published Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Nichols: Ian Pedigo is visiting artist in UTC's Marek Artist Series

By Ann Nichols/Staff Writer

Ian Pedigo's sculptural installation, "Living Daylights," explores the concepts of making the intangible tangible and the invisible concrete. His exhibit opens Tuesday in Cress Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Center at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Visitors will see eight works that have never been exhibited by Pedigo, a native of Alaska who resides in New York City. Arranged on the gallery's floors and walls, as well as suspended in open spaces, the show appears to constantly change and evolve.

"His compositions create scenes that, while invented or fictionalized, relate to our real experience in the physical world to transform artistic formalism into an encounter with the primordial sublime," said Ruth Grover, curator of Cress Gallery.

One of Pedigo's goals with this exhibit is to illustrate how the importance of a tangible object to its owner is determined by how well it is preserved. Further, he wants to stress how the owner's attitudes and ideas relate to the object.

"In other words, the subjects of our culture's posterity are a living record of what information has survived over time and been preserved by people because it held some importance to them," he said.

In contrast, much of history has been lost because certain individuals did not deem it important.

Pedigo is also fascinated with how an idea is translated into either a dense material or an ethereal one. Assuming the role of architect as well as archaeologist, he brings together man-made objects such as office carpet, metal hardware and furniture with natural materials -- rocks, bone, dried grasses -- to illustrate the stratification of physical forms.

"The forms are geometric, natural and architectural, relating to the environments we live in and the shapes we imagine," said Pedigo.

On Tuesday, the artist will give a lecture at 5:30 p.m. in Room 356 of the UTC Fine Arts Center. A reception will follow.

Brought to Chattanooga by the UTC Marek Visiting Artist Series, Pedigo will be on campus and in the community through Thursday.

"Living Daylights" will continue through March 15.

Cress Gallery, at 752 Vine St., is open 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 304-9789.

E-mail Ann Nichols at annsnichols@aol.com

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