Boston University Sherman Gallery Presents "Skyline"

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases
September 3rd, 2005

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |

(Boston) – Boston University’s Sherman Gallery presents the group exhibition Skyline. The exhibition will open Tuesday, September 13 and run through Friday, October 21, 2005. The opening reception, to be held on Thursday, September 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will be open to the public and the artists will be present.

What constitutes a city today? What does this city look like? The exhibition Skyline presents a portrait of the American city, a city in flux, increasingly vulnerable to a homogenous and exclusionary urbanism. From the widespread redevelopment of traditional urban neighborhoods to the proliferation of pseudo-urban spaces, such as the corporate office park or the hermetic world of the suburban mega-mall, Skyline addresses the realities of the shifting urban landscape. The artists participating in the exhibition—Ricky Allman, Kim Beck, Emil Corsillo, Sam Lacombe, Nicholas Lamia and Karla Wozniak— employ various means, including abstract and representational painting, drawing and installation, to explore the face of this new metropolis, reflecting on its present and future. Skyline is curated by Lynne Cooney.

Ricky Allman’s recent painting series Terra Fatum prophecies the potential impact of such contemporary ills as over-development, pollution, and an escalating population on the urban and natural environment. Allman’s lush and abstract canvases reveal vestiges of architectural grids emerging and disappearing amid clouds of grey smoke and rapturous color. Evoking a metaphorical urban topography in simultaneous states of collapse and renewal, Allman explores a future where our progress advances beyond our control. Allman received his BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and is currently pursuing his MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been exhibited in Utah, New York and Boston.

Kim Beck’s drawings, sculpture and video investigate the built environment. In her terms, Beck is interested in what Marc Augé refers to as non-places or “terrain vague”—the banal architecture one overlooks in the landscape such as streetlamps, electrical transformers, parking lots and storage sheds. Addressing the pervasiveness of these structures in the landscape, Beck’s work also speaks to a larger trend of a seemingly infinite and generic architecture. Beck has exhibited her work internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards and artist residencies, including a Pollock-Krasner grant in 2002. She received her BFA from Brandeis University, her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and currently teaches at Carnegie Mellon University.

Emil Corsillo responds to the transformations in his immediate environment. His characteristic large-scale multi-panel paintings are abstract and graphic landscapes of transitional urban architecture—i.e. steel armatures, I-beams, traffic barriers and fences. Made with his favored enamel sign paint and spray paint, Corsillo’s high gloss surfaces elucidate a futuristic and somewhat apocalyptic quality. For Skyline, Corsillo presents smaller-scale works that address the rampant redevelopment of Boston’s Fort Point Channel, where the artist has his studio. Corsillo received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA in painting from the Boston University School of Visual Arts. He has shown his work in group exhibitions in the Boston area, and had his first solo exhibition at the Green Street Gallery this year.

Painted in a photorealistic style, the paintings of Sam Lacombe visualize an ideal city. A bird’s eye view of downtown Los Angeles depicts a cityscape perfectly embraced in sunlight and shadow. A street level scene is strangely absent of any human presence, save for a bit of trash lying on the sidewalk. Lacombe’s vision of the city is one without the complexities of the social, where the buildings themselves become the stand-ins for a nonexistent population. Lacombe is an assistant professor of painting at the Boston University School of Visual Arts and an adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Boston. He received his BFA and MFA in painting from the Boston University School of Visual Arts.

New York based artist Nicholas Lamia creates a site-specific installation for the exhibition that assembles an eclectic array of driftwood, machine made wood, paintings and other materials to create a labyrinthine urban landscape. Encompassing floor, wall and ceiling, Lamia’s Thin Slice Construct evolves beyond a mere architectural model, taking on the characteristics of a growing organism—mimetic of the life cycle of an ant colony, root system or coral reef. Lamia received a BA in environmental science from the University of California Berkeley and an MFA in painting from the Boston University School of Visual Arts. Lamia has exhibited his work in group and solo exhibitions in Boston, New York and Maine. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003.

In her recent paintings Karla Wozniak interprets the landscape through the lens of suburban sprawl and global consumerism. Wozniak’s expressionistic canvases depict the signage of the ubiquitous fast-food restaurants, chain stores and corporate giants that populate the suburban and urban terrain. Through thick, gestural layers of paint, Wozniak transforms these highly recognizable images into toxic symbols of a parasitic corporatism and thereby questions their relationship to the landscape. A recent recipient of an MFA in painting from Yale University School of Art, she received a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Wozniak has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and is represented by the Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts is a conservatory-style school within a major research university, offering professional training in Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts to 1000 graduate and undergraduate students. Education at the College of Fine Arts begins at Boston University and extends into the city of Boston, a center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

The School of Visual Arts at the College of Fine Arts was established in 1954 as a professional training school at Boston University. With faculty composed of practicing professional artists, the school offers an intensive program of studio training combined with liberal arts studies leading to the Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Courses prepare students for future study or professional practice in painting, sculpture, graphic design, or art education. Notable alumni include painters Brice Marden and Pat Steir; Ira Yoffe, vice president/creative director of PARADE magazine; and Richard Heinrichs, sculptor and set designer whose credits include “Sleepy Hollow,” for which he received an Oscar for Art Direction in 1999.


Thursday, September 15, 5:30– the Gallery

Kim Beck, Monday, September 26, 1:00-2:00p.m.
College of Fine Arts, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 500

Sherman Gallery at Boston University
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor, Boston or 617-358-0295

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Friday 11:00a.m–5:00p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 1:00–5:00p.m.
Admission is free and open to the public.

The Sherman Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the work of talented alumni, as well as current faculty and students in the School of Visual Arts at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. Located on the second floor of the George Sherman Union Building at 775 Commonwealth Avenue, the gallery is highly visible to both the BU community and visitors attending programs on campus. Artists featured in the space have included Pat Steir, Deborah Cornell, Hal Reddicliffe, Margaret McCann and Jon Imber.

Note to Editor: Images available upon request

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