Repetition begets art in current exhibition

The Connecticut College Department of Art presents “high reps/low sets,” an exhibition by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art Jessica Tam, on display through Dec. 5 in Cummings Arts Center.

Through serial paintings and prints, this exhibition explores how repetitions and revisions produce changes, mutations and visual narratives. Tam takes source material from contemporary myths and sensational mass entertainment — images with a history of cliché, including some from the world of professional wrestling — and repeatedly produces altered versions of them, creating unfamiliar ways of experiencing the familiar.

The exhibition is spread across two rooms: The pieces on display in the Joanne Toor Cummings Gallery emphasize the repeated series, showing the working and re-working of a single image. This repeated image is also displayed in motion, via animation, in Gallery 66.

The emphasis on series originated from Tam’s printmaking process and a general interest in the rich variety that can result from reworking any single image. She was inspired by the imperfect replications of monotype prints, especially when she found that after working on a monotype plate and pulling the print, the first of a series, she could rework the leftover “ghost image” into a series of mutating reiterations using other mediums, including charcoal, ink and oil paint.

Tam was an NEA Fellowship Recipient at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and an Al Held Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been on display at galleries in New York City and Chicago.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 1-4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The galleries will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Dec. 1.

October 10, 2014