Fluent~Collaborative & just because... are pleased to present Steve and Sydney’s Excellent/Colorful ADVENTURE, a collaboration between artists Steve Wiman and Sydney Yeager. The project opens on Sunday, April 11.
Equally inspired by the natural world and by the ordinary stuff of daily life, these two artists celebrate the beauty found there, each in their own way.
Sydney Yeager uses the medium of oil paint on linen. Her paintings are bold, rich, active explorations of color, texture, movement, and idea. Steve Wiman uses objects and found bits to explore the same issues.
In the past, Sydney and Steve have shared a friendship, shared studio space, and shared an admiration for one another’s commitment to process. Their works share joyfulness as well, even in the face of these dark times. In this installation at just because..., you will find independent work from each, collaborative work from years past, and new work created by each in direct response to the work of the other made just for this exhibit.
Steve Wiman has lived and worked in Austin, Texas since 1991 as an antique dealer and an artist. He was born and raised in Snyder, Texas. From his family experience there, he learned the habits of thrift and saving. His mother saved everything that might be reused: bits of strings, twist ties, egg cartons, pieces of aluminum foil. He knew at an early age that he would be an artist, although his childhood idea of "artist" was very limited. As a child, he always had a project going: bottle cutting, wood-burning, macramé, tie-dye, weaving, painting, and drawing. These two urges - to collect and to create - merged over time into the artwork that he has made over the past twenty-five years. His found object assemblages are characterized by a reverence for the materials: using mundane or insignificant objects as found with little or no manipulation. Surface texture, genuinely distressed color, and true patina are the elements that give his work its rich formal beauty. Careful editing encourages the viewer to see these objects (often objects that are seen as trash or throw away) with new eyes.
A lyrical sentimentality is also found in his day job. He is the owner of Uncommon Objects, a small antique mall on South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. This junk mecca is full of a quirky selection of urban artifacts, antiques, collectibles, and raw materials for creative living. His antique business, art-making, and life are bound together by a common goal- find beauty where you can and make the most of it.
Sydney Yeager lives in Austin and paints in her studio in Elgin, Texas. She was educated at the University of Texas, Austin, with a BFA in English, a BA in Art, and an MFA in painting. She is currently on the faculty of Austin Community College and The Contemporary, Austin.
“I keep returning to a beautiful quotation which has become something of a touchstone for me. The quotation is from Italo Calvino’s book, Mr. Palomar. It is a description of a flock of blackbirds flying over Rome. The narrator describes the flock as a '...moving body composed of hundreds and hundreds of bodies, detached, but together forming a single object…something…that even in fluidity achieves a formal solidity of its own.'
"This idea of independent parts coalescing into a whole, only to collapse again into singular units, is one that has interested me for many years. Inherent in this idea is a sense of continuity, but a continuity constantly threatened with disintegration. It also suggests a state of suspension, where hierarchy yields to endless associations and connections. These diverse influences hold in common the theme of fragmentation. The question is whether these fragments are nostalgic reminders of a past presence, or conversely, the beginnings of a new form. The answer is never clear, which is why I remain interested in the question.”