Addison Artists Talk

A man sits next to a children’s ride at a carnival, drinking water out of a gin bottle. This was the photo which Justin Kimball took that allowed him to realize during his childhood photo-taking career, photography had the potential to be a messenger of truth and fiction, the viewer could choose to perceive the photos in any way they pleased. carrying this idea through to the Starfield project.

A slew of artists and art pieces ranging from Navajo Rugs to László Moholy-Nagy inspired Abelardo Morell while working on the Starfield project alongside 3 other photographers, one of which was Kimball.

These 2 artists discussed their inspirations and journey before arriving at the Manship residency and bringing to the Addison their works.

“I thought of photography as a form of storytelling, displaying both life, anguish, and death with my photographs, slowing down the ever-changing world around us. I wanted to show that with the Manship Residency.” stated Kimball.

Last Sunday, guest artists Justin Kimball and Abelardo Morell gave an Artists’ Talk in the Addison Gallery of American Art. The two artists, along with Barbara Bosworth and S. Billie Mandle, contributed artwork to the exhibit “From Starfield to MARS: Paul Manship and His Artistic Legacy”, currently on view at the Addison.

A large majority of Kimball’s work feature calm colour palettes, using both light and dark tones to create an atmosphere of serenity within the gallery. He hopes that the work gives off a peaceful feeling to viewers, in contrast with the commotion of the rest of the world.

“I would like for students who look at my work to find a sense of peace, to breathe easy in our world today” said Kimball.

Morell was inspired by different artists. Especially Paul Manship and different Navajo Rugs, the repeated patterns and parallels to nature. Taking these characteristics and inputting them into his work, using Photograms and Cliche Verre when responding to the Paul Mainship commision.

When visiting the Residency, all 4 photographers were each told to focus on one aspect of the household. Kimball focused on the interior of the house, “the vestiges it held of the previous lives lived there” and how its objects displayed such vestiges. Morell observed Manship’s sculptures, the surroundings of the Residency, and several art deco pieces, thus creating several pieces following the same theme. Using repetition and abstract objects to put together works which invoke curiosity and mystery.

“While working on the Starfield project, I tried to get into the heads of the art deco artists and spent time at the Manship residency, creating pieces which allow viewers to take away anything they would like after seeing them” said Morell “All of the artists I mentioned during my talk all have had a part to play in influencing my artistic decisions”

In Morell’s gallery, many of his pieces were hung up. However, majority of participants gathered around Vertical Construction: Cliche Verre – #1. Morell stated that this piece was the first product of many days and weeks of experimentation with different methods to create art pieces that utilize repetition of patterns.

“I think that not only does [the exhibit] serve as a point of inspiration for young aspiring artists, but [it is also] a great example [of how] even experts in their field draw influence from previous artists or at least parts of that artist’s life” said Kenichi Fujiwara ‘22.