The Mellow Mountain Coalition (Hamlett Dobbins & Tad Lauritzen-Wright)
July 2-30, 2016
Triple Stilt: Three different bodies of work that reflect priorities of figuration; the use of the artist’s hand; and tension within a fluctuating environment, be it spatial, pictorial, or physical. Allison Wade’s sculptures, combining woven textiles and ceramics, tenuously uphold themselves with their own systems of foundation and structure, evoking a sense of precariousness and wavering build. Trisha Holt’s life-size cut-out figures are filmed within and against landscapes, resisting a clear comprehension of space and bringing about an awkward figuration as artificiality and actuality meet. As the Mellow Mountain Coalition, Hamlett Dobbins and Tad Lauritzen-Wright produce improvised, psychically-charged portraits in which each artist playfully builds upward and outward through a responsive dialogue of mark-making and collage. Triple Stilt references ideas of stilts and stilting as a means of internal elevation, abstract pictorial support, and perceptual tension.
Trisha Holt is a visual artist and photographer interested in the physical properties of the photographic print and the possibilities of its reproduction. Her images are printed and positioned as life-size, topographical, and site specific installations which are then re-framed in new photographs or experienced as sculptural objects. Holt has shown her work nationally in New York, Detroit, Seattle, Wisconsin, and Arkansas among others. In 2012, she received her Masters of Fine Art, Photography at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her work is represented by the David Klein Gallery in Detroit, MI.
Allison Wade is a visual artist working primarily in sculpture. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a BA in English literature from Stanford University. Her most recent solo show you and you and you opened last February at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL, and her work will be featured in a solo exhibition this September at devening projects + editions in Chicago. Wade has been awarded residencies at Ox-Bow, ACRE, Mustarinda (Finland), and the Vermont Studio Center and has been a visiting artist at Miami University, Rhodes College, the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Ceramics Department, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Interlink program. She lives and works in Chicago, where she is a Lecturer in the Department of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University.
Hamlett Dobbins: You have two kinds of boys born in 1970: lego boys and lincoln log boys. i’m a lego boy. i was eight years old when i saw star wars for the first time, and when i got home i went straight to the lego box to build the things i had just seen on the big screen. it’s not hard to imagine the scene: a boy on the shag carpet of his bedroom in rural tennessee, hunched over a bin of legos in a concentrated effort to connect with the story he’d seen hours before. and after building his own version of star wars ships, becoming part of the story himself.
legos were a way for me to create whatever i could imagine, and i am still doing that now only with paint instead. i am trying to understand why these experiences of real life or moments in stories or movies move me. the first shot of lux lisbon in the virgin suicides … the way elwood p. dowd says, “and the evening wore on” in harvey … the recording of my father’s voice telling the story of the rose … all of these moments contain the powerful impact of something pure and raw. so i use painting to focus on an experience and to wrap myself in the moment. by building the experience with paint i begin to understand what about the moment moved me to paint in the first place.
Tad Lauritzen-Wright: I grew up in San Angelo, Texas consuming rodeo, punk rock, playboy, cheap beer, shotguns, cartoons, farm trucks, skateboarding, Mexican border towns, and junkyard culture. Art came in the form of crappy posters won at the rodeo carnival ring toss, velvet posters of heavy metal bands, and handmade cowboy boots. In my work I am interested in generating an impromptu reaction to an idea, thought, or experience. I have always been attracted to art work that comes from discounted sources. I take basic ideas, simple plans, and rigorous daydreaming to an extreme in the work, aways attempting to elevate my ideas and observations.
In addition to my solo work I am also one half of The Mellow Mountain Coalition. The MMC is made up of myself, and Hamlett Dobbins. We have been involved in an expanding dialog and production for the past 8 years. The MMC approaches all projects from a completely impromptu point of engagement creating figurative based abstractions.