Pam Longobardi

Artist Statement

I have worked for the past 15 years on two-dimensional paintings and works on paper, and on installations that explore the themes of the psychological relationship of humans to nature and the physical world. I have explored the ideas from two perspectives: the philosophical (utilizing intellect in the development of self-awareness) and the phenomenological (elevating the experiential nature of existence in furthering understanding of the work of art, and by extension, the self).

I often involve elements of natural phenomenon as processes in the physical construction of my work, processes such as chemical patination, light-sensitive photo imaging, magnetism, mirror reflection, after-image, and phosphorescence. My work tends to be experiential: It is never fully described through photographic documentation, such that even the paintings, done on copper and encrusted with chemical crystallization, change dramatically depending on the lighting or the angle one views them from. In fact, they are most fully experienced by looking at them from a distance and then very close up, possibly even aided by a magnifying glass. This level of exploration is invited by the physicality of the surfaces and the fact that a real chemical event has taken place on the surface. The crystallization of the patinas form a kind of fractal pattern which contains the phenomenology of nature in miniature: landslides, erosion, sedimentation, and streambed formations arise at the suprascopic level, at the visibility limits of the naked eye.These formations teach me about painting, actually how to paint chaotic forms, by revealing the invisible and underlying structure of trails, forms, and web like patterns.

It is into this surface that I plant the pictures of nature, cultural imprints that claim the space, pave it over, civilize it. These pictures of nature and details of human presence populate the space as an analogy to humanity's need to put our face on the world; the paintings then work as a kind of mapping of painting space as a domination of the universe, a transformation of nature to the fulfillment of ego and pleasure. A mirror reflects not the self but the image of the self. In Lacanian psychoanalysis, the construction of the ego begins with the recognition of a self in the mirror. It is the point at which the world separates into the me/not me. I am interested in the idea of the positioning of the ego in an attempt to locate the self amidst the incomprensibility of the external world at large. Only a dismantling of ego merges the interior with the exterior into a non-dualistic whole world.

A most telling moment of the recent past came with the completion of the Human Genome Project, the mapping of the human genetic sequence. According to the central dogma of DNA theory, humans, as the most complex organism on earth, were expected to have an enormous gene count, predicted to number 100,000. Instead, in the end, the human gene count numbered just around 30,000, just about as many genes as a mustard weed. I feel this is significant in revealing that humans are but a tiny part of a vastness beyond comprehension, connected to every weed, and no more, nor no less important.

Education

1985 MFA, Master of Fine Arts, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

1981 BFA, Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2007 Drifters, Sandler Hudson Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2006 Sky is Fallen, Roof Installation, Sandler Hudson Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2004 Worlds within Worlds, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, FL

2004 Artificial Kingdoms, Sylvia Schmidt Contemporary Art, New Orleans, LA

2003 Drawing Voices: Encounter, Collaboration with C. Dongoski, Galeria Entropia, Wroclaw, Poland

2002 Pearl of the Third Mind, Collaboration with C. Dongoski, Kobe, Japan

2002 Beyond the Frame, Knoxville Museum of Art, TN

1998 Animal/Beautiful, Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1995 Wake Forest University Fine ARts Gallery, NC

Selected Group Exhibitions

2004 Adornment: Embellishment and Encroachment, Diboll Gallery, Loyola University

2004 Sandler Hudson Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2003 Works on Paper, Santa Reparata Gallery, Florence, Italy

2002 Barrister's Gallery, New Orleans, LA

1997 Instinct and Intellect, Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York, NY

1996 Portoguaro, Venice, Italy

1993 Landscape and the Metaphysical, Delta Axis Contemporary Arts Center, Memphis, TN

Selected Awards

2006 Artist Residency Fellowship, Red Cinder Creativity Center, Hawaii

2005 Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award, Georgia State University

2004 Finalist, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program Commission competition

2001 Finalist, Atlanta Hartsfield Airport E-Concourse Expansion Commission Competition.

2000 Major Public Art commission, Atlanta Medical Examiner's Facility, Fulton Co. Arts Council.

2000 Georgia State University School of Art and Design Summer Research Grant, Atlanta, GA

1999 Artist Residency Fellowship, Franz Masereel Center, Kasterlee, Belgium

Public Collections

City of Atlanta, Art in Public Places, Atlanta, GA
Kilpatrick Stockton Attorneys, Atlanta, GA
Blue Ocean Institute, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN
Hyatt Regency International Hotel, Naples, FL
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AR
Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, Immigration Concourse, Atlanta, GA
Softblox Computing Technologies, Atlanta, GA
Tweed Art Museum, Duluth, MN
Saks Fifth Avenue, Atlanta, GA
Kennedy Art Museum, Athens, OH
MBL Life Assurance Corporation, NJ
Benziger Winery, Sonoma, CA
Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
Freeman-Hawkins Attorneys at Law, Atlanta, GA
Stockholders Systems, Atlanta, GA
Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals, Raleigh, NC
Instituto de Estudios Norteamericanos, Barcelona, Spain.
Miami Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, Coral Gables, FL
Pratt Institute, New York, NY
Deloitte-Touche, Atlanta, GA
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Clapsadle-Baugnet, Minneapolis, MN
Agnes Scott College Permanent Collection, Atlanta, GA
Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN
Taller Galeria Fort, Barcelona, Spain.
University of Tennessee Permanent Collection, Knoxville, TN
Montana State University Permanent Collection, Bozeman, MT