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Jan. 14: Plastic Poetics Exhibit at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery Brings Sculptures and Installations From Four Artists


Eric Sloss                           

Plastic Poetics Exhibit at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery
Brings Sculptures and Installations From Four Artists

PITTSBURGH — Plastic Poetics, a new exhibit featuring artists Ian Finch, Maya Schindler, Sarah Wood and Colin Zaug, opens at Carnegie Mellon University's Regina Gouger Miller Gallery with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18. Cara Erskine, exhibitions coordinator for the gallery, is curating this exhibition, which runs through Feb. 22.

"The artists reconfigure raw, industrial materials to create art that is both of the tactile world and beyond it, sharing a strange familiarity of language, shadows and artificial landscapes," Erskine said.

Finch received degrees in book publishing and poetry from Geneva and Emerson colleges and the University of Pittsburgh. A Pittsburgher, he studied poetry and experimental book arts in New Zealand as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. His unconventional Venn diagrams drawn directly on the Miller Gallery walls visually represent his poetry. Finch's interconnected diagrams are on all three gallery floors. Erskine said Finch's Venn diagram poems were written in response to the artists' work.

Wood, who lives and works in Brooklyn, has contributed sculptures that are doubles or shadows of everyday objects like houseplants. All of Wood's sculptures are made of black, synthetic materials such as rubber, vinyl and plastic that lend an apocalyptic quality to the doubles. "I'm disrupting the order of events," Wood writes in her statement. "At times it's a process of separation - disconnect a window from its shadow, and an ordinary houseplant becomes a silhouette. In other instances it's cumulative, the working together of conflicting elements, an unfamiliar connection."

Schindler's sculptures consist of letters that have been carved into shapes and painted and then layered on top of each other. The words are given new and different meaning through the physical expression of the sculpture. The Los Angeles artist says her work "suggests that understanding is always fully in doubt, but it still understands. I try to guide you into this revelation with humor, strangeness and a dose of the familiar."

Zaug is represented by an inflatable landscape that was constructed at the Miller Gallery. Visitors can enter Zaug's installation and view the gallery from within the world he has created. Zaug attended the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Victoria. His work has been exhibited across the United States and in Canada.

Plastic Poetics is Erskine's first curatorial project. Recent exhibitions of her own work include a solo exhibition at the Tunnel Gallery in Pittsburgh, and in group shows at the Front Room Gallery in Cleveland and the Jenny Jaskey Gallery in Philadelphia.

Images of the artists' work are online at
For more information, visit The gallery, which is located in the Purnell Center for the Arts, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free.