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LOOK 101: Seeing Art in an Instagram World

How to Look at the Art of David Opdyke
Monday, February 4, 2019
1:00-2:00 PM
Institute for the Humanities Osterman Common Room, #1022 202 S. Thayer Map

Geared toward undergraduate students and focusing on the current exhibitions at the Institute for the Humanities, this contemporary series of discussions offers a fresh take on the basics of looking and evaluating art in the gallery and how it’s organized, making the connection from the traditional “white cube gallery” to iGen visual worlds like Facebook and Instagram. Lunch will be served. Today: How to look at the art of David Opdyke with Institute for the Humanities curator Amanda Krugliak. Register here:

About the exhibition:

In keeping with artist David Opdyke’s previous work, this site-specific installation serves as a critique of U.S. culture and politics. In an era of fake news and daily hyperbole, Opdyke literally changes the picture by hand painting on 528 vintage postcards of well-known American landmarks and destinations. The postcards are assembled into a large mural--a vast gridded landscape beset by environmental chaos. Each card is placed to fit into the overall image, and carefully modified with the gouache to show a realistically rendered piece of the overall turmoil.

The installation also features animated shorts and script-driven video, which take place within the visual confines of one or more postcards. The animation is inspired, in part, by Terry Gilliam’s animation work on Monty Python’s "Flying Circus" and by the classical music sound effects in the Road Runner cartoons.

About David Opdyke:
David Opdyke is a draughtsman, sculptor, and animator known for his trenchant political send-ups of American culture. Born in Schenectady, NY in 1969, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in painting and sculpture. His work is informed by the massive industrial and corporate restructuring he witnessed growing up, namely the abandonment of the city center by manufacturing giants General Electric and ALCO. As GE shifted resources to neighboring Niskayuna, the disparities became hard for Opdyke to ignore. Massive, decaying factories, an empty interstate loop, and unemployment were downtown; new streets, expensive homes, sushi and shopping malls were in the suburbs.

For 20 years Opdyke worked as a scenic painter and architectural model-maker. Ranging from intricate miniature constructions to room-sized installations, his artwork explores globalization, consumerism, and civilization’s abusive relationship with the environment.

This project is supported by a grant from the Efroymson Family Fund.
Building: 202 S. Thayer
Event Type: Other
Tags: Art, Environment, History, Humanities, Visual Arts
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Institute for the Humanities