Connecticut College Art Department Presents “Saturation Point”

"Consumer," by Timothy McDowell

The Connecticut College Art Department will present “Saturation Point: New Paintings and Cyanotypes” at the Cummings Art Center Gallery. This exhibit will be on display from Sept. 3 through Oct. 13.  

Artists and Connecticut College professors Chris Barnard and Timothy McDowell work in fluid media on two-dimensional surfaces, contemplating our present environmental, social and political landscapes while reflecting on past artistic practices. “Saturation Point” brings together large format paintings and cyanotype prints that merge artistic exploration with consideration of urgent questions of our time: How much human intervention can our planet sustain? How much division, disinformation and distraction can we collectively take? How much damage can men do? And how does art help people advance or retreat in the face of such challenges?

Barnard’s work focuses on white supremacy’s relationship to the privileged spaces of his experiences, such as private art and educational institutions. Recent paintings reflect his wrestling with the fact that such spaces, which have welcomed him and inspired his creativity, also actively and passively alienate and discourage–even dehumanize–many others. Stylistically, his paintings are illusionistic with a sense of space and light, but washes of color and bold gestures challenge each scene’s coherence, suggesting instability, corrosion and decay.

McDowell’s recent work responds to current social changes and environmental issues through a new approach to the cyanotype process. Support from the Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner Foundation enabled him to further develop this body of work and reassess the boundary between painting and photography. The large format cyanotypes in this exhibition are not to be conceived as a final statement, but rather as a few lines taken from an ongoing dialogue toward painting.

Admission is free. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.­–5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 1-4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A lecture and reception with Chris Barnard and Timothy McDowell will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 in the Joanne Toor Cummings Art Gallery at the Cummings Arts Center.

August 29, 2019