“Utopia Parkway Revisited” Opens 2/26/16

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Matthew Waldeck Jr.

Matthew Waldeck Jr.

Christian Schmit

Christian Schmit

Matthew Waldeck Sr.

Matthew Waldeck Sr.

Jeff Casto

Jeff Casto

Marc Lambert

Marc Lambert

Joseph Cornell is one of those peripheral and yet totally important figures in contemporary art history who haunts and informs a lot of what is made and seen today. He passed away in 1972, and yet his influence and the scope of his ghostliness illuminate a lot of what has happened artistically and aesthetically in the 20th and now 21st Centuries. “Utopia Parkway Revisited: Contemporary Artists in Joseph Cornell’s Shadow” (opening February 26, 2016 with a reception 6 to 10 pm and closing April 9, 2016) features beautifully and incidentally Cornell-inspired works by Jeff Casto, Marc Lambert, Christian Schmit, Matthew Waldeck, and Matthew Waldeck Jr. They all make art that both mimics Cornell’s approach (collage, sculpture, assemblage, and appropriation), as well as the spirit involved in his vision, creating and recreating an aesthetic universe based in nostalgia, obsession, and pop culture. Casto’s works are the closest in spirit and materials to Cornell’s boxes, but he also has his own sense of deadpan whimsy and ache, as if he’s taken in Cornell’s need to make something out of nothing and pushed resources and dreaming to their limits. Lambert’s works featured in the show respond to Cornell’s use of everyday materials (Lambert paints on ceiling tiles), and also to his starry-eyed sense of cinema and history. Lambert meticulously recreates universes collaged from movie-scenes and folklore, juxtaposing Sasquatches with pyramids, pterodactyls with UFOs, a psychic boyhood embellished with a sense of sentimental ache and poetry. Waldeck, Jr.’s drawings have that same sense of longing for Utopian context. Executed in magic-marker on 8″ X 11″ sheets of paper, they function as a sort of illuminated manuscript informed by television, solitude, and a search for more than is there. Waldeck, Sr. creates funky, frenetic dioramas (and other contraptions) made from machine parts and other junk. They playfully reference space-travel, carnivals, and miniature civilizations, in a Cornellian flourish and flicker. Schmit’s one piece in the show is truly masterful, and acts as both a comment on, and a rapturous biographical portrait of, Cornell, constructed with a painstaking accuracy and ingenuity pretty much akin to everything Cornell accomplished.

 

In the Garden

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“I visited Raymond Thunder-Sky’s grave at Arlington Memorial Gardens the other day.  Of course, on this day the lane that leads to his grave was lined with construction cones (see below).  This made me smile.  The section of the cemetery Raymond is buried is called ‘The Garden of Restoration.’  There is something very poetic in this as most of Raymond’s creative life was spent at demolition sites, dressed as a clown, wearing a hardhat and drawing.  He focused on what was being torn down in his drawings while ‘imagineering’ what he wanted to put in it’s place with added text.  The Garden of Restoration is the title of the first show of our 7th season at Thunder-Sky, Inc. and features poetic new works by artists Adrian Cox and Tom Towhey.  The show opens Saturday January 9th with a reception from 6-10 PM.”  Bill Ross, Thunder-Sky, Inc.

 

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Tom Towhey

Tom Towhey

 

Adrian Cox

Adrian Cox

Thunder-Sky, Inc. 2016: Radical Approaches

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This will be our seventh year in existence, and the collection of exhibits we’ve pulled together represent Thunder-Sky, Inc.’s vision and mission pretty spectacularly: paintings, costumes, sculptures, installations, performances, shadow-boxes, songs… All of these artists have totally different and divergent approaches, all of them “radical” in ways you’ll need to see to believe, and all with a distinct and powerful sense of authority and ingenuity in sync with Raymond Thunder-Sky’s legacy.

 

January 9, 2016 – February 13, 2016: “The Garden of Restoration: New Works by Tom Towhey and Adrian Cox.” Two veteran, skilled painters, one from Cincinnati (Towhey) and the other from St. Louis, Missouri, create works that are disturbingly plush and whimsical but also have the depth and cunning of masterpiece daydreams. Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali can be used as reference points, but then both painters slide away from reference into their own versions of paradise and the opposite.

