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Olivet College Visual Arts Department presents "Disassembly and Reconfiguration"
Nov 05, 2013

“Disassembly and Reconfiguration,” an exhibition featuring the work of artists Jim Hopfensperger and Jason Lahr, will be on view at Olivet College’s Riethmiller Blackman Art Building Nov. 7 through Dec. 6. The event, which is on display inside the building’s Kresge Art Gallery, is free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call (269) 749-7627.

“Disassembly and Reconfiguration”

At first glance, the work of Jim Hopfensperger and Jason Lahr couldn’t be more different. While Hopfensperger’s delicately constructed furniture pieces are a study in understated craft, Lahr’s narrative paintings are a collision of popular and sub-cultural references over grounds of acid color and pixelated fields. However, the artists share a shrewd disassembly and reconfiguration of their respective media.

Hopfensperger channels the Arts and Crafts movement through a postmodern filter, while Lahr’s work stands as a meditation on the possibilities of painting in the midst of screen culture. For each artist, these concerns are articulated through a meticulous attention to detail and the deployment of fastidious craft.

Jim Hopfensperger

Hopfensperger is a professor of art at Western Michigan University. His past appointments include serving as senior associate dean in the College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University, chair of the Department of Art & Art History at Michigan State University, and head of the Studio Art Program at The Pennsylvania State University. He has also served on the faculty at Massachusetts College of Art, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Skidmore College, University of Michigan and North Carolina State University.

Hopfensperger is currently president of the National Council of Arts Administrators and professionally active in both the College Art Association and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. His work has been shown nationally and internationally in more than 100 exhibitions at venues including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Auckland Memorial Museum (New Zealand), the Lever House (New York) and the National Ornamental Metals Museum.

Jason Lahr

Lahr is assistant professor of painting at the University of Notre Dame. Since 2004, he has been represented by Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago. Lahr’s paintings combine darkly comic texts with appropriated images, creating shifting narratives of working class male identity as influenced by popular culture. The images are pulled from a wide range of popular and sub-cultural ephemera while the texts are fragments that suggest their excision from a larger story, and give the reader/viewer flashbulb glimpses at moments of narrative action. Centering on female characters that occupy positions of authority and male characters who are injured, inept, defeated, or perplexed by their dealings with women, the texts and images combine to form narratives which question the wash of expectations and assumptions we experience and create through popular culture.

Lahr’s book, “Words for Paintings” (Stepsister Press, 2010) collects 12 years’ worth of texts alongside reproductions of his work and in-progress views from his studio.


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