RACINE — “Component Parts: Artworks Made of Multiple Elements” will be on exhibit through Feb. 12 at the Racine Art Museum, 441 Main St. The exhibit features works from the museum’s permanent collection that are comprised of multiple parts — whether they be a single complex object or a series of several pieces unified as one work.
Artworks made of multiple elements are not new to the modern era but contemporary artists have pushed their direction and visual potential. Through conceptual, metaphorical and experimental lenses, artists literally make one object, or one ultimate work, out of many pieces. The exhibit features a wide range of media and approaches — both two- and three-dimensional — that expand this conversation.
Sculptural configurations made of individual pieces can register as single objects with layers of information. Examples include Beth Lipman’s “Still Life with Detritus,” a sublime re-imagining in glass and wood of a historical still-life — including the table it rests upon — and Eddie Dominguez’s “Fish Dinner,” a wall-mounted ceramic relief that cleverly uses underwater life-themed dinnerware to evoke an aquarium. Whereas Nancy Hild’s painting group, “Allegory of Seven Sins,” could be understood as seven individual pieces, its narrative is most powerful when all of the paintings are considered in relation to one another. This part-to-whole idea is further underscored with print portfolios by individual artists where one or two pieces could stand in for the whole but a different message is conveyed when larger numbers of works are viewed together at once.
The works in this exhibition are united by conceptual choices in presentation yet reflect a variety of perspectives and subject matter from cultural, historical and domestic issues to material and formal creative investigations.
The Racine Art Museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $7 or $5 for ages 62 and older and students 12 and older. There is no charge for ages 11 and younger and active duty military personnel. Go to ramart.org for more information.
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