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'Suspension' Fuses Art and Biology

Dittmar Gallery exhibit features works by Ryan Hogan and Jaime Raybin through Dec. 11

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November 4, 2011 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jaime Raybin and Ryan Hogan are material-driven installation artists working with ambiguous specimen-like forms who have opted to exhibit together.

Their exhibition “Suspension,” at the Dittmar Memorial Gallery from Nov. 4 through Dec. 11, fuses art and biology. All of their pieces feature self-contained lighting that illuminate an otherwise dark room.

The exhibition and an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at the gallery, which includes an artist talk at 7 p.m., are free and open to the public. The Dittmar Gallery is located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

Hogan’s viscous sculptural forms resemble organic, unidentifiable substances contained in glass displays. The glowing forms are simultaneously familiar and foreign. Hogan’s work is conceptually poised between the binaries of control and freedom, order and chaos and transparency and opacity. A Nashville art critic recently described his lab specimen-like forms as “somewhere between a creature from ”Alien” and Lady Gaga’s Grammy pod.”

Raybin’s work references science and is “a private look at the connection between mind and body.” Using the microscope as a tool for abstraction, she creates public service announcement-style lightbox displays that are juxtaposed with ambiguous anatomical imagery against captions connected to internal dialog. Her piece “Clot,” for instance, shows a hairy jelly-like mass alongside a caption reading “There is a specific form of perfectionism where you can’t make decisions, can’t commit to anything, for fear of being wrong.” The language of the text falls somewhere between diary and textbook. 

For more on the artists and their work, visit http://www.suspensionexhibition.com/

Topics: Campus Life