8 JUNE - 8 SEPTEMBER 2001
Rice Gallery inaugurated its Summer Window Series with Pastor & Collux, an original site-specific installation by artist James Cullinane. The Summer Window Series was conceived to allow visitors to experience an exhibition through the gallery’s glass façade.
James Cullinane creates large-scale wall reliefs by hand-sticking tens of thousands of aluminum pushpins into the wall. When viewed from a distance, the pins form highly-textured, larger-than-life-size illustrations of model children playing simple outdoor games. Reminiscent of a seemingly more innocent time, the images are beautiful as well as evocative.
Cullinane’s drawings are taken from Cartilla Escolar de Educacion Fisica, an elementary school primer he discovered in a used bookstore in Bilbao, Spain. Published in 1945 by theDepartamento Nacional De Propaganda, the book includes illustrations of fit and healthy children, the ideal prescribed by General Francisco Franco’s Falangista Party. “They happen to be images of childhood that support a fascist agenda of ‘clean and healthy bodies and minds,’ but they could just as well be the Boy Scouts of America,” says Cullinane. Like imagery from Greek mythology to contemporary advertising, they are attractive, but loaded with subtle and ambiguous meanings.
Pastor & Collux draws on a mythological reference, the inversion of the first letters in the names of Castor & Pollux, the twin sons of Zeus and Leda who were transformed into the Gemini constellation.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
James Cullinane received a BFA from The Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Art and Science in 1979. He has exhibited at numerous venues including the University Art Museum at State University of New York, Albany; the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Pierogi, Brooklyn, New York, and The Brooklyn Museum. He lives and works in New York.