Two spring exhibitions will be unveiled Saturday at the Southern Ohio Museum — “Trillionaire: Installation Work by Tim Rietenbach” and “Accretion: Ceramics by Brian Malnassy.” The exhibits will be on display through June 13.
The opening of the exhibitions begins with an artists’ reception from 1 to 3 p.m. The reception and exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Trillionaire: Installation work by Tim Rietenbach
The site-specific installation work of Tim Rietenbach will fill the museum’s first-floor Kricker Gallery. Not shy about addressing current social issues, Rietenbach is focusing this exhibit on economic inequality.
“Sounds absurd, but at the writing of this statement, there are 16,500,000 millionaires, 2,043 billionaires, and it is speculated that by 2040, we will have our first trillionaire. A word that sounds like a child’s boast is destined to become a reality. Although the work in this exhibition is not directly about money, the cultural asymmetry built into this progression has motivated the making of each artwork a collection that spans the recent past.”
Visitors will be greeted by the installation “Man,” in which 650 amusing, yet ghastly, paper mache skulls are assembled in stadium-style seating, turning the viewer into the viewed by this disconcerting, seemingly judging, assembly. Other works include “Billionaire,” a work in progress in which, currently, 250 of the richest people are depicted, and “Emotican,” a corner installation reflecting the current beating optimism has taken in the first decades of the 21st century.
Tim Rietenbach lives and works in Columbus, and is currently a professor of fine arts at Columbus College of Art and Design. He has received several individual artist awards from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. He is represented exclusively by Angela Meleca Gallery.
Accretion: Ceramics by Brian Malnassy
The ceramic sculptures of Brian Malnassy, which reflect on life and loss, are showcased in the Richards mezzanine gallery. This clay artist adds unusual ingredients to his clay — spices, baking ingredients and ground cork that then burn away in the kiln. The ceramic forms and structures are left with voids imprinted with the organic matter — metaphors for the impressions we leave on each other as we pass through life.
In the tall, stacked forms, Malnassy has gone back into the works, post firing, filling some of the voids with brightly colored felted fibers, signifying the human need to bring hope, life and light into the voids of life. While these fibers to not add to the overall tinsel strength of the totems, they bring an aesthetic element to the work of otherwise monochromatic pieces.
Brian Malnassy lives and works in Chicago, and is gallery director of Lillstreet Art Center.
For more information about the exhibitions and the Southern Ohio Museum, visit www.somacc.com, follow the museum on Facebook or call 740-354-5629.