Two-Person Exhibit at University of North Georgia

Belongings Once Were, curated by Beth Sale at The University of North Georgia, September 22 – October 17, 2014 A two-person show featuring the works of Lauren F. Adams and Jasey Jones. “In her own words, artist Lauren Adams represents through her paintings situations that “take to task American consumerism”. Similarly, artist Jasey Jones layers images such as vintage advertising and contemporary packaging barcodes to create inescapable references to consumerism. Thorstein Veblen, noted nineteenth-century sociologist and economist, invented the term “conspicuous consumption” to refer to the practice of spending money on luxury goods as statements of economic power. Through their works in the exhibition, Belongings Once Were, Adams and Jones invite their viewers to consider the definitions and aesthetics of luxury vs. need through time, and the price of acquisition and who may have paid it. Most striking in the work of each artist is the frequent juxtaposition of famous paintings or delicate porcelain, objects synonymous with wealth and luxury, with sobering images of slave ships or receipts for the sale of children. Through layers of paint, paper, and porcelain, the artists also layer contrasting definitions of art, product, and the price of wealth. The noted art historian, Leo Steinberg, once famously remarked that all art is about art in a ground- breaking article of the same title. In Belongings Once Were the viewer will recognize iconic artworks such as Gaugin’s French Polynesia, the Palace at Versaille, or English Garden porcelain. The artists, however, invite the viewer to look beyond the familiar images. In Decorum #10, Adams directs the viewer to consider the life of a Polynesian woman pre-European contact prior to her marketing and objectification. Similarly, Decorum #7 invites one to consider the once rare and elegant pastime of taking tea against a representation of the tiles of the courtyard of Versaille, which were laid with backbreaking labor. In a clever and thought-provoking play on words, Decorum #20 depicts luxurious Toile fabric by Brunschwig & Fils overlaid by silhouettes of slaves who helped make the creation of such fabrics possible: toil begets Toile.”

Above text by Deborah Prosser, Ph.D.


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