Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Heroic Knitting

Check out what was in my email at work this morning. Read more about this intriguing artist here

Mark Newport, "He Could Help," 2005

Art Exhibit and Lecture: Mark Newport: Superheroics DATE: Friday, Feb. 3 - Wednesday, March 1, 2006 TIME: Slide Lecture 6 p.m., LOCATION: University Art Gallery Room 412

Free and Open to Public ABOUT Mark Newport: Superheroics will be presented at the University Art Gallery of San Diego State University from February 1 through March 1, 2006.Mark Newport will present a slide lecture on Friday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. in Room 412 of the School of Art, Design and Art History. A reception for the artist will follow from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the University Art Gallery. The slide lecture and reception are FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC.

Mark Newport: Superheroics includes knitted costumes, photographs, inkjet prints and embroidered comic book covers. For centuries, knitting and other fiber handicrafts have been associated with the feminine—from medieval portraits of the Virgin Mary beatifically purling to Grandma’s treasured knit afghans. Mark Newport, however, views knitting and related domestic textile arts in quite a different way. For him, they are symbols for understanding masculinity and brute strength—and the unlikely means by which he is able to create the iconic wardrobes of the superhero. Through methods traditionally associated with female cultural identity, Newport expresses his own ideas about male identity in American society. Superheroics is the largest exhibition of Newport’s work to date. Since 1996, Newport has participated in 60 group exhibitions and twelve solo exhibitions nationally. He also has been awarded several grants, most recently from the Creative Capital Foundation of New York for his project Ready for Action—a series of digital images documenting him performing in his superhero costumes and examining the theme of protection.

BackgroundBorn in 1964, in Amsterdam, New York, Newport was like other boys in his generation who were heavily influenced by superhero comic books. However, he purchased comics based on the artistic qualities of the covers, which gave him inspiration for his drawings. One summer his grandmother taught him to knit so he would stay out of trouble. Much later, while pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1990s, Newport made abstract sculpture relating to gender and male identity. In 1995 he began creating beaded sports trading cards, later expanding that concept into embroidered comic book covers. He took the idea of gender-bending the superhero another step further in 2003 when he began knitting his full-sized costumes. It takes two months to knit a costume and he uses himself as a mannequin.AcknowledgmentsMark Newport: Superheroics is organized by the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona, and curated by John D. Spiak. The San Diego State University presentation of Superheroics is organized by Tina Yapelli, director of the University Art Gallery, and sponsored by the School of Art, Design and Art History; the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts; and the fund for Instructionally Related Activities. Additional support is provided by the San Diego State University Art Council.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of Creative Capital, the Corporation of Yaddo and the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. Mark Newport is represented by Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle and Lyons Weir Gallery in New York.HoursMonday through Thursday and Saturday Noon to 4:00 p.m. Information619.594.5171www.sdsu.edu/artgalleryFor more information contact:Tina YapelliGallery Director / School of Art, Design and Art History619.594.4941tyapelli@mail.sdsu.eduor visit:http://sdsu.edu/artgallery >More Events

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1 comment:

jenclair said...

Oh my gosh! The knitters will adore this! My favorite (maybe) is the photo, "Self Made," where he is sitting in the rocking chair finishing up the suit he has on!
And the embroidered comic book covers are something else... :)