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Artful Partners

Renee Magnanti & Bill Pangburn

April 18 ~ May 16, 2006
Opening Reception 4/20 (Thu.) 6 ~ 8 pm

Curated by Thalia Vrachopoulos, PhD.

TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE proudly presents Artful Partners: Bill Pangburn and Renee Magnanti from April 18th-May 16th, 2006 with an opening reception on Thursday April 20th, 2006 from 6:30-8:30 PM.

  Throughout history there existed many successful art partnerships, the most famous of which, Kandinsky and Muenther, Hans Arp and Sophie Teueber, and Sonia Terk with Robert Delaunay, come to mind. As with Pangburn and Magnanti, all of these consortiums were more than just personal relationships; they were fruitful and nurturing dialogues and exchanges about art and career. The Pangburn-Magnanti partnership began when they met in 1978 at Tufts University where they studied art. Pangburn had come from Texas and Magnanti from Rochester, New York. Although their basic philosophical beliefs differed, she being spiritual in the Eastern sense where man is the most insignificant creature in the cosmos, and he being more grounded in existentialist thought informed by American Transcendentalism, they resonated as a pair and as artists. Magnanti’s early tightly woven and pattern-based metal grid-like constructions inspired Pangburn at the beginning to work in a rectilinear style while later he influenced her to return to working in a more painterly mode. This pair’s convergences are found in their use of an abstract vocabulary while their divergences are evident in their inspirations and specific forms. As a couple they’ve conducted a painterly dialogue as well as a philosophical discourse that includes discussion of their development and their works’ underlying ideas. While Pangburn creates loose painterly forms and engages in the grand gesture, Magnanti paints tightly woven, planned geometrical detail oriented works. While Magnanti’s inspirations are ethnographic and tribal, Pangburn’s subjects are grounded in his influence from the natural motif. But, although the couple’s vocabulary is abstract it is full of content not to say that their concerns aren’t also formal. Pangburn’s Untitled I, 2006 betrays his observations of the Canadian riverbed which is wide and yellow where dry and red wherever it is touched by water. It is informed by his visit to the Texas Panhandle, when flying into Amarillo from the southeast, he saw the snaking Canadian River. The painterly meandering yellow and rust shapes of this work appear to swell and constrict in passages as if ebbing and flowing according to an internal rhythm. Magnanti’s Untitled, 2004 background is loosely created from thick layered impastos of encaustic paint while the built up surface layer results in an incised fretted starburst design. Magnanti’s motifs as in the early works of Kandinsky are culled from ethnographic designs, or paleoarcheologic microorganisms. Magnanti’s sun motif has been a popular symbol since earliest antiquity and her red, blue and yellow are primary colors out of which all others originate.



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