Regarding Beauty

Kirstin Lamb & Julia Ibbini

Local Artist Gallery:  Michael Ian Larsen

December 5 - 28, 2014

Regarding Beauty, featuring work by Kirstin Lamb (Providence, RI, US) & Julia Ibinni (Abu Dhabi, UAE) will run December 5-28, with an opening reception on the First Friday Artwalk December 5th at Darger HQ.  Concurrently, Michael Ian Larsen will be creating an installation in the Local Artist Gallery.   

“All artwork is about beauty; all positive work represents it and celebrates it.  All negative art protests the lack of beauty in our lives.”  Agnes Martin, 1989

In a contemporary art world increasingly focused on societal concerns and global issues, artists and critics alike have questioned beauty’s efficacy and relevance for contemporary culture.  However, all three of these artists buck the current trend and draw on the transformative potential of beauty to create work that has a sophisticatedly elaborate aesthetic. 

Kirstin Lamb is a painter living in Providence, Rhode Island and working in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Kirstin became obsessed with classical still life and notions of stacking and heaping during her final year of graduate study in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. She began her studies as a literature student at Brown University, graduating in 2001 with Bachelors degrees in both Literatures in English and Visual Art. Kirstin's work has been shown in venues across the Northeast, notably the Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh, NY, Salvatore Ferragamo Gallery in New York, the Kniznick Gallery at Brandeis University, The Watermill Center Benefit in Watermill, NY, Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY, and Bromfield Gallery in Boston.  Lamb states, “I am interested in investigating pictorial cliché and convention loosely within the structure of a classical still life or Vanitas painting.  I consider myself a hoarder of images, and utilize repetitive labor to showcase this behaviour.  Obsession with food, classical beauty, and the grotesque or monstrous all feature in these amalgamations and cornucopia.  Images of icons and the overused are paired with activities of personal disorder and disaffection.”

Julia Ibbini was born in the United Kingdom but spent much of her life in the United Arab Emirates.   She lives and works in Abu Dhabi.  Ibbini creates multi-media work that utilizes layers of photography, digital prints, drawings and paint with beads, Swarovski crystals and other materials.  Ibbini creates mandala-like patterns within elaborate dream and fantasyscapes.   Ibinni states, “Much of my work is about a sense of identity, or finding one’s way in life, resulting in pieces that are complex both in the making and the final outcome. Patterns and texture play a key role in my visual vocabulary with layer upon layer of photographs and drawings, riots of colour, light and dark. “

Michael Ian Larsen is a visual artist based in Lincoln, Nebraska and currently in residence at the Lux Center for the Arts. He holds a BA in Art from Nebraska Wesleyan University and an MFA in Ceramics from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, where he worked for one year following graduation. He has shown his work in several notable Chicago venues and has already had his first solo show at Peregrine Program in Chicago.  Larsen produces installations, which incorporate ceramics as well as found and altered objects. Larsen’s choice of materials stems from a desire to demystify art and communicate with people on a basic human level.  His work forms narratives involving innocence, growth and desire that reveal a spirit of inquiry.  Larsen’s sculptural installations balance an innate interest in the organic with contemporary sculptural practice, creating installations that examine space, perception and critical theory.