The Fine Art of the Tin Can
April 12 – May 31, 1996
Found object jewelry is frequently viewed and discussed in relation to the avant-garde tradition of artists rejecting standard materials to critique conventional notions of beauty and fine metals; and certainly that strategy has proved to be a fruitful method for many contemporary artists. The Fine Art of the Tin Can at OXOXO Gallery has, however, gone beyond that standard approach to offer a broad based overview of a variety of found object metals.
There was, of course, numerous examples of anti-aesthetic works exhibited, but there was an equal amount of excellent examples of fragments of tin cans used as abstract color fields, bits and labels which served as nostalgic mementos and as catalysts to activate childhood memories, cans used as environmentally conscious media, and tin objects which served to parody and critique our consumer oriented culture.
Such scope, while overwhelming, offers viewers an excellent opportunity to survey the variety of approaches and strategies. Additionally in conjunction with the publication of photographer Bobby Hanson’s book The Fine Art of the Tin Can, available through Lark Books, Altamont Press, the exhibition will insure that many viewers, new to metals, will witness the extraordinary complexity of contemporary metal artists employing commonplace materials in lieu of fine metals.
The exhibition included works by: Christopher Anna, Boris Bally, Lucille Beards, Harriete Estel Berman, Teri Blond, Ricki Boscarino, Elizabeth Brim, Tina Chisena, Randall Cleaver, Janet Cooper, Harvey Crabclaw, Robert Dancik, Chris Darway, Daniel Eaves, Robert Ebendorf, Sue Eyet, Julie Flanigan, Laurie Flannery, John Grant, Richard Haddick, Bobby Hansson, Judith Hoyt, Jerry Hovanec, Ruthann Hovanec, Carol Hsu, Jean-Pierre Hsu, Jan Hutchinson, Ge Ge Kingston, Christine Kristen, Shana Kroiz, Pamela Lins, Keith Lo Bue, Tim McCreight, Betty Oliver, Spoon Popkin, Roy, Christina Shmigel, Majorie Simon, Vicor Spinski, Jack Trimper, Dan van Allen, Ellen Wieske, Natalie Weeks, David Williamson, Roberta Williamson, Marcia Wilson, J. Fred Woell, and Sandra Zilker.
Spring Showcase: Sam Shaw
Sheila Nussbaum Gallery
April 26 – May 25, 1996
The impetus of Sam Shaw’s aesthetic is familiar to all. A rounded beach or river stone, smoothed by nature over the gradual advance of geological time, catches the eye and fits perfectly in the hand. Shaw, however, goes further than casting the stone into a dish on his dresser. Studying its shape and parabolic curves the artist sets these found gems carefully within the bezel of a ring or he arranges them delicately along the edge of a seemingly folded and twisted gold form.
If it were not for the elegance of his settings and his straightforward presentation one might think that Shaw’s work parodies the excess of ornately set cut gems. Yet the simplicity of the works exhibits a sincere honesty and guilelessness of method. Nor is this work the all too familiar hippie/whole earth jewelry made by some naive student of nature. One suspects, instead, the influence of a Zen tea cup or a Japanese garden. This artist negotiates with skill and finesse that delicate edge between designed elegance and the unadorned beauty of nature’s natural forms.