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Nathan Skiles: The Clockmaker's Apprentice on View at the Hunterdon Art Museum January 22.
Artist Nathan Skiles installs 100 cuckoo clocks and birdhouses made entirely of foam rubber in the first floor gallery of the Museum. Using hidden spaces as well as gallery walls, the exhibition will be fun for all ages. Email for images.
January 22, 2012 - March 25, 2012
Opening Reception: Sunday, February 5, 2012 2pm-4pm
Artist Talk: Sunday, February 5, 2012 1pm-2pm
January 18, 2012 (Clinton, NJ) -- The Hunterdon Art Museum is pleased to announce the first solo museum exhibition of the work of Nathan Skiles. The show will open to the public on Sunday, January 22, 2012 with an opening reception on Sunday, February 5 from 2pm - 4pm. The exhibition closes on March 25, 2012. There will be a talk with the artist immediately preceding the opening reception on Sunday, February 5 from 1pm-2pm.
Nathan Skiles combines recognizable iconography, such as woodworking and drafting tools, with cuckoo clocks and birdhouses to directly influence our traditional perceptions. With his innovative use of foam rubber as the only material in his works, Skiles tricks the eye and confuses our sense of immediate recognition, further challenging the viewer to look beyond the obvious and discover the detailed and meticulous process to which he is attached.
For his exhibition at the Museum, Skiles embraces the unique architecture of the first floor gallery, painstakingly creating an experience in which viewers can participate. With 100 pieces in the show, the installation will send visitors on a treasure hunt of sorts, as many of the pieces will be tucked away in secret places.
The Clockmaker’s Apprentice is an effort in duality. The exhibition is the culmination of a partnership of abnormal architectural elements with the creative construction of Dr. Frankenstein. These beautifully grotesque amalgamations involve themselves in a narrative that focuses on the strange and often stressful relationship between a creator and his work.
Every element of every work in The Clockmaker’s Apprentice has been made with foam rubber. This readily found material attracted Skiles because it tricks the viewer into believing the creation is the real thing. Like a chameleon changing its color to suit its surroundings, the potential inherent in the material is a challenge issued to the viewer to take a longer and closer look.
Nathan Skiles’ first memory of art making is furiously copying the images and illustrations of books when he became bored with its story. Now, he invites the viewers to create their own narratives by putting the story together from the parts of the whole and in doing so, allowing them to become involved in the Frankenstein process of recreation. As if the traditional clockmaker left the upstart apprentice with full control in the studio, The Clockmaker’s Apprentice is a fusion of traditional kitsch, contemporary craft and mechanical construction.
Nathan Skiles was born in Anderson, Indiana in 1980. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida and his Masters in Fine Arts from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. He has had solo and group exhibitions at galleries in New York and Florida.
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC
The Hunterdon Art Museum is located at 7 Lower Center Street, Clinton, New Jersey, 08809. Telephone: 908-735-8415. Website: www.hunterdonartmuseum.org. The Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 11am to 5pm. Suggested admission is $5.00
About the Hunterdon Art Museum
The Hunterdon Art Museum presents changing exhibitions of contemporary art and design in a nineteenth century stone mill that is on the National Register of Historic Places. In this unique setting, the Museum, a landmark regional art center since 1952, shows work by established and emerging contemporary artists and offers a dynamic schedule of art classes and workshops for children and adults.
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Contemporary art, craft and design in a 19th century building on the banks of the Raritan River in Clinton, NJ.