Susan Byrnes (b.1967) American, VISCOSITY GARDEN, 2015, cast rubber,
Collection of the Dayton Metro Library, 2017.5
Works by Cincinnati artist Susan Byrnes encompass a variety of media. This large scale work of 90 individual tiles was formed by pouring pigmented liquid rubber into shallow molds at varying stages of curing. Byrnes’ early studies were in photography, film and video and her later studies were in traditional cast metal sculpture and audio production. Byrnes envisions this piece to be a broad abstract waterscape that provides a bold, playful and colorful respite for the eyes, to inspire the imagination of the library visitor.
Gretchen Durst Jacobs (b. 1959) American, TRUSS AND RIVER, 2016, Oil on panel, Collection of the Dayton Metro Library, 2017.6
Dayton artist Gretchen Durst Jacobs deconstructs the oldest type of modern bridge truss. Jacobs ignites the feeling of tension, compression, structure, power and movement in the careful consideration of each strut’s placement. Jacobs values the balance and tension of these interactions as she explores the duality of the abstract and representational aspects of painting.
Katherine Kadish (b. 1939) American, RIVER 1-5, 2015, Monotype,
Collection of the Dayton Metro Library, 2017.7-11
A Yellow Springs based artist, Katherine Kadish created these five monotypes in New York City in collaboration with master printer Lisa Mackie. In her signature abstract and expressive style, Kadish addresses themes of transformation, the transitory nature of material things and the value of each moment we fully experience. Color is the lifeblood of Kadish’s work, followed by light and shadow … all elements that are impermanent and subject to context, time, weather, and memory. In this series, the prints relate to each other but do not form a continuous image. Each print contains elements of water, sky, landscape and ultimately the river.
Paula Willmot Kraus (b.1957) American, MORNING GLORY, 2016, Inkjet Print, Collection of the Dayton Metro Library, 2017.12.1-12
Dayton artist Paula Willmot Kraus draws largely from her immediate surroundings, often using nature and natural forms to explore memory, emotions, and formal aesthetics. She began her career in photojournalism and moved into fine art photography to tell her own visual stories. Intrigued by Monet’s response to light, Kraus relates photography or “drawing with light” to a painter’s process of mixing paint to create the initial palette of raw material. For Kraus, light is her raw material.
Andrea Myers (b. 1979) American, EN PLEIN AIR, 2016, machine sewn, fabric collages, Collection of the Dayton Metro Library, 2017.13.1-6
A Wooster, Ohio based artist Andrea Myers identifies herself as a painter who constructs painterly sculptures and installations. Myers explores the boundaries between two-and three-dimensions in her textile wall pieces. She sews together rectangular sections of fabric to create collages with a variety of textures that reference the gesture of painting and the expression of brush strokes.
Terry Welker (b.1955) American, FRACTAL RAIN, 2015, stainless steel wire, Swarovski crystal beads and acrylic prisms, Collection of the Dayton Metro Library, 2017.14
This large-scale mobile by Dayton artist Terry Welker emulates the visual impression of rain. Welker works to extend the language of mobiles by animating form, space and surface with motion. Using the inherent challenge of gravity and the mystery of delicate balance he orchestrates movement that allows the observer to move from simple viewing to the enjoyable act of “watching”.
CHIMÚ CULTURE, Peru, Mummy Mask, 1100-1400 CE, Hammered gold, copper, 10 ½ x 16 ½ inches, The Dayton Art Institute, Museum purchase with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Ralf Kircher and Mr. Louis Jacobs. 1967.46
This mask, made by the Sicán people of ancient Peru, is exceptionally complete, being comprised of 35 separate pieces. Fractional patterning highlights the way in which small parts make up a whole; this principle, evident in the composition of the mask, is a primary aesthetic value expressed in the new design of Main Library.
CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) French, Waterlilies, 1903, Oil on canvas, 32 x 40 inches, The Dayton Art Institute, Gift of Mr. Joseph Rubin, 1953.11
This depiction of water might seem tranquil, but the changes in culture and technology that led to its creation were radical. The advent of trains and portable paint tubes facilitated the artist’s ability to travel outside of the urban city center and paint directly from nature, or en plein air, as never before. Monet and other Impressionist painters, with their focus on spontaneity and capturing the changing quality of light, transformed the nature of painting forever.
NAM JUNE PAIK (1932- 2006) American, South Korean, Four Decades, 1989, Mixed media, 96 x 80 x 23 ¼ inches, The Dayton Art Institute, Gift of Society Bank through exchange, 1999.123
Nam June Paik was among the first artists to utilize technology and video. He also embraced the unpredictable qualities of art. Paik disrupts expectations of the function of mass-produced objects and images by removing them from their accustomed setting, as exemplified in this sculpture composed of televisions whose pictures are random and have been manipulated by the artist.
“Viscosity Garden is inspired by two pieces in the DAI collection: Waterlilies by Claude Monet, and Nam June Paik’s Four Decades. Monet’s lily pad forms and contrasting flatness and depth of visual space, along with Paik’s TV-based sculpture that incorporates hard edges of a grid format, bold color, movement and repetition, provided wonderful departure points for considering scale, color, and depth in the reimagining of a new landscape-based work.” Susan Byrnes, artist
“Truss and River received its inspiration from Monet’s response to the reflective and abstract quality of water in Waterlilies. Partnering this with Nam June Paik, Four Decades, which evokes ideas of new and old technology, Truss and River was created in the spirit of ‘bridging a gap from old to new.’ The Truss design of the Miami River Railroad Bridge is one of the ‘oldest types of modern bridges.’ Truss and River uses the geometry of the bridge to frame vignettes of the Miami River below.” Gretchen Durst Jacobs, artist
“Of all the painters I have admired over time, Monet is one of those who have had the most lasting influence on my work. He deals with all the elements in nature that fascinate me: light, shadow, nuances of color, as well as weather, season and time of day. His ability to combine sky, landscape, reflections, and water have inspired these River monotypes. I hope to evoke a feeling of Dayton’s beautiful Riverscape.” Katherine Kadish – Artist
“Impressionist painter Claude Monet said, ‘One instant, one aspect of nature, contains it all.’ I believe the garden – with its rhythms, its seasons, its beauty, and its deaths – reflect that ‘all.’ I use tones, not color, in forming the image. The flow of flowers, leaves, and vines on water, in conjunction with the sky’s reflection, evokes Earth’s respirations. I replace brushstrokes with layers, building the canvas and recalling Monet’s layers of paint.” Paula Willmot Kraus – Artist
“Monet utilized an ‘en plein air’ approach to his painting, being immersed in the environment and painting directly what he perceived. Following the rhythm and forms of the lily pads within his painting, my six textile pieces generate a similar visual movement spanning across the wall, unbound from the canvas, sparking life and physicality of the forms in the space.” Andrea Myers – Artist
“Monet used a contemporary palette in Waterlilies to give an impression of refracted and reflected light. Fractal Rain relies on natural light to project a shared memory of rain with polished steel wires. The prisms are inspired by the Chimú Mummy Mask idea of fractals, the whole comprised of many parts. This work also responds to our infamous 1913 flood. Rain can evoke a positive emotional response while also reminding us that strong rains are a precursor to floods.” Terry Welker – Sculptor and Architect