testsite 09.1 ~ Douglas MacWithey: Selections from The Seals of the Philosophers
Doug MacWithey & Charles Dee Mitchell
February 8 - March 22, 2009
The Seals of the Philosophers originally appeared in the Opus medico-chymicum of Johann Daniel Mylius, a 3000 page alchemical text published in 1618. The seals were 160 copper plate engravings commemorating real and imaginary alchemists. Their hermetic symbolism and Latin mottoes served both didactic and mnemonic functions for practitioners of the art.
For over a decade, the seals have provided Douglas MacWithey with a container for his own studio practice. His examinations of their content and permutations on their structure have produced drawings, collages and sculpture that are part of an ongoing artistic project in which each decision generates new directions for visual realization.
This current project includes works on paper in gouache and collage and sculpture from the past five years. To accompany the work, curator Charles Dee Mitchell provides a brief Introduction, and short Glossary of Terms, and Suggestions for Further Reading.
Charles Dee Mitchell, a freelance writer based in Dallas, is a regular contributor to the Dallas Morning News, Art in America, and Photo-Eye Magazine. He has written catalog essays for exhibitions at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio. As a curator he has worked with both commercial and university galleries. In spring 2009, University of Texas Press will publish Lance Letscher: Collage, a monograph for which he has written the lead essay.
Douglas MacWithey was born in Ames, Iowa, in 1952 and received his MFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Recent exhibitions include "Douglas MacWithey: Sculpture and Drawings" at Barry Whistler Gallery and "The Drawing Show" at the University of Dallas.