Multiple points of view result in multiple works

The Lederer Gallery of Brodie Hall showcased an exhibition entitled "Defining Multiple Points of View," which featured the work of five Florida State art graduate students, along with associate professor Kabuya Bowens.

According to Gallery Director Cynthia Hawkins, Bowens assigned her students (Rhonda Thomas, David McLeish, Jessica Gatlin, Clint Shaw and Amy Flemming) to work using the concept of "multiples." Each student interpreted and dealt with the concept differently, producing an exhibition with a wide range of media and subject matter.

Bowens, who is also the curator the exhibit, is showing a lithograph entitled "Hell or High Water: Blackburn Speaks." It consists of numbered panels with repeated images of figures and wheels in predominantly black and white, interspersed with yellow and green. The notion of multiples can be seen in both the repetition of images and the fact that the complete image is spread across multiple sheets of paper.

Thomas also chose to work in the format of panels. Hers are black and white, and composed of repeated images of signs and logos associated with popular culture. The phrases interspersed throughout the montage, such as "No Limits!" and "Take Advantage," appear to be clipped from newspapers. Although constructed with a "vintage" appearance, the panels clearly make a statement about our modern day society by simply observing common motifs in our culture.

Flemming explained that the idea behind her mixed-media pieces came from Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones. These three large wall hangings depict abstracted skeletons, hidden behind layers of dense patterns, which she created from "rubbings" of actual junkyard objects.

"I began drawing junkyard landscapes some years ago and littered them with bones, since human beings tend to get thrown out just like the rest of everything that isn't wanted anymore," she said. "I wanted those bones to come back to life, so in the woodcuts and screen prints you'll see that muscle and tendons have started to re-grow over the bones, just as in Ezekiel's vision."

Shaw utilizes black and white contrast to the fullest extent in both of his ink drawings. His incredibly detailed montages of cars and car parts appear almost three-dimensional, reminiscent of the work of M.C. Escher. He handled the idea of multiplicity in a unique manner, by connecting the repeated images in such a way that they form an entirely new pattern.

McLeish is showing four steel sculptures, constructed in a crude yet stylized manner, and painted in glossy black. "Hungry Farmers" is composed of steel columns reminiscent of oppressed figures, hunched under teetering crossbows and buckets. Although very abstract, McLeish successfully captures the strong, emotional feeling of oppression through the "body language" of the figures.

Juxtaposing McLeish's sculptures are Gatlin's bold and colorful wall pieces, constructed from mixed media on wood. In "Young Restless" and "Dutiful Beautiful," the wood is cut and arranged into star-like shapes; for "Southern Sprawl," Gatlin arranged the wood into rows of angled rectangles. Her subject matter of figures and faces are highly stylized and positioned in the center of the composition, surrounded only by a single intense color.

The show ran in the gallery from Oct. 19 to Dec. 5.