Leach, an installation of sculptural screenprints on paper by Shawn Bitters opens April 5 in Fairbanks Hall.
In Leach, Shawn Bitters investigates a sense of place and a connection and disconnection to land. In this installation Bitters has created an installation of 28 columns, made of screenprints on paper, which will fill Fairbanks Gallery to dramatically alter the interaction of the viewer and their perception of space.
Bitters explains that, “Using a monotype silkscreen process I printed a variety of neutral tones and textures that approximate a stone surface and respond to the colors of the gallery. My intention in relating the colors of the columns with the gallery was to both push the illusional quality of the paper formations, and to heighten the relationship between the work and the space. I wished to create the impression that the work is absorbing it’s surroundings. I have been inserting natural forms into human made spaces to replicate the spatial lessons that I first learned from my interactions with nature. This interplay between natural and architectural forms is exemplified in this installation by the natural forms taking on the coloration of the gallery as minerals will stain and be stained by the their surroundings.“
With this installation the artwork literally becomes a filter through which the gallery space is viewed.
Openings in the columns also provide the viewer with the opportunity to leave the walkway and walk around to see the work from the back. “From this vantage point the perspectival illusion does not occur,” says Bitters, “and the viewer encounters the material nature of the columns, which present their own shifting illusion from stone to paper to stone.”
Originally from Orem, Utah, Shawn Bitters received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005 and his BFA from Brigham Young University in 2002. His shows include the International Print Center of New York and Dieu Donné Papermill both in New York City, The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, in Kansas City, the Providence Art Club, Providence, Rhode Island, and Temple University, Rome. He has upcoming shows at the Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence Kansas, and the Haydon Art Center, Lincoln Nebraska. He was recently an artist-in-residence at the Council of Danish Artist Residency on Hirsholm Island, Denmark and will be an artist-in-residence at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belguim in 2009. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas
Fairbanks Gallery is open Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a morning coffee and reception for the artist at 9 a.m. on April 5 in the gallery. The gallery and reception are free and open to the public. The exhibit concludes on April 27.