H&R Block Artspace presents new Project Wall by Nathan Mabry

15 December 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 15, 2010) – A new Artspace Project Wall has been installed at the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, 16 E. 43rd St.

Los Angeles-based artist and KCAI alumnus Nathan Mabry created the new Project Wall, entitled “Around Us and Rebus.” With this piece, Mabry has created an image based on a photograph of the Capitoline Wolf, a bronze sculpture depicting a she wolf with Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of ancient Rome. The artist describes the overall effect of the work as a rebus –– a visual puzzle for the viewer to solve.

The image has been overlaid with a stereoscopic 3-D effect, which creates a sense of movement in the otherwise static image. According to Mabry, “the anaglyph 3-D effect works when viewed with the correct red and blue lens glasses but is not necessary for the visual code it unlocks.”

“The Capitoline Wolf is turned sideways as if it is walking on a vertical plain –– ascending or descending. On top of the image is an optical illusion known as the Zollner illusion –– where the long lines are actually parallel but don’t appear that way. The immediate graphic impact of the black lines can be seen as a tribal pattern, tire tread, a fence or minimalist abstraction but also serves as another clue to the viewer that things aren’t exactly as they seem,” said Mabry.

The artist claims, “In this work, there are sets of rules or processes layered over an archetypal image representing the creation myth for Rome –– an ideological code that creates a mash up of past and present. The image is simultaneously atavistic and retro futuristic.”

Based in Los Angeles, Mabry received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2001 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA in 2004. His work has been included in exhibitions hosted by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angles; Gladstone Gallery, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute; and the Aspen Art Museum.

About the H&R Block Artspace

The H&R Block Artspace, which opened Nov. 13, 1999, at the Kansas City Art Institute, has been dedicated to presenting quality exhibitions of contemporary art and a range of public programs for a growing audience of students, educators, artists, arts enthusiasts and the general public. The Artspace gratefully acknowledges financial support for this exhibition and the 2009-10 exhibition series from the H&R Block Foundation and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and private

About the Kansas City Art Institute

Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2010, the Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.


Contact: Lauren Tobin, 816-802-3532 or ltobin@kcai.edu