Cortney Stell and Gretchen Schaefer host Nader Tehrani at RMCAD

In my book this is where everyone should be on Friday night. Stell and Schaefer are hosting another interesting lecture, part of the “Interventionseries within the Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer Program at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. The presentation by Nader Tehrani, The Architecture of Installations, picks apart how use of materials, space and formal concerns within installations may in turn revolutionize architecture.
Make time before the talk to check out Donald Fodness‘ installation at Rude Gallery with his affectionately posed bro loving and hating commentary, “LUVRZ B H8RZ.There are also three gorgeous painting exhibitions with works by Nathan Ritterpusch, Christina Shurts and David Grigorian. All the details needed are below.
from the press release
Nader Tehrani
Nader Tehrani

Nader Tehrani
The Architecture of Installations
Friday, January 24, 2014
6:30 p.m. doors, 7:00 p.m. lecture
Mary Harris Auditorium
on the campus of Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

All VASD lectures are free and open to the public; however, RSVP is highly recommended due to limited seating. Please visit to reserve your seats.

The Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer Program at RMCAD presents a lecture by architect Nader Tehrani.

About the Lecture
Nader Tehrani’s lecture The Architecture of Installations will discuss the intervention of material, spatial and formal experiments that then radicalize larger architectural projects. Through his extensive research of materials, Tehrani will delve into the function of installations as fruitful arenas of examination, play and experimentation. By reflecting on how small details can shape, influence, and construct greater meaning, and even find balance amid freedom and constraint, Tehrani will speak to concepts relevant to all types of creative fields.

About the Lecturer
Nader Tehrani is a Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also Principal and Founder of NADAAA, a Boston-based architecture and urban design firm. Notably, NADAAA is the recent winner of Architecture Magazine’s No. 1 architecture firm for design in the United States. Tehrani received a Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree in 1991 from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

The works of Nader Tehrani have been widely exhibited at MOMA, LA MOCA and ICA Boston. His work is also part of the permanent collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Tehrani’s work has been recognized with notable awards, including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, the United States Artists Fellowship in Architecture and Design, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, among many others.

Nader Tehrani is the third visitor for the VASD Program Interventions lecture series. This series examines the possibilities and types of interventions that exist in the cultural realm today. Interventions are ruptures in systems or moments of directional change that often create new perspectives – like a New Year’s resolution or a political revolt. Historically, art and design interventions have run concurrently and sometimes led new ways of seeing the world.

VASD Program
The Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer Program is an interdisciplinary initiative that is culturally inclusive, intellectually expansive, and ultimately enriches the RMCAD experience and the larger Denver community. An integral part of the educational mission of RMCAD, the VASD Program fosters vision, creativity and innovation by bringing leading national and international artists, scholars and designers to campus each year. The Program provides direct access to contemporary art, design and culture and inspires appreciation and critical inquiry through diverse and challenging artistic visions.

Now Showing at the Philip J. Steele Gallery


Nathan Ritterpusch
The Night is Dark
January 9 – January 29
Christina Shurts
Here, Now and Then
January 9 – January 29

Nathan Ritterpusch
Nathan Ritterpusch’s exhibition entitled The Night is Dark features six paintings created in the past two years. Ritterpusch makes paintings that have a dark cinematic tone reminiscent of film noir. The artist stages photo shoots and paints from his source imagery. In these shoots he captures moments when his subjects appear to be consumed by their emotions. These moments are often painted as voyeuristic glimpses into a larger untold narrative. Ritterpusch’s attraction to the relationship between the still image and moving image can be seen in the intentional destabilization of his imagery through the use of slight blurring, jitter, or pixelation in some works.

Christina Shurts
The exhibition entitled Here, Now and Then features seven paintings by California-based artist Christina Shurts. Through painting, Shurts accesses a self-made trove of images from memory, which includes relics of her childhood, personal and found photographs, and real and imagined home décor magazines, to create paintings that exude feelings of nostalgia. By transforming familiar places of relaxation and luxury such as tree houses, seaside musement parks, oceanfront boardwalks, and long-deserted vacation cottages and resorts, Shurts creates alternate realities that are fantastical and unsettling. Her background as an athlete comes through in her gestural and active style of painting. Large, sweeping brushstrokes and blocks of tertiary colors often activate her works. Painting is an dynamic way for Shurts to filter the past through action in the present.

