|Jim Toia @ Lehman Art College Gallery|
|Dear sm.ART friends,|
would like to invite you to visit the group exhibition
Sticks and Stones
featuring his recent works together with the artists Barbara Andrus, Barbara Cooper, Cui Fei, Tracy Heneberger, Michael Shaughnessy, and Raquel Rabinovich
at Lehman College Art Gallery
Bedford Park Blvd West, Bronx,
Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
The exhibition continues through
January 6, 2012
Sticks and Stones features a group of seven artists who employ natural materials in their work - straw, mud, stones, mushroom spores, grape tendrils, octopi - in a largely unmediated state. Their process, imagery, and allusions are also largely drawn from nature. On entering the gallery one is aware of not only the visual impact of the work but also the fragrances - of forests and harvested hay. In an age of the digital and the virtual, these artists have found sources that are decidedly tactile. Many of the materials are temporal and go through a process of recycling and renewal with each new installation. All of the works speak to a strong connection to nature. In some environmental ecology is a definite element. In others that connection is as broad as a long view of human history. In all of the work, there is the seduction of the materials themselves.
Jim Toia is known for his innovative use of organic materials. His various bodies of work have included elegant mushroom spore drawings, living organic installations and site-specific works, often bringing the natural world into a gallery environment. Strongly influenced by the Earthwork artists from the 1970s, Toia's work is a more subtle interaction with nature. Toia began producing spore drawings over ten years ago and is continually experimenting with the process. The procedure of creating spore drop prints is one that mycologists use to help identify individual species of mushrooms. They will take a sample species, put it on a clean sheet of paper and protect it from all disturbances so that an accurate, uninflected mapping of the mushroom's dropping of the spores is taken. Toia is not interested in documenting spore patterns, but instead strives to collaborate with nature to create individual works of art. He encourages interaction between the mushroom, chance, and himself by creating air currents around the mushroom. He also layers the activities of different species, and moves the mushrooms around to activate the full surface of the paper. Because the spores themselves are microscopic and therefore impossible to see until they have landed in quantity on the paper, the artist literally works in the dark with only his prior experience to guide him. The results are eerily beautiful images that encompass both space and time. Through the release of millions of expelled mushroom spores that are moving with a proportional speed necessary for objects to escape earth's atmosphere, Toia's hand placed mushrooms yield scale-less works, which simultaneously reflect the cosmological in their structure.
"I seek to convey the absolute brilliance of circumstance and contingency. When successful the viewer becomes aware of the fragility of the moment, realizes the miracle of our predicament, and bends to the fascination of pure experience."
Jim Toia lives and works in Califon, New Jersey. A graduate of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, he earned a master's degree in fine arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Toia has exhibited throughout the United States and is included in several collections including the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, the AT&T Collection, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, NJ. He has been the recipient of New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship and a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Grant.
Please view the attached pictures of the exhibition as pdf-File
For more information please contact sm.ART at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit Jim's website at www.jimtoia.com
or visit the gallery at www.lehman.edu/gallery
Best regards from sm.ART and enjoy Jim's works,
Mushroom spore on black Art Spectrum Colour Aid paper,
31" x 26"