"Backlit: New Work by Rick Mallette" at Semantics Gallery (Cincinnati, OH) ran April 6 - 27, 2013 and traveled to the Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati in June.
Work was exhibited in three rooms (Front, Middle, Back). The Front Room contained 29 Laptop digital drawings. These digital images were created on a Gateway Convertible laptop using a pressure-sensitive nylon stylus working directly on the glass screen with Sketchbook Pro software. The resulting drawings were printed on frosted paper, sandwiched between two sheets of plexiglass and then exhibited on wooden shelves and backlit by 48-inch fluorescent light fixtures mounted horizontally on the wall. Also included, a single print "Bluer on the Inside" on an LED panel.
|Front Room during Opening Reception|
|Enjoying the Laptop Drawings at the Closing Reception|
|Laptop Drawings on wooden shelves|
|"Bluer on the Inside" mounted on an LED Panel|
|"When Heads Need Rolling" (2011) Digital Laptop Drawing|
In the Middle Room 11 small printed QR codes were adhered to the door, steps, walls, etc. These were linked to Gif animations that could be viewed by scanning them with a Smartphone using a QR code reading app such as Scan. The Gifs were made on an Android Smartphone with the Sketchbook Pro Mobile app. The initial image was altered and saved several times and combined in the Gifstitch app.
|Scanning a QR Code to view a Gif|
|"Green" (2013) Gif|
The Backroom featured 25 Smartphone digital drawings exhibited in a Digital Picture Frame, a Hand-painted QR Code, a Grid of Printed QR Codes and a Mural.
|Scanning QR Codes at the Opening Reception|
|Back room during Opening Reception|
|Digital Picture Frame (all 25 drawings)|
|Hand-painted QR Code (2013)|
Acrylic on Paper. 24x24in.
Linked to "Heart Sweater"
|Scanning Hand-painted QR Code to reveal "Heart Sweater"|
|Grid of Printed QR Codes (one for each of 25 drawings)|
|Scanning one of the QR Codes|
|"Red Lines, Yellow Lines" (2013) Digital Smartphone Drawing|
Acrylic on Wall. 12x17ft.
Based on "Codice Mound"
|Mural (2013) Detail|
|"Codice Mound" Drawing in front of Mural (2013)|
ART INSTITUTE OF OHIO (CINCINNATI)
|Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati (2013) Installation View|
|Hand-painted QR Code (2013)|
Marker, Pencil & Acrylic on Paper. 84x84In.
Linked to "Bluer on the Inside"
Through a distrust of technology, Mallette's new series "Backlit" ironically utilizes his apprehension of digital media to improve and accelerate his creative process and liberate the computer from its visually static characteristics.
This collection explores the absurdity and vitality of employing the computer to facilitate the creation of tactile artworks. Mallette's project works to bridge the analog and digital and skeptically strives to breath life into technology.
The images in this exhibition date back to the fall of 2011 born in the virtual world using drawing software, firstly, with a stylus directly on the screen of a laptop and later, with fingertips on smartphone.
Mallette's work has always been uncomfortably situated where painting and drawing meet. This technology has delivered dynamic results in resolving this conflict with the big color and chance surprises of painting and the gesture, spontaneity and immediacy of drawing.
The exhibition "Backlit" demonstrates a variety of ways to move these images out of the virtual realm and into real space.