This exhibition as a whole, and the works individually, involved my favorite themes: word-play and double meanings (“album” as image and music collection); cross-overs, hybrids, and borderliners; the deliberate misuse of materials and processes; embracing accident and error; anti-mastery; meaning through metaphor; improvisation; and the pleasure and responsibility of adding to a world oversaturated with art and design.
Considering the last, I’m unconcerned about making more polished products, though I want what I produce to be engaging. Production is an opportunity to play in the world of things: creating afresh and “repurposing” the discarded and excessive. I’m open to a wide range of results—which considering my methods and materials, I’d better be. I strongly believe in the importance of craft, which along with providing precision, allows worthy improvisation. But an excess of mastery can lead to rote practice—and product that’s accomplished but unmoving.
This all means that my work can be uncertain in execution and outcome. I’m always trying to balance competing concerns, with mixed success. At worst, the result gets composted, fed back into the system. At best, we might have small revelations of how to see and participate in this world of things.
The Baron & Ellin Gordon Galleries at Old Dominion University present The Kenneth FitzGerald Album (Extended Play) in the University Gallery, March 1–April 6, 2008. An opening reception will be held Saturday, March 1, 7:00–9:00PM.
Old Dominion University
Monarch Way & 45th Street
Parking available in the 45th Street garage
757 683 6271
Show times: Tuesday–Saturday 11:00–5:00
The Kenneth FitzGerald Album (Extended Play) is a solo exhibition of mixed media work by Old Dominion University art faculty member Kenneth FitzGerald. It is a compilation of mixed-media, analog and digital, 2D + 3D, text/image works. Selections include new, original compositions plus remixes and rearrangements of past favorites, with samples from and mash-ups with found and ‘appropriated’ art.
The majority is print-based, either original text and image compositions realized on large-format digital printers, or constructions comprised of “accidental” graphics and “make ready” from professionally offset pieces. Other selections include small sculptures comprised of books and found materials, clay “paintings,” digital wallpapers of reformatted web animations, and folded paper objects (hexahexaflexagons) to be manipulated by gallery visitors.
FitzGerald’s 2D work is included in public and private collections in New York, New England, and the Midwest. Selections of his artist book works are in the Museum of Modern Art/Franklin Furnace/Artist Book Collection. His four-issue, self-produced magazine project, The News of the World (copies of which are included in the show) received awards for design excellence from the American Center for Design and AIGA. FitzGerald currently teaches in the undergraduate Graphic Design and graduate Visual Studies programs at Old Dominion University.
Portrait photographs by Greta Pratt. Featured in the images are (amongst others) works by April Greiman (‘does it make sense?’), Milton Glaser (Dylan), Martin Venezky (Sundance), Marian Bantjes (spider), Rick Valicenti (‘i love you this much’), and Rudy VanderLans (desert signage).