By Tessa Solomon
Screenings, readings, and now a wedding. Public Space One, 120 N. Dubuque St., has seen it all.
Fabrics, paints, and patterns have been united in the gallery’s upcoming installation Arranged Marriage. An open reception from 4-6 p.m. on Sept. 20 will celebrate the collaboration between artists Gyan Shrosbree and Surya Gied. A fusion of their pre-existing paintings, the exhibit explores the meaning of authorship and individuality.
In honor of their “marriage,” Gied and Shrosbree elected to answer all questions together via email.
“The title came on a humorous note — thinking of our paintings being arranged in a way that forces them to “marry,” to leave their individuality behind and become something new,” they said.
The idea for a collaboration formed earlier this year. Unlike a traditional collaboration, they did not begin a new piece together, instead pursing a combination of past work. Often working in the same studio, they could place the pieces beside each other. They began layering elements of both into one, while painting additions to smooth the transition.
“The combination of our work produces a surprising and playful conversation driven by a modular collage-making approach. By putting the work together we consider it one piece, a new entity,” Shrosbree and Gied said.
The two are assistant professors in Maharishi University of Management’s Art Department in Fairfield, Iowa, and the colleagues and friends are familiar with each other’s work.
“Our work is different, but our ideas are in line with one another,” the artists said.
Gied’s painting predominately feature geometric figures, overlaid on fast-moving backgrounds. Her paintings, and public installations, often feature pops of color.
Born in Berlin, she spent her childhood in South Korea. During adolescence she returned to Germany, where she received a degree from the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Gied has been presented with grants from the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Goethe Institute Seoul, and the German Academic Exchange Service.
Her work, primarily drawings and paintings, has been showcased in Seoul, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Sydney.
Shrosbree’s work deals in abstract patterns and textured multimedia collaging. Fabric, glitter, and paint are combined to form her lively paintings.
She received an M.F.A. degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Shrosbree has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center and the MacDowell Colony, in addition to holding an artist-in-residence fellowship at Yaddo. In 2010, DEVIBOOK published The Suspects, a book containing 21 of her paintings. Her artwork has been nationally showcased, and like Gied, has done site-specific installations.
Arranged Marriage will be on display in Public Space One’s gallery. With its “church-basement vibe” and non-white cube gallery, it also defies tradition. The space is dedicated to sharing diverse and experimental art with Iowa City’s community.
“We favor art that connects with people, not just art-goers,” said John Engelbrecht, the director of Public Space One. “We believe in the public sphere, the idea that we all have something to learn from engaging with non-linear lines of thought and circumstances, such as alternative spaces like ours provide.”
Arranged Marriage will be on display until mid-October. In that time viewers are invited to come and experience the collaboration.
“We are excited to represent artists as esteemed as Gyan and Surya and pleased to make another regional connection of such a high caliber,” Engelbrecht said. “I have faith in their creative process and believe they will inhabit [Public Space One] in a unique and interesting way.”
Arrange Marriage installation opening
When: Sunday, 4-6p.m.
Where: Public Space One, 120 N. Dubuque