by Richard Merritt
Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts
September 6 - October 13, 2006
Richard Merritt, associate professor art, has been a member of the Luther faculty since 1998. His areas of specialty are computer art, design and art history. Previously, he was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha.
A graduate of Carleton College, Merritt holds the masters degree and the master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa. He has received several art and teaching awards and fellowships. He is a frequent participant and presenter at national and international conferences on contemporary art.
The current exhibit contains works created during a 2005-06 sabbatical.
"This work arises out of my interest in examining a discrete issue in conceptual art: the analysis of language and communication as highly intermediated images in dominant political, social and sexual contexts. With this work I have used a procedural element of minimalism that lends itself to repetition and the appearance of pattern. The formal cornerstone of this work is the variegated ways in which process oriented work can be informed and transformed by text.
The chief conceptual challenge of my work is the reinterpretation of reading. In these objects reading becomes an indistinct process wherein meaning exist in the interplay between text, object and internal cognition. Ideally, challenging the rules, conventions and possibilities of reading.
The chief tool in this enterprise is the tendency of language, whether spoken or written to form images and recall memories within the mind of the viewer. A Minimalism repetitive device is used in correlation and sometimes in stark contrast with the text. Allow the mind to play."