Jonathan Sharlin’s Plessner Tree Blind (Michigan Deer Blind), 2012
RECENT WORK BY GINA OCCHIOGROSSO,
ANNE AUSTIN PEARCE, FRANK POOR &
February 4 – March 21, 2015
PC Galleries’ Hunt-Cavanagh Gallery in Hunt-Cavanagh Hall
Closing Reception: 5 – 7pm, Thursday, March 19
The term “axis mundi” derives from the Latin words “axis” or central line and “mundi” or world. Together the words refer to the center of the worlds, the pivot point at which the earth and its worldly beings convene with the skies and their celestial holdings. Different cultures, religions and mythologies represent the axis mundi in different ways—naturally occurring phenomena, such as a mountain, stream or forest, as well as man-made elements, such as a pillar, house, or whole civilization can symbolize the axis mundi. Because the axis mundi is an idea that unites a number of concrete images, no contradiction exists in regarding multiple spots as “the center of the worlds.” Individuals too can create or identify sites, unrelated to collective beliefs, to serve as their own personal axis mundi. Axis Mundi: Recent Work by Gina Occhiogrosso, Anne Austin Pearce, Frank Poor and Jonathan Sharlin brings together four artists whose artworks depict such sites through the intersection of architecture, nature and personal reflection.
By way of their distinct styles and subject matter, these artists’ projects reveal how incredibly vast and varied the composition of the axis mundi can be. Gina Occhiogrosso’s massive installation of works on paper showcases the meditative properties of all form, whether natural or man-made, thereby presenting the myriad possibilities one individual has in identifying his or her own center of the world. Anne Austin Pearce’s portrayal of the bimorphic forms of choral reef on long scroll-like rolls of translucent papers alludes to the almost ethereal structures created by the natural world, even those which may seem too deep or too far from the heavens’ reach. Talismans representing an unwavering interest in the deep South’s rural landscape, Rhode Island-based, Georgia-born Frank Poor’s architectural wall sculptures illustrate the axis mundi as outmoded, left behind and reclaimed by the countryside. Conversely, Jonathan Sharlin’s black and white photographs of hunting blinds (makeshift structures which help hunters avoid detection) demonstrate humanity’s ability to create ritualistic spaces using the simple tools and materials offered up by nature.
About the Artists
Gina Occhiogrosso lives and works in Troy and Albany, New York. In addition to Axis Mundi at PC Galleries, she has exhibited in group shows at The Painting Center, The High Line and Brenda Taylor Gallery in New York, New York; Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn, New York; Miami International Airport Gallery in Miami, Florida; The Castle Gallery at the College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, New York and Lehman College Art Gallery in Bronx, New York. She has had solo shows at Amrose Sable Gallery and Yates Gallery at Siena College in Albany, New York; Nicole Fiacco Gallery in Hudson, New York; Roos Arts in Rosendale, New York; Saratoga Arts Council Art Gallery in Saratoga Springs, Florida and Lake George Project for the Arts in Lake George, New York. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies by Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Inc., Constance Saltonstall Foundation, Ragdale Foundation and The Millay Colony for the Arts, Inc. She has also been a visiting artist at The American Academy of Rome. Her work has been discussed in The Brooklyn Rail and The New York Times. Occhiogrosso holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and a MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Art at The College of Saint Rose in Albany.
Anne Austin Pearce lives and works in Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri. In addition to Axis Mundi at PC Galleries, she has exhibited in group shows at Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas; H&R Block Museum at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri and the Drawing Center in New York, New York, among others. She has recently had solo shows at Sherry Leedy Contemporary in Kansas City, Missouri; Miami-Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design in Miami, Florida and Gallery 31 at Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington D.C. Pearce holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from James Madison University. Currently, she is Professor of Art and Greenlease Gallery Director at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.
Frank Poor lives and works in Cranston, Rhode Island. In addition to Axis Mundi at PC Galleries, he has exhibited in group shows at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts; Drift Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Illges Gallery at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, and in numerous galleries and museums throughout Rhode Island. He has recently had solo shows at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina; Van Every Gallery at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; Newport Art Museum in Newport, Rhode Island and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Poor holds a BFA from Georgia State University and a MFA from Rhode Island School of Design.
Jonathan Sharlin lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to Axis Mundi at PC Galleries, he has exhibited in group shows at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, Massachusetts; The Newport Art Museum in Newport Rhode Island and Grimshaw-Gudewiez Art Gallery at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts. He has had solo shows at Margolis Gallery at Houston Center for Photography in Houston, Texas; Louise Jones Brown Gallery at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; Artspace Gallery at University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and List Art Center at Brown University, the RISD Museum and Bannister Gallery at Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the recipient of a 2014 Rhode Island State Council for the Arts (RISCA) Photography Fellowship, as well as previous RISCA, Rhode Island Foundation and New England Foundation for the Arts grants. His book, Cast a Cold Eye: A Visual Transcript of an End of LIfe Journey was published by Cyan Press and partially funded by RISCA and Rhode Island Foundation in 2008. Sharlin holds a BA from Goddard College and a MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop at State University of New York at Buffalo.