“Taut”, Solo show, July 6 – July 31, 2012, OfficePort KC, 208 W 19th, Kansas City, MO. Opening First Friday reception: July 6, 5:30–9:00pm.
Portability is an essential quality of tapestries; Le Corbusier called them “nomadic murals.” They made artwork portable for kings-on-the-go and doubled as insulation in wintry castles. Tarps, the utilitarian cousin, get the job of covering and protecting. Once they were made from waterproofed canvas and lasted forever.
Combined, there is “Taut,” opening July 6 at OfficePort Kansas City. This solo show by Lee Shiney examines paintings in a context of ease-of-transport and utility, eschewing the rigidity of standard art practices like gallery-wrapped canvas and properly primed surfaces.
“If art is about experimentation and breaking rules, then why am I confined to that rigid little rectangle?” ~ Lee Shiney
This dichotomy is explored through the use of large unstretched canvases. Grommets in corners, they are painted with graffiti spray paint and acrylic paint dispensed from soda bottles, and hung from whatever happens to be nearby. A self-taught artist who simply wants “to keep making things with my hands” Lee Shiney looks to the physical properties of objects as the starting points for creating. He also makes kinetic sculpture and makes machines that help paint. From 2008 to 2010 he was in the three-man hands-on exhibition “InterACTIVE” at the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita KS.
“I think of tapestries, tarps, and boat sails as the great-great-great grandparents of this current work. The language is in utility. This is about ease-of-display, and portability. I’m not fighting the substrate, but simply letting it dictate the outcome. People want this to be either sacred or rocket science. It is neither.” ~ Lee Shiney