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Wolgamott: Darger HQ pieces examine environment, individuals
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Wolgamott: Darger HQ pieces examine environment, individuals

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Sixteen small drawings hang on the outside of the Parrish Project facing O street, just underneath the windows of Darger HQ.

Large versions of those drawings also can be seen on a pair of billboards -- in Gleisdorf, Austria.

They’re part of a project by Austrian artist Roswitha Weingrill that will examine environmental effects on the drawings.

How, for example, the exhaust fumes coming from O Street traffic, the hot summer sun and maybe some rain change the color and condition of the black-and-white printed images? And how will they compare to the changes on the billboards in the small Austrian town?

That will be answered in an online documentary Weingrill will create following the month-long outdoor hanging of the drawings. They are rooted in a series of works that in depicting consumer objects (like mobile phones and graphics of charts and knots based on mathematical theory) confront the dichotomy of the individual versus statistics that try to push the individual choice into groups and categories.

Selections of “Statistiche Knotenpunkte” are on a wall inside Darger HQ, the new contemporary art gallery that is hosting Weingrill’s first U.S. exhibition.

Her drawings are half of “Devised Province,” Darger HQ’s August show that examines the environment and social frameworks through her work and the sculpture of Minnesota artist Kristina Estell.

Three of Estell’s pieces are made of silicon rubber, a light blue material that can be manipulated in many ways. One of the pieces, titled “As You Were,” hangs on the wall, looking like fabric, but it is covered with impressions lifted from buildings. Another, titled “Ceil,” creates its own environment, draped over a wood easel and, in the third, a sheet of rubber is rolled into a basketball-sized ball.

Two other pieces, both titled “Air Treatment,” use brown paper “bags” filled with air to create bulging, amorphous-shaped floor and wall sculptures -- again altering and creating an environment using everyday material.

Estell’s final elements are a pair of glass urns filled with pieces of previous projects, another manipulation of material placed into a new environment.

The third part of the Darger exhibition, displayed in its local artist gallery, is “Elder Statesmen,” a series of paintings by Byron Anway of politicians fighting in parliamentary assemblies in eastern Europe and Asia.

Based on AP photos, the motion-filled small paintings are simultaneously humorous and disturbing. That’s particularly the case for one of the images that is based on a brawl in the parliament of the Ukraine.

The August show is the second Darger HQ exhibition that I’ve seen. Both have been challenging displays of contemporary art. The first was made up of manipulated advertising images, collages of roses on Playboy magazine pages and related paintings and a series of works in cloth -- bedspreads, a sweater, a wall hanging, each covered with a written phrase, like “thou Shalt Die” on the sweater.

Those exhibitions make Darger HQ a monthly must stop for those who are interested in true contemporary art -- in contrast to more traditional art being produced today.

Darger HQ complements its exhibitions with lectures and classes.

The lecture topic on Sept. 3 will be street art. On Sept. 24, the subject will be installation art. The lectures will be presented by gallery director Launa Bacon, a practicing artist who has worked extensively in street and installation art.

September classes include “Portrait: Light, Cameras & Breaking The Rules,” a two-week course on taking photographic portraits by photographer Taura Horn, a three-week textile dyeing class and classes in oil painting and installation art taught by Bacon. She also will conduct a professional artists workshop on Sept. 12.

More information on the lectures, classes and workshop is at dargerhq.com.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.

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Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott, the recipient of the 2018 Mayor’s Arts Award, has written about arts and entertainment for Lincoln newspapers since 1985, reviewing thousands of movies and concerts and hundreds of art exhibitions.

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What: "Devised Province" works by Kristina Estell and Roswitha Weingrill; and "Elder Statesmen," paintings by Byron Anway

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