James Woodfill, Installation View of STATIONS, at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, (Photo Credit: Mike Sinclair)

Out of the Studio, Experimenting with Constructed Space

James Woodfill, Untitled Station, Studio Installation View at Review Studio Exhibition Space, 2009


Review Studios Exhibition Space
1708 Campbell St
Kansas City
FRAGMENTS by James Woodfill
May 28-June 25, 2010

FRAGMENTS is a new installation of studio work from James Woodfill, conceived and built over the last few years. It is a reconstruction of sorts — a continuation of an experiment with constructed space that began in the studio, and recently culminated in the installation STATIONS, at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, in Omaha, Nebraska.

The installation includes multimedia elements ranging from video, sound and light to constructions of wood, plastic, steel and found objects.

Woodfill says, "Within each discrete structure, drifting intentions provide numerous starts and stops, with the boundaries loose so that a continual rhythm of shifts occurs, both perceptually and in memory. The boundaries then blur from piece to piece, forming constantly changing and drifting sets of reference and experience.

"I have many starting points in my engagement with this work. I am often working with formal considerations, bringing reference to design, architecture and function into play with the idea of an ad-hoc development of the built environment, and utilizing these issues as compositional equivalents to color, form and space.

"My intentions are to build an experience that prods a lateral set of memories and relationships, from personal and local to universal and global, providing a fluid set of referential encounters that mirror my experience of moving through my environment.”

Hesse McGraw, exhibition curator, says, “These works extend from Woodfill's history of working in galleries and public sites and build upon an ongoing dialogue about reference points such as physical perception, architectural space, urbanism's fuzzy edges, materiality and abstraction … Beyond melding high and low cultures, this (work) merges the formal concerns of pure, systemic painting with the ad hoc, functional beauty of cobbled structures."

His public work has been recognized with awards from the American Institute of Architects. Woodfill's efforts have extended into education, curatorial projects, writings, and urban planning projects and studies. He received a Charlotte Street Foundation award in Kansas City. In 2000 he served as visiting assistant professor in experimental mixed media at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Woodfill graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1980 and he has taught there since 1998. He has been a resident of Review Studios since 2006.

James Woodfill, Untitled Cart, 2009.