All works shown courtesy of the artists and RARE Gallery.
Both exhibitions curated by Cortney Lane Stell.
Image (left): Nathan Ritterpusch, Pick Up (detail), oil on canvas
Image (right): Christina Shurts, Salton Sink (detail), oil on canvas

Now Showing at the Rude Gallery

FodnessLuvrzweb2 2

Donald Fodness
Rude Gallery
January 6 – February 24, 2014
Curated by Cortney Lane Stell

Click here to see a review of Donald Fodness’ LUVRZ B H8RZ from Ray Mark Rinaldi of the Denver Post.

The Exhibition

LUVRZ B H8RZ is Donald Fodness’ first solo exhibition in the Rude Gallery. Fodness has turned the gallery into a domestic space full of figures and furniture, including sculptural lamps, record players, and door beads. Fodness’ work exudes a raw humanity, entangling the humorous and the disturbing, the playful and the grotesque.

In LUVRZ B H8RZ the artist investigates figuration, a key aspect of his work, in a way that orients towards domesticity and an interconnected duality. The sculptures are part domestic object and part figure, but not completely one or the other. Reiterating a sense of domestic partnership, separate figures are bound together as one through materials, stature, demeanor, and scale; even separate heads share a torso.

Fodness’ work embraces a crude, cartoon-like quality with a dry, grotesque emotional intensity. Pop culture, symbolism, and wit pervade his work. For example, the two-headed figure with skulls composed of a corncob pipe and flowerpot could literally be a “pot-head.” And the title, LUVRZ B H8RZ, (pronounced “lovers be haters”) pays tribute to leet speak, or “1337speak”, a cavalier tone  common in text messaging and internet chat rooms, which uses numbers as letters. Fodness uses this colloquial language to title the installation that is similarly comprised of a diverse array of common visual vernacular found in pop culture, notably in sports. Even the recognized image of the good (possibly “lovers”) and bad (possibly “haters”) angels on one’s shoulders is found in the two-headed figures who make up this complex exhibition of common cultural symbols.

Further marriage of symbols and opposites in Fodness’ exhibition include the exploration of both the di*erences and similarities between art and design. This multilayered installation is full of complicated multiplicities and is surprising, challenging, and in its own odd way, very real.

All works shown courtesy of the artist and Plus Gallery.
Image: Donald Fodness, LUVRZ B H8RZ (detail), installation.

Now Showing at the Alumni Gallery

David Grigorian
Childhood Cherry Blossoms 
Alumni Gallery
January 6 – February 24, 2014
Curated by Cortney Lane Stell

The Exhibition
Cosmic and intimate at the same time, the exhibition Childhood Cherry Blossoms features a series of paintings by RMCAD Alumni, David Grigorian. The paintings shown in the exhibition were created over the past few years and reflect a self-made world of dragons, royalty, magic and fantasy. Grigorian’s fantastical work sources inspiration from his childhood experiences of wonderment of the natural world. Particular references to his childhood travels can be seen in his vibrant interpretations of Japanese cherry blossoms and fireflies from Kentucky.

Grigorian’s acrylic paintings merge inner and outer space, science and mysticism, as well as the personal and the impersonal. The artist sees his works as a personal diary. He explains that they represent his interpretation of, “events, places, and people that I have encountered throughout my life”. “I also record different cultures, emotions, and thoughts,” said Grigorian.

Observing familiar childlike characters, such as princes, and using cultural references, like cherry blossoms, we see that for Grigorian, these are all part of the same motif – a world he has created where there is no boundary between memory and imagination. According to Grigorian, he gives his paintings a “sense of magic and tranquility of an exotic far away world.” Each character he paints is paired with a poem or story that he conceptualizes as he paints. For example the prince is “also a warrior with a legendary sword of the dragons, but in the painting he is on a quest to find his true and only love. He does find her and they live happily ever after.”

Image: David Grigorian, Fireflies, acrylic on canvas.

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