Romantic Materialism


July 11 - August 30, 2008

Artists:  Brandon Reese, Jesse Small, & Signe Stuart

Three artists explored the limits of their materials in [Artspace] at Untitled's exhibit Romantic Materialism. The exhibit featured the art of Signe Stuart, Brandon Reese, and Jesse Small all of whom work with unique materials, ranging from tyvek, a high-density polyethylene fiber, to steel and ceramics. Signe Stuart’s work emphasized structure and sequence as they relate to nature and she created her pieces using man-made materials. Jesse Small’s work ranged from small, embellished sculptures in his Talk Bubbles and Ghosts series to monumental steel chandeliers and screens in Super-Position. Brandon Reese's pieces consisted of large architecture-inspired ceramic and wood sculptures.

Romantic Materialism examines the artists' quests to utilize unique materials in the creation of their art. Materials such as Tyvek, plastic wrap, titanium, PVC, ceramic, and stoneware are utilized to create installations that go beyond the typical gallery exhibit.

Brandon Reese creates ceramics inspired by architecture and patterns in nature. His simple, familiar forms involve a variety of ceramic methods that push the boundaries of traditional ceramic art. His work moves past traditional ceramics to explore spatial relationships and scale.

Jesse Small combines a sense of whimsy with the ornate, creating steel chandeliers with looping designs and porcelain ghosts covered in confetti. With influences ranging from Victorian decoration to Chinese society, Small's work is a unique clash of cultures and vibrant colors that transform his materials into captivating art. 

Signe Stuart states that her installations are "a metaphor for life's journeys and relationships and for nature's patterns of inner structures and systems." This is evident in her installation at Untitled, which involves a passageway that evokes a journey through space and a wall of plastic that imitates the often intricate patterns of nature.

- John Seward