Paintings by Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville, Mo.) Professor of Art Armin Mühsam will be on display in Furman University’s Thompson Gallery, Roe Art Building, March 17-April 7. Thompson Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A reception with Mühsam is set for Tuesday, April 5, 6 -7:30 p.m., with a talk by the artist at 6:30 p.m. in the gallery.
The exhibition, Clear Cut Spaces, is free and open to the public, and is presented by the Furman University Department of Art.
About his work, Mühsam says:
Landscape is the stage where people and land interact; on it, the drama between the natural, or the given, and the human-built, or technology, plays itself out. Technology in this sense encompasses all human activity to assert control over the land; in this process, technology also transfers its values and its symbols to architecture. I have come to the conclusion that technology (read: western man) writes or draws into a landscape just like an artist would draw on a sheet of paper – through and with technology, forms are assembled and manipulated to compose a kind of environment that suits man’s needs.
My diptychs are expressions of this idea, in terms of content as well as form. These landscapes are completely artificial, consisting of basic parts drawn from a pool of man-made elements such as dikes, tunnels, excavation holes, roads, foundation walls, etc., all set in a pictorial atmosphere that aims to communicate a sense of misgiving, of unease, of shifting ground despite the concreteness of the portrayed structures.
This suspicion that there might be something wrong is, I believe, central to the contemporary mindset: As progenitors and products of our industrial and scientific revolutions, we know with certainty that we are out of joint with nature but we seldom admit that we are also out of joint with our own natures as a consequence. For me, our surroundings are clear manifestations of this process – we walk and drive through dreary, meaningless environments, man-made replacement landscapes in a world rendered sterile after the disappearance of the natural.
Mühsam holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany.
For more information about the exhibition, contact the Furman University Department of Art, (864) 294-2074. Or visit Mühsam’s website, www.arminmuhsam.com.