosity, and to Katherine Hinds, Collection Curator, and the staff at the Warehouse for their support and organizational assistance.
Visit the Margulies Collection at www.margulieswarehouse.com.
April 17 – May 2, 2008
The Annual Student Art Show features work created by Edison College students. Awards will be presented in the categories of Photography, Design, Ceramics, Drawing and Painting.
May 17 – June 19, 2008
It is our pleasure to welcome you to take part in the “Art of the Olympians” exhibition. Artwork from around the world by Olympians in various sports will be on display demonstrating the very real relationship between art and sport. Whether motivated to run, jump, throw or inspired to paint, draw or sculpt the impulse to define the limits of human expression forms a cultural bond among all people. The “Art of the Olympians” exhibition is more than a display of artwork. It is a lesson for the youth of the world that dreams can come true for those who dedicate themselves to achieving what they set out to do in life. On behalf of all the Olympians from the various games, we wish to offer you a challenge; lift your heart to understand others and lift your hand to make the world a better place for all of us.
June 22 - July 3, 2008
On behalf of the family and friends of Robert Rauschenberg, Edison College will host a celebration of the famed artist’s life on June 21, 2008. The public event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall and the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery on Edison College’s Lee Campus, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers, Florida. A tribute will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Mann Hall. Photographs of Bob’s life and Ruminations print series will be on view in the Gallery.
July 10 – August 14, 2008
Join Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. for the preview exhibit for Arts for ACT 2008 on Thursday, July 10, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery off Summerlin Road, Edison College.
View the artworks from our international artists, the late Robert Rauschenberg, Darryl Pottorf, Tony Bennett and more.
This year, more than 100 pieces of art will be prominently displayed in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, ranging from oils, watercolors, collage, mixed media, sculpture and jewelry. There is truly something for every art lover and buyer.
This year at the preview, attendees will have the opportunity of buying that favorite piece before it goes on the auction block.
This year’s auction event will again be held on August 16 at the Coconut Hyatt in Bonita Springs. The guest celebrity auctioneer will be announced soon.