Discourse is defined by Merriam Webster as the “formal and orderly and usually extended expression of thought on a subject.” At Riverviews Artspace, we have seen an uptick in contemporary artists expressing their thoughts and reactions through political work. With a predominant link to America’s current social and economic landscape, Riverviews has invited artists, George Lorio, Howard Skrill, and Jenny Wu for the upcoming exhibition, Political Discourse. Each artist uses their differing media to express their views, while using these works to create awareness and conversation. Riverviews Artspace is a nonpartisan organization with a mission in presenting contemporary art exhibitions, focusing on contemporary trends, as diverse as our community.
Howard Skrill is a New York artist whose art has been seen around New York City and the Boston area for over 10 years, since getting his MFA in Studio Art from Queen’s College in 2001. For The Anna Pierrepont Series, the subject is public statues. The purpose is “to interrogate how groups come to ‘speak through the city’ by additions of artworks to public places and how the capacity to speak through the city can shift between groups thus marooning the objects that speak for the past in the present with often unhappy consequences.” His work and the recent removal of statues across the American south were the basis for his inclusion in our show.
George Lorio has an extensive background in exhibiting work around the country, since earning a Master of Fine Arts in 1976 from University of South Florida. He creates 2D and 3D artworks that are often built out and include everyday objects, such as toy cars, chess pieces and children’s blocks. The basis for his recent work issues related to class, immigration, gun control, and ecology. Lorio states that “having lived on the border with Mexico for ten years changed my view of contemporary culture and our collective social responsibility.”
Jenny Wu was born in Nanjing, China. She holds a B.A. from William Smith College in Studio Art as well as in Architectural Studies, and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from American University. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums including Denise Bibro Fine Art, Katzen Museum, and Huntington Museum of Art. Wu has participated in numerous Artist-In-Residence programs across the country and has been awarded fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. Her work is motivated by the 2016 presidential election and current political climate in the United States of America.