Parkland College > Fine & Applied Arts > Giertz Gallery > Past Exhibits >Gerald Guthrie


image of Gerald Guthrie's miniature environments


Gerald Guthrie Solo Exhibition

  • July 1 - August 6, 1998

This solo exhibition of Gerald Guthrie's miniature environments and computer prints is an intimate peek at the metaphoric twists of life. Guthrie mixes images from the world of Popular Science with the world of art. Inspired by the Dada and Surrealist movements he creates dreamlike scenes of the not so common commonplace.

Through his work Guthrie examines how science, once conceivable to the average person and viewed as a vehicle to a utopian society, has now become unimaginable for most people, taking on the appearance of magic.

Guthrie becomes the conjurer by creating ordinary scenes of home interiors that leave the realm of the commonplace with his visual slight of hand. Under his direction fans begin to dance and wallpaper peels away to reveal the amazing things that live behind the lath and plaster.

With these dreamlike visions he addresses how science and industry have become like a new western religion. In his statement, he explains that for science and industry to be effective on this level they must remain mysterious and magical. He himself has embraced an element of technology in his work with his use of the computer.

The limited edition prints on exhibit are created on the computer with graphic software, then printed with a commercial ink jet printer.

Guthrie is able to bring his magical interiors to life with his miniature environments. The environments are contained in fifteen inch cubes; a single peephole allows the viewer a glimpse into a realistically miniaturized room interior.

Lights and motors, activated by the viewer from a switch, animate unusual actions in commonplace settings.

While these images are amusing and recall memories of Fantasia, they also have an introspective side that tugs at the viewer. As Guthrie puts it, "Though there is also an element of humor in the work, it is the humor of nervous laughter, intriguing yet slightly discomforting."

Guthrie is an Associate Professor, School of Art and Design, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his M.F.A. at the University of Illinois and his B.F.A. in Printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

This exhibit is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.





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