 

February 26, 2016 – April 9, 2016: “Utopia Parkway Revisited: Contemporary Artists in Joseph Cornell’s Shadow.” Joseph Cornell was an “outsider artist” before “outsider art” was engendered as a label. In the early 20th Century, he lived in Queens, New York with his mom and brother, and created a secret world of shadow boxes, movie-star dossiers, collages and home-movies that are seen today as remarkable works of art. Local artists Jeff Casto, Marc Lambert, Christian Schmit, Matthew Waldeck, and Matthew Waldeck Jr. make art that both mimics Cornell’s approach (collage, sculpture, assemblage, and appropriation), as well as the spirit involved in his vision, creating and recreating an aesthetic universe based in nostalgia, obsession, and pop culture.

 

April 29, 2016 – June 11, 2016: “Radically Visible.” Sky Heyn Cubacub, Lindsey Whittle, Craig Matis, and Antonio Adams. Cubacab, Whittle, Matis, and Adams are artists who use costume, performance, music, language, and symbol as vital ways to break down the barriers between artists and audience, and to both celebrate and invigorate the conversations and tensions around identity, appearance, and meaning. The works in the show range from costumes, performances, songs, paintings, drawings, and collages.

 

June 24, 2016 – August 13, 2016: “Dollar General: Installation Art by The Girls Coloring Space.” Krista Gregory, Jamie Muenzer and Kathy Brannigan comprise the artists collective The Girls Coloring Space. The premise of this show: Thunder-Sky, Inc. is awarding a $100.00 grant for materials to The Girls Coloring Space with the stipulation they must spend the 100 on materials at a local Dollar General store. That will be the only materials they can use to make art and/or to install the show outside of the white-paint and spackle and nails the gallery has on-hand. The Girls Coloring Space has the wit, ingenuity, and sense of intuitive style needed to make “Dollar General” an aesthetic and commercial success.

 

August 26, 2016 – October 8, 2016: “Well-Known Pacifically: New Works by Antonio Adams.” This will be Antonio Adams’ second one-man show at Thunder-Sky, Inc., and the third installment of a series of works that began with “Unrealized & Unforeseen” in 2012, followed by “Outcasts from Hollywood” in 2014.  In “Well-Known Pacifically,” Adams continues to explore his Technicolor notions of celebrity and reality with a sense of mischief, comic grief and funky spirituality.

 

October 28, 2016 – December 10, 2016: “Flourish: Cindy Dunham and Carla Knopp.” Two artists from Indianapolis work in different modes and scale, but find common ground in the gallery space. Dunham draws and makes intensely-colored digital prints from the drawings. Knopp, a painter and sculptor, will be featuring sculptural pieces that have the shape and form of phantom wild life.

 

Tom Towhey

Tom Towhey

Craig Matis

Craig Matis

Adrian Cox

Adrian Cox

Jeff Casto

Jeff Casto

Lost without You

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On August 28, 2015 (with an opening reception 6 to 10 pm), Thunder-Sky, Inc. presents “The Goodwill Biennial.” The show closes October 15, 2015. Ohio Valley Goodwill’s team in Cincinnati have been setting aside handmade art donated to the organization for the past year, in order to facilitate this project. Thunder-Sky, Inc. curators, as well as Matt Distel from the Carnegie (Covington, Kentucky) and Melanie Derrick from 1305 Gallery in Over the Rhine, are jurying an exhibit of these donated paintings, sculptures, drawings and other objects that have a distant connection with the present, and a distinct and dreamy sense of the past.  “The whole purpose of working with Goodwill is to treat the works we come across with respect and dignity, in order to find some kind of meaning/redemption in them that goes beyond kitsch and into another realm,” Thunder-Sky, Inc. Co-founder Keith Banner says. “Plus titling the whole project after sometimes pretentious and sometimes contentious contemporary biennial art surveys is kind of a lark – poking fun at the art-world, while also paying homage to artists who have been lost, consigned to donation bins.”  Raymond Thunder-Sky himself is another reason Thunder-Sky, Inc. is partnering with Ohio Valley Goodwill in Cincinnati. Thunder-Sky worked at Goodwill’s employment and training center for several years before he died, and often featured Goodwill in his drawings.

 

Time Machine

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Amazing opening June 26, 2015, an amazing show.  “History Channel:  New Art from Old Art” is up through middle of August.

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Contact

4573 Hamilton Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45223
Hours: Saturday/Sunday 1 to 4 pm, or by appointment.

(513) 426-0477 | info@raymondthundersky.org

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