Seth Adelsberger: Semi-Final Frontiers and Chris Sims: Guantánamo Bay at Civilian Art Projects February 13

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CIVILIAN ART PROJECTS is pleased to present solo exhibitions of new work by emerging American artists Seth Adelsberger (Baltimore, MD) and Christopher Sims (Durham, NC).

February 13 – March 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009
7pm to 9pm

SETH ADELSBERGER: Semi-Final Frontiers

In his first solo exhibition with Civilian, Seth Adelsberger exhibits new paintings and a site-specific mural. Combining visual ingredients inspired by everyday occurrences and memory, Adelsberger creates complex, unconventional paintings of wild, exotic color. In the words of the artist, the new work “is where geometric architecture builds psychological masks and futuristic spaces. Elementary shapes and electric colors vibrate in a structured game of optical pinball.” His work recreates the language of landscape inspired painting and takes it to another level, repeating symbols and shapes much like those found in the multi-colored vector graphics of 1980’s video games. This personal glossary combines graffiti and nostalgic images to create a visual hypnotic language.

A graduate of Towson University, Adelsberger has shown work at Baltimore’s CURRENT Gallery, Flashpoint in Washington, DC, and the Esther Prangley Rice Gallery at McDaniel College. His work has been juried into New American Paintings in 2003 (issue #45), 2005 (issue #57) and 2007 (issue #75) by Ingrid Schaffner, Senior Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art at University of Pennsylvania; Jonathan P. Binstock; and Jenelle Porter Associate Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, respectively. An essay by Baltimore based critic and writer Jack Livingston will accompany the exhibition.

Guantánamo Bay: Photographs by CHRISTOPHER SIMS
Curated by Amanda Maddox & Jayme McLellan

Civilian presents photographs by Christopher Sims depicting everyday life at the naval base and joint detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It took Sims nearly three years to gain access to the base, which can be visited by civilians determined and patient enough to find the right channels to gain entry. A condition of his visit was that he was only permitted to shoot digital images, not negative film. Upon leaving the base, his work was inspected by military personnel and, with the exception of a few images, was deemed acceptable.

Shot in 2006, the images will be on view in the United States for the first time in this exhibition at Civilian. Unpopulated and lacking an overt political message, this work reveals a much-talked-about (but rarely seen) landscape as an outpost of the American commonplace: fast food restaurants and parking lots, prison cells, playgrounds, and cul-de-sacs. The subtle strength and candor of this work provides a counterpoint to passionate rhetoric about this infamous military base, yet adds its voice to the on-going debate about American values in a time of war and transition.

Sims received his BA in history from Duke University in 1995. He completed an MA in visual communication at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in 2003. He completed his MFA in studio art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD in 2008. His work has been exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography; Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC; the Center for the American South at UNC, Chapel Hill; and the Decker Gallery at MICA. He is currently teaching at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Public exhibition hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m.

Civilian Art Projects, an art gallery based in Washington, D.C., supports the voice and vision of the artist through exhibitions, events, and collaborations in D.C. and abroad. The gallery is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood in downtown Washington near many major museums, galleries, and national treasures.
[email protected]
Civilian Art Projects
406 7th Street NW, Third Floor
Washington DC
(202) 347-0022

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