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Exhibitions: Past

Counter Tension

An Installation by Doug Cluff, Lisa Hansel, Mike Hansel, and Ted Sturtevant

September 6 – October 19, 2012

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Counter Tension asks the question, "What is an art object?" Or in this case, "Where is the art object?" It is a conversation with the space of the gallery itself and one that explores ideas of alchemy - of the transmutation of one thing into another. It also references philosophical notions of illusion and representation.

Can you trust what you see?

This exhibition is the result of a collaboration with Doug Cluff, Lisa Baldani Hansel, Mike Hansel, and Ted Sturtevant. Their previous work, Distortion, began with the inspiration to manipulate existing architectural features.

Similarly, in Counter Tension, the artists wanted to create the illusion of an altered character to the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, one that would elicit an unexpected response from the viewer. Using the concept of forces that create tension and stress, the team - artists, engineers, designers, and craftsmen - have created an installation that provides the illusion of permanent physical distortions to the architectural elements of the gallery. The challenge for them was to dramatically change the room's appearance without actually damaging any of its features.

Kathleen Hancock


Doug Cluff

Doug Cluff is a Scenic Artist and Designer for major movie studios and has worked on a number of movie sets including Shutter Island, Fever Pitch, Me, Myself, Irene, and The Cider House Rules. He holds an MFA in painting and drawing from Claremont Graduate University.

Michael Hansel

You may remember Mike Hansel from our recent 10th Anniversary Exhibition. In his work he often explores the relationship of material to content. He attempts to dislodge traditional assumptions about objects and functionality while also suggesting a relationship between living organisms and industrial forms. His work is composed of developing connections between things that are sometimes in mutual opposition, such as hard and soft forms. Hansel is an art educator and is also a practicing sculptor. He received his MFA in sculpture from the University of Pennsylvania. You can see more of his work at www.mikehansel.com.

Lisa Baldani Hansel

Lisa Baldani Hansel has worked with William Burgin Architects, among others, as a design consultant for custom interior detailing in residential architecture and in interior design practice as a project designer and manager, focusing on retail, contract, custom casework and lighting design. Since 2006, Hansel has been the Director of the Hunter Gallery, St George's School, Newport, RI. In addition to her roles as a gallery director and educator at St. Georges, where she also teaches architecture and fine arts courses, she collaborates with her husband on gallery installations and large-scale outdoor sculpture.

Ted Sturtevan

Ted Sturtevant teaches art courses at St. George's School in Newport, RI. Sturtevant has a BA from the University of Rhode Island and is the principle at EG Sturtevant Custom Furnishings and Concrete; see www.egsturtevant.com