Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery
A Sociology in Layers: Selected Work by Jenny Wu and Michael Patrick Holt
August 5, 2018 – September 9, 2018
Artists Talk: August 20, 2018 6-8PM.
Michael Patrick Holt
Michael Patrick Holt was born 1974 in Sandusky, Ohio. In 2013 he received a Bachelor of Arts from Bowling Green State University focusing in Fine Art, Theatre, and English. He then received an M.F.A. in Studio Art from American University in 2015, and was awarded the JoAnne Crisp-Ellert Prize. Noted exhibitions include E. Pluribus Unum at the Vilnius Academy in Lithuania and Artists at Work at the Smithsonian Dillon Ripley Center in Washington, D.C. Holt’s works can be found in private collections as well as the Watkins Collection of the Katzen Museum.
“Growing up in the Rust Belt during its decline in the 80’s had an intense influence on my perceptions and way of thinking. More specifically, I grew up in a lake town in Ohio that at one time contained a thriving middle-class relying heavily on local automotive manufacturing, and it was situated in the shadow of a large amusement park. When the manufacturing jobs dried up or were shipped out, the opportunity to participate in the idea of the American Dream for most went with them. By the time I was a teen in the late 80’s, I was still hearing the repeated lie of the American Dream, but acutely aware that I was not participating in it. Our playground was the apocalyptic wasteland of the Cold War. We were nourished by the bread and circus of the amusement park. My fascinations and obsessions became cemented in the plastic representations of American culture and reality, the promises consumerism whispers to us, and the objects we find our identity in.”
Jenny the Wu, like Winnie the Pooh, is an artist and educator. She is the 2018 – 2020 Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellow, and adjunct professor at American University and Marymount University.
Jenny Wu was born in Nanjing, China. She holds a B.A. from William Smith College in Studio Art as well as in Architectural Studies, and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from American University.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums including Denise Bibro Fine Art, Katzen Museum, and Huntington Museum of Art. Wu has participated in numerous Artist-In-Residence programs across the country, and has been awarded fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Pollock Krasner Foundation.
If I were born in the United States, I would probably be diagnosed with ADHD at an early age. Growing up in China without access to premium healthcare, my mother found an alternative method to make me sit still — classical art lessons. Now, I play in my studio and let curiosity lead the way. Through a cross- disciplinary practice in sculpture, installation, new media, and participatory projects, I aim to embrace the tenets of new material ontology and deliver playful experiences and memories with a sense of humor.
My work acknowledges and embraces the property of the material — both sensational and perceptional — and then provides the material a new context. I sculpt with paint. I turn liquid house paint with non descriptive names into a 250 lbs pile of confusing humor. I transform house paint to thousands of pieces of uniquely different cubes, and then give them to people as gifts, only requesting them to photograph how they install their tiny objects. I also used the very same house paint to mock the president’s ridiculous campaign promise to build a wall.
Being in Washington, D.C. in this era, with even introverts out on the street protesting, I found that politics is now a key component of my practice. Using real footage of speeches, interviews, rallies and alternative facts as raw material, I hope my work can humorously stab at the truth by magnifying the seemingly innocent details they hide behind