Field Collision: Dave Culpepper, Rebecca Marino, and Andrew McCloskey

Exhibition of photography and mixed media carries emergent Austin art to new heights

<i>Jello Fragment</i>, by Rebecca Marino
Jello Fragment, by Rebecca Marino

'Field Collision: Dave Culpepper, Rebecca Marino, and Andrew McCloskey'

Pump Project Flex Space, 1109 Shady
Through Oct. 5

When confronted with questions regarding humanity, Carl Sagan, the great astrophysicist and astronomer, noted how easy the destruction of mankind would be. But he finished his thought with "... we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet. To enhance enormously our understanding of the universe, and to carry us to the stars." "Field Collision," showcasing recent works from Andrew McCloskey, Rebecca Marino, and Dave Culpepper, indeed asks its audience to accompany the exhibition to the stars.

Flex Space's latest is split between photography from Marino and McCloskey, and mixed media installations from Culpepper, with all pieces defining space for the individual artists. McCloskey leans on images of expansive natural landscapes – remote scenes with a soft aesthetic hand. It's material that he has touched on before, but here it feels newly refined, as though the artist has become more conscious of his subject and is allowing his images a new breadth and energy.

Marino often creates meticulously staged shots that hearken back to a personal thesis in her work, and so it is with her images in "Field Collision," which feature fantastical depictions of early Sixties space exploration. John Glenn's Applesauce depicts a plastic dome, emulating a spacesuit's helmet, slightly ajar over a plate of applesauce, which was the first food eaten in orbit. Her images portray a reverence for NASA and the early astronauts that laid the foundation for space exploration, while bringing a contemporary perspective to that particular era.

Culpepper heads in a quite literal direction, decorating the gallery space with large moon rocks and organic sculptures that really shine. With a large rock installation covered in Mars soil simulant, seat-belted to a wall, it is clear that Culpepper – who more frequently shows as part of the Ink Tank collective – can carry his work both visually and conceptually.

"Field Collision" may seem too playful to capture a discerning audience, but know that the material articulated by each artist is, without hyperbole, extraordinary. It is rare to find a show in which artists provide such distinction while ascribing to a central theme. From Marino's re-creations of the fledgling space program to Culpepper's sculptures to McCloskey's portraits of remoteness, the exhibition succeeds in tackling the ambitious notion of space with skill and creativity alike.

More Rebecca Marino
Pump It Up!
Pump It Up!
Flex Space coordinator Rebecca Marino takes over parent space Pump Project post-EAST

Caitlin Greenwood, Nov. 29, 2013

More Arts Reviews
Gift Guide 2016: Haunted Holidays
Gift Guide 2016: Haunted Holidays
A few suggestions if you’re giving your Ghost of Christmas Past a present ...

Robert Faires, Dec. 2, 2016

The Haunted Bookshelf
The Haunted Bookshelf
Heavens, this series of reprints of vintage ghost stories may unsettle the composure of the steadiest reader

Robert Faires, Dec. 2, 2016

More by Caitlin Greenwood
"Angelbert Metoyer: Life Machine" at the Canopy
For this Co-Lab Projects exhibit, a gallery at Canopy becomes a tomblike space for exploring religion

Nov. 27, 2015

Making the Most of EAST
Making the Most of EAST
Ten tips to help you keep your head in the crush of the East Austin Studio Tour

Nov. 20, 2015


Field Collision: Dave Culpepper, Andrew McCloskey, Rebecca Marino, and Andrew McCloskey, Austin visual art, Pump Project Flex Space, Carl Sagan, John Glenn

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)