FAYETTE, Iowa (December 18, 2009)— Upper Iowa University will exhibit ‘The Aesthete Hobbyist’ by artist Karl Unnasch in the Bing-Davis Gallery, Edgar Fine Arts Hall, on the Fayette campus from Jan. 11 to Feb. 9.
Unnasch’s sculpture exemplifies contrasting elements— undisturbed nature and intentional destruction, the urban and the rural, the beautiful and the grotesque, the professional and the amateur, life and death—providing rich visual and abstract dialogue over the exploration and questioning of human existence, behavior, and relationships. In his works created and cast from expired animals, usually cast in bronze or iron, many have artificial miniature landscapes growing in and around the hard surfaces, alluding to the possibility of growth and creation after the cessation of one form of existence. These works can often take on a sense of the surreal or the fantastical, appearing as if they have been evolving, aging, and growing over time.
"My desire to exist in serene places is evident in the synthetic miniature landscapes constructed upon or/within the work,” states Unnasch. “Reclaimed urban detritus such as salvaged objects and dead fauna are selected as physical and subjective foundations.” He adds, “Dead organic matter and scrap debris are often seen as unpleasant or ugly, hence fantastic settings are pieced together upon these harsh realities of death and loss as a means of escape from horror, investigation of subject, and consideration of beauty."
Unnasch resides in the bluffs of southeast Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s of fine arts from Winona State University and a master’s from the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. He has exhibited his work nationally, including the Fuller Art Museum, the Rochester Art Center, Mass MOCA and Varnish Fine Arts. Unnasch has participated in several residencies, including the St. John's Pottery and Sculpture Space, was selected as a Kohler Artist in Residence, and runs Standard Issue Cast Metals (an art foundry retreat for artists in his rural Southeastern Minnesota studio).
Upper Iowa’s Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions regarding this exhibit can be directed to John Siblik, associate professor of art, at 563-425-5241 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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