MISSION Artist Susan Giles: Composite Structures, Charlotte Street Curator-in-Residence Exhibition – opens January 18

Dec 17, 2012

Composite Structures brings together artists who combine architectonics drawn from a range of art and architectural sources to create singular works of art. The exhibition comprises two subtitled parts: Mending Fences, curated by Charlotte Street Curator-In-Residence Jamilee Polson Lacy, which showcases Midwestern artists who apply multiple layers and manipulations—some conceptual, some formal—to the ideas of Modernist architects which feature prominently within the Midwestern urban landscape; and Low Accumulations, curated by Lee Foley, which includes Los Angeles-based artists who use assemblage and design to reflect a post-structural viewpoint and an urban sensibility unique to Southern California. Composite Structures additionally features Open Plan, a custom-designed a library and workspace offering another platform for exploring interchanges between art and architecture across localities and communities.

Opening Reception: Friday January 18, 6-9pm, FREE
Location: la Esquina / 1000 W 25th St. KCMO 64108
Exhibition Runs: January 18 – March 2, 2013
Exhibition Website:
Event details: visit; all events are FREE and open to the public

- January 18, 6-9pm – Opening Reception
- January 19, 2pm – collaborative curators’ tour of exhibition
- February 23, 2pm – “To Scale”, an investigation of model making
- February, 26, 6-8pm – “Making with Architecture” panel discussion

Featuring artists from the Midwest and Los Angeles:
Kansas City – Elvis Achelpohl, Leandra Burnett, and Sarah Murphy; Barry Anderson; and Jaclyn Senne
Chicago – Jeff Carter and Susan Giles
Cincinnati – Chris Vorhees
Detroit – Scott Hocking
Los Angeles – Eduardo Consuegra, Sonja Gerdes, Marina Pinsky, and J Patrick Walsh III

Composite Structures: Mending Fences
Mending Fences operates from this distinctly Bauhaus dialectical thought: Discord is necessary to the pursuit of harmony. The Midwestern artists featured show a multiplicity of differing, conflicting, even contradictory currents on what can be salvaged from the Midwestern Modernist utopia. Referencing the likes of European Bauhaus transplants Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, each artwork recalls Modernist environments built for maximum productivity—creative, social or otherwise—and infuses them with 21st-century Midwestern notions of pleasure, pragmatism and the ability to make do. In turn, Mending Fences reveals where the Midwestern artist’s sense of recent art and architectural history intersects with the capacity to create something new.

Composite Structures: Low Accumulations
Low Accumulations explores and deconstructs the tropes of an idealized Southern California lifestyle as defined by mid-century modernist architects. Artists Eduardo Consuegra, Sonja Gerdes, Marina Pinsky, and J Patrick Walsh III use assemblage tactics to build contextual grounding for a more adaptive approach to Los Angeles. In these works, appreciation for streamlined aesthetics merges with acceptance of smoggy skylines, strip malls, late nights in East L.A., traffic. Self-reflective compositions of aggregated material evoke the inefficiencies of life in L.A. and everywhere else. Low Accumulations suggests that one must synthesize a personal methodology or lifestyle with materials at hand.

Composite Structures: Open Plan
At the entrance of Composite Structures, the curators have commissioned the design and construction of Open Plan, a library and workspace by Kansas City-based artists Elvis Achelpohl, Leandra Burnett and Sarah Murphy. This functional structure provides yet another site within the exhibition for reflection on history, innovative thought and critical dialogue across locations and communities. Open Plan, curated by Lacy and Foley for public perusal, contains a selection of publications, documents and objects highlighting interchanges between art and architecture. Additionally showcasing the convergence of the two disciplines right here in Kansas City, the workspace hosts a number of local practitioners to contribute to the trajectories presented within Composite Structures.