For the past year, Point Loma Nazarene University Professor of Art, David Adey has been on sabbatical, hard at work on his innovative and progressive exhibit, “Hither and Yon”. The culmination of this work occurs Saturday, January 11th with Adey’s opening reception of his premier solo exhibit at Scott White Contemporary Art in La Jolla, California.
In “Hither and Yon”, the result of his yearlong hiatus from the classroom, Adey utilizes a diverse range of materials and techniques to investigate the concept of constraints as a metaphor for the human condition. Each piece within this exhibition has undergone a methodical process for its creation within the bounds of a self-realized constraint. Adey admits that it's often the constraints and boundaries he sets for himself during the conceptualizing phase that inform his work. “Constraint gives you something to push up against. A tool to make creative decisions” says Adey. With this approach Adey is able to find not only artistic freedom, but also a common thread that unites these seemingly tangential mediums.
Some of Adey’s most iconic works in this series involve carefully deconstructed consumer images pulled from various Google searches. Using fragments of skin from hundreds of models and celebrities, he creates elaborate pinned collages reminiscent of complex entomological displays. The piece, Gravitational Radius, uses exclusively fashion and celebrity images. Adey exploits their two-dimensional nature by extruding them into three-dimensional space. Each decontextualized body fragment is transformed into a thin membrane of flesh, as its source and identity are lost. The final product is a homogenized mosaic of push-pinned skin that is macabre by nature, but somehow strikingly beautiful
In Hide, an inventive take on a self-portrait, Adey explores a different method of deconstructing and flattening the human form. Beginning with a three-dimensional scan of his entire body, he creates a triangulated three-dimensional model of himself comprised of over 75,000 triangles. From there, the model is unfolded and flattened to form a two-dimensional record of the entire surface of the artist’s body, all in one piece, without overlaps. This two-dimensional apparition is then laser cut and framed in two adjacent panels to create a diptych resembling a cross between a Dymaxion Map and a Rorschach test.
Other works in “Hither and Yon” encompass a wide range of materials and concepts such as cold war-era electronics, plastic and paper cups and buckets, and a collaborative piece with an Actuary, yet his voice and vision remain clear and consistent throughout the exhibition. Adey has managed to successfully fuse contemporary art concept with formal creation and aesthetic. His work reflects a practiced and methodical process that results in works that are not only visually elaborate, but also intellectually stimulating and conceptually provocative.
Since January of 2013 Adey has committed his full attention to creating this body of work as Scott White Contemporary Art’s first ever artist-in-residence. Scott White Contemporary Art has been supporting Adey throughout the year, allowing him the space, time and freedom to pursue new and exciting directions with his work. Filmmaker Dale Schierholt has also been documenting David through film and interview. The completed project will be a full-length documentary on David Adey with a premier screening at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla on Saturday night and broadcast on KPBS on January 17th. A preview of Dale Schierholt’s documentary can be viewed here.
Prior to this exhibit, Adey’s work was featured at the 2010 California Biennial hosted by the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA, and was also included in Here Not There: San Diego Art Now (2010) at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. His solo exhibition at Luis de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles was selected by The Huffington Post as one of ‘Southern California’s Top 10 Exhibitions for 2010’, and a recent exhibition at the La Jolla Athenaeum was named ‘Exhibition of the Year’ by the San Diego Fine Art Society. In addition, David Adey has also exhibited in Miami, Detroit, Boston, Finland and Berlin.
A 1994 graduate of PLNU, Adey received his Masters of Fine Arts at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2002. He returned to his alma mater as a member of the faculty in 2003. “Hither and Yon” runs at Scott White Contemporary Art through February 15, 2014.