Curator, Writer, and Museum Administrator
Sheinkman 4 11 2007.jpg

Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite

Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite

Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond, August 23 through September 30, 2007

Artists featured in the exhibition include The Art Guys (American), James Busby (American, born 1973), Hsin-Hsi Chen (Taiwanese, born 1969), Christopher Cook (British, born 1959), Meghan Gerety (American, born 1970), Michael Joaquin Grey (American, born 1961), Sarah Lovitt (American, born 1969), Marco Maggi (Uruguayan, born 1957), Stephana McClure (N. Ireland, born 1959), Creighton Michael (American, born 1949), Shimon Okshteyn (American, born Ukraine 1951), Gloria Ortiz-Hernandez (Colombian, born 1943), Nancy Rubins (American, born 1952), Mark Sheinkman (American, born 1963), Stephen Sollins (American, born 1967), and Molly Springfield (American, born 1977).

The art in the exhibition can be viewed within the following overlapping themes: "Graphite as Content," "Graphite as Transformative Agent," and "Graphite as Sculpture." The first grouping of objects presents work in which the subject matter is seamlessly merged with the graphite medium, as in the primordial "landscapes" made of graphite, oil, and resin on aluminum sheets by Christopher Cook, and Mark Sheinkman's drawings of smoky tendrils created with graphite and eraser.  

Under the context of "Graphite as Transformative Agent," two- and three-dimensional artworks are made of materials that are altered or disguised by using graphite. Both James Busby and Nancy Rubins manipulate the medium's metallic quality with thick applications that turn canvas and paper into monolithic objects. Stefana McClure and Stephen Sollins focus on the communicative role of graphite through the obliteration of text and imagery in their works on paper.

Within the "Graphite as Sculpture" theme, graphite and pencils become sculptural material in a conceptual framework and/or systematic formation. The Art Guys use pencils as literal building blocks in their more than six-foot-tall sculpture of a skyscraper, whereas Marco Maggi works with graphite's materiality in his small-scale sculptures utilizing graphite powder, pencil leads, and Plexiglas.

The exhibition, curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond Museums, was organized for tour by International Arts and Artists, Washington, DC. At the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, the exhibition and programs were made possible in part with the generous support of the University's Cultural Affairs Committee.  

Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite will be on view October 21 to December 22, 2007 at the Bedford Gallery at the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California; January 14 to March 9, 2008 at the Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington; April 5 to June 1, 2008 at the Salina Art Center, Kansas; September 11 to October 30, 2008 at the Baum Gallery of Fine Art, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas; January 24 to March 29, 2009 at the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York; April 24 through August 2, 2009 at Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, Montana; and September 15 to November 29, 2009 at Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

Click here to view the exhibition catalogue.