Nashville, Tennessee
Contemporary Art Gallery

237 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 37219
Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.







Craig Dongoski & Pam Longobardi | Discontinuity Continuum

February 23-March 30, 2013
Opening Reception: March 2nd, 6-9 pm

eg. a fracture in rocks marking a change in physical or chemical properties; a property of a mathematical function and of tree structures in theoretical linguistics; a conception of history as espoused by the philosopher Michel Foucault; a break in continuity.

For the first time in over a decade, Pam Longobardi and Craig Dongoski will exhibit their studio works together. Longobardi shows new work in paintings on copper, collage-cyanotype works on paper.  The paintings create self-contained universes where Longobardi visualizes a future point where unprecedented changes wrought by humans may be clearly read through the paintings' materiality.  She uses a combination of naturally occurring materials (copper and chemical patinas) and industrially created materials  (plastics, acrylic and lacquers) that are mixed to create that cracks, craters and stratigraphic layers on the copper panel.  These works reveal large, connected energy systems punctuated by the minutia of a microscopic lens, continuing her investigation of the problematic psychological relationship between humans and the natural world while simultaneously suggesting an interconnected fate. Longobardi utilizes the genre of landscape painting to suggest future worlds that parallel our own, often depicting colonization and escape.  Suggestions of buildings, factories and cities are minimized and fossilized in a future geologic layer.  Miniature and sometimes solitary human figuration exists in caves and on isolated promontories.  The forces of nature are wrought physically on the surfaces of these works as she cultivates phenomenological events to occur.  While these paintings depict disruption and cataclysm, they also function as record and warning of untold changes we are now experiencing in the physical world.  While Longobardi's Drifters Project functions in the world of the real, these paintings explore the imaginary and near-real and envision a lessened human footprint and nature as an ultimately powerful and enduring presence.

Craig Dongoski presents a body of work that employs drawing-sound experiments and innovations in tandem with chimpanzees through the Language Research Center in Atlanta. He has been exploring and articulating the mark in its most basic form as a vehicle for communicative expression for much of his career. Working with a particular chimpanzee named Panzee in a year long interaction has instigated a wide field of new possibilities to expand the scope of research. Panzee spontaneously developed her own mark-making habit early in her life, but it has not been considered in any serious capacity. The significance of the marks to Panzee is as yet unknown; but there is an overall shape, aesthetic deliberateness and intention, and evidence of visual concentration. The marks are evenly spaced and carefully placed along very tightly spaced lines. Panzee's marks are seated in the solid artistic realms of ancient writing, calligraphy and gestural abstraction. Art demonstrates its most radical shifts when there is a rupture in mark making, such as Van Gogh, Pollock, Michaux, Rainer.  Utilizing his signature linear style, Dongoski's work with Panzee is involved with the potential of innate expression within human artistic practice and present provocative statements both philosophically and artistically within this context. Through varied interpretations of the marks, a contribution is made to the art historical dialogue within the origin of human expression.