Friday, April 23, 2010

One Solid Mutiny : A Solo Exhibition by Zachary Rawe

War then. Now that we've broken your heart sides must be taken.

One Solid Mutiny: A Solo Exhibition by Zach Rawe

May 1st—29th, 2010

Opening reception: Saturday, May 1st, 7:00 – 10:00 pm

Cincinnati, OH—U·turn Art Space is pleased to announce One Solid Mutiny, a solo exhibition of recent sculptures, installations and works on paper by one of the venue’s progenitors, Zach Rawe. A print-to-order monograph will accompany the exhibition, as well as a special multimedia video project with photojournalist Cameron Knight that follows the artist’s creative process, to launch May 5th on

One Solid Mutiny crowds the gallery’s floor space and walls with a ragamuffin circus of human empathy. A rudimentary battlefield has been marked out with a line of duct tape running the length of the space (recalling a default solution to squabbles between siblings or roommates: “You stay on your side and I’ll stay on mine!”). In this exhibition specifically conceived for U·turn, Rawe contrasts (if not directly pits against one another) adjacent aesthetic concerns in his work. To the left will be a presentation of America in its extreme excess: piggy banks, faux gold Santas, crudely designed plastic toy sharks and an inflatable flamingo. In contrast to this project in Maximalism, the other side of the gallery has been conceived as a calmer, more neutralized visual experience. Tending towards industrial, raw materials, the sculpture displayed in the right portion of the gallery make use of the quiet of their surrounding space as much as the cinder blocks, clear plastic and low sitting puddles of confetti from which they are constructed. With evident contrasts in play, the conjoined spaces contextualize one another as an awkward but mutually beneficial environment. Upon entering the divided space, viewers are empowered to attempt reconciliation between the evident differences in the space and to detect personal meanings in their discoveries.

Though two sides are presented neither are preferred. Thoroughly nonjudgmental, the artist’s process mines broad expanses of consumerism, contemporary aesthetics and the trickle down effects of pop culture into unexpected terrain in our everyday lives. While most of the elements that comprise Rawe’s work remain blatantly what they are (soda cans, stickers, novelty decorations, flea market finds), they often accumulate into abstract and even bewildering situations that allow viewers to locate and appreciate the sincerity and sarcasm, irony, pathos, and generosity in the work. Chances for self-reflection, self-indictment, or self-incrimination crop up in installations that are challengingly associative and applicable to the day-to-day activities of the artist and his viewers.

Humble sculptures that Rawe creates stand equipped with sly humor as they consider notions of ambition and failure. Incorporating an endless list of found and unaltered purchased objects, Rawe’s sculptures employ their own making (often simple stacks or quick efforts with glue or clamps) as part of their aesthetics.

Or put another way by art critic Jerry Saltz: “Non-Specific Objects accept that power and passivity often meld and exist simultaneously, and that monolithic modes of thinking aren’t a rich enough way to see the world. They grasp that just because you are not sure doesn’t mean you’re not confident. I would only add that Non-Specific Objects are nearly always sincere and ironic at the same time.”

Artist Bio

Zach Rawe is a graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati with a BFA in sculpture. As an emerging artist, Rawe has already received honors including a semester long residency in New York City during his undergraduate studies. He has participated in exhibitions in Cincinnati, OH: New York, NY: Covington, KY and Frankfort, KY. His work has been written about in City Beat and he is excited to be working with Cameron Knight on the imminent web project about Rawe’s art practice. In 2009, Rawe founded the U·turn Art Space with the four other collective members that rallied around his initial vision. Rawe is originally from Northern Kentucky, but now lives and keeps a studio in Over-the-Rhine.

For more information, please contact the gallery by e-mail: