Eclectic. Invigorating. Dynamic. Uplifting. I could go on and on.
The Montana Triennial: 2012 pulls out all the stops showing off the best of the best contemporary art across the state. From the witty to poignant, simple to complex, the beautifully curated exhibit represents a refreshing diversity of media, scale and concept.
Missoula Art Museum was our last official stop on the long drive home to Idaho after my two weeks installing at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. I was taken with two artists, in particular, how their works imbue a sense of process, texture and materiality that I find irresistible.
Hamilton artist Barbara Caughey’s series of Microscapes are patinated brass plates, etched with photographs taken with electron microscopes. The delicate, amorphous landscapes represent images of deadly pathogens studied at the Rocky Mountain Labs.
Montana Triennial 2012, a set on Flickr.
For his room-scale installation, Hooked on Svelte, Joel Allen of Bozeman knotted and wrapped twine into a series of suspended, bulbous forms. Deftly entwined within the stacked layers and twisted fibers are odd castoff items, such as prescription bottles and wine corks.
Keith Wells, curator at Washington State University Museum of Art, who juried the competition, wrote an essay for the full-color page color catalog titled: Being Judgmental about the Montana Triennial: 2012. Definitely worth the read. It’s available as a pdf download off the MAM website. The site also includes links to the selected works of each artist.