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Sewall Hall 402
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Fall 2015 Exhibition


Rural Phase

New paintings by Paul Krainak

September 24 – October 14, 2015

Lecture and reception from 7PM on Thursday, September 24

Sewall Hall, Rice University


The Emergency Room at Rice University presents new paintings by artist and writer Paul Krainak.


Paul Krainak 1Rural Phase draws on the formal logic of early modern practices of painting, architecture and design. It does not, however, subscribe to the determining factor of urban environments as a model or methodology. Instead it endorses the conceptualization of Bauhaus, Constructivist, and International Style forms, much of which are indebted to rural environments and their economies. Aesthetic/mechanistic strategies that stem from rural American industrial design and architecture call into question modernism’s strictly urban mythology. Grids, cruciforms, and planed wood surfaces are organized in extended formal motifs, calling to mind Constructivist and Bauhaus Schools’ principles of industrial hybridity, open studio practices, and utopianism.  The site of inquiry and industry here is agriculture with distilled forms derived from farm machinery, textile design, land management diagrams, and vernacular architecture. My intention is to acknowledge key mechanistic visual models of the early 20th Century, common to industrialization, that favor the rural over the urban.


About Paul Krainak:

Paul Krainak is a painter and critic who is the Chair of the Department of Art at Bradley University in Peoria. He was an Associate Editor and Corresponding Editor of the New Art Examiner and currently is a corresponding Editor for Artpapers. He is a former member and Gallery Director of N.A.M.E. Gallery. He has contributed essays on contemporary art to numerous journals, exhibition catalogues and academic presses. These include the Kemper Museum of Art in St. Louis, The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Sculpture Magazine, Afterimage, and Indiana University Press. Krainak is also the Founder and Director of the Inland Visual Studies Center at Bradley University.


About the Emergency Room:

Situated in a 9’ x 13’ former office, the Emergency Room is a gallery exhibiting contemporary art within the context of the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice University. Offering a BA in studio art, film and photography or theater, the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts is in the midst of a renaissance – visual culture at Rice has never been more dynamic that it is right now. Immediately preceding the Paul Krainak reception, Rice Art Gallery will present a new exhibition, and immediately following the Emergency Room event, Matchbox Gallery, a student-run exhibition space will hold a reception in the sculpture courtyard.