Next Friday, on May 14, from 6-9 PM we're hosting an opening reception for the second solo show by Tim Tate.
Tim Tate, the 2003 Washington DC Artist of the Year, is an openly gay artist who has been HIV-positive for over 20 years and who now finds himself as one of the hottest and rapidly rising artists in our region.
Tate has had an extraordinary couple of years, with some spectacular accomplishments. Amongst these, in addition to being selected as the "Washington DC Emerging Artist of the Year" at the last Annual Mayor's Arts Awards, Tate also recently won the international design competition for the International AIDS Monument to be built in New Orleans, he also founded the Washington Glass School - already a prime arts force in our community. He is also the Founder of the Gay and Lesbian Artist Group in Washington, DC.
His work has recently been acquired for the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery and last week, together with Whitney Museum Curator Lawrence Rinder, he was a key panelist in the Hirshhorn Museum's panel on Arts and Healing.
Tate works in glass, and nearly all of his imagery deals with HIV and healing. He is considered by many to be the finest contemporary glass artist in the region, and is a brilliant creative talent who has gone beyond mastery of the technical skills of the art of fine art glass and is now pushing the genre into new areas where content is the prime force behind the work. Tate marries his artwork with intelligent ideas and conceptual dialogues that bring forth reactions, opinions and set forward a whole new conversation and path for the genre of fine art glass.
Using events and details from his personal life as well as public issues, Tate incorporates this as a rich set of conceptual ideas so that his work is no longer about the technical frontier of the art glass genre, or the use of colors and forms – it is all that and more.
How? Tate breaks new ground by adding a new vocabulary to the genre: A vocabulary made of content that requires and understanding of what the artist wants to express. In doing so, Tate has absolutely changed and refined his art and vision, a change that was first kindled by the death of his mother, which he expressed by an obsessive desire to create small, beautiful glass hearts, which have nothing to do with religion, but childhood memories of JFK imagery in his home. In another series of works, dealing with HIV, undefined forms within tall cylindrical towers of nebulous glass come into focus as the towers are spun – defining symbols and crosses that represent cures for diseases, both physical and cultural.
Tate studied at Dale Chihuly’s Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, Corning Glass in New York and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.
His first solo exhibition at Fraser Gallery Georgetown in 2003 sold out, and we currently have him scheduled to open this new show at Fraser Gallery Bethesda on May 14 through June 8, 2004. Titled "I Never Claimed to Have a Map to Get to The Heart Of This Or Any Other Matter...." at this exhibit Tate will open a new series of works in glass addressing his obsession with HIV and healing.
Ken Trapp, former Curator in Charge of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery has written the following about Tate's new work that we will be exhibiting this next month:
"HEART-SHAPES WITH FLAMES ATOP AND WORDS ACROSS THEIR FRONT, SLICES OF GLASS LAID ONE ATOP THE OTHER TO CREATE A SOLID VESSEL IMPRISONING A FIGURE, AND STILLED BODIES EMBEDDED IN A GLASSY TOMB, ARE SOME OF THE SUBJECTS IN TIM TATE'S MOST RECENT EXHIBITION "I Never Claimed to Have a Map to Get to The Heart Of This Or Any Other Matter...."
AND YET THESE OBJECTS ARE NOT MORBID OR REPULSIVE. BY TAKING ON THE CLICHES OF OUR CULTURE TATE LAYS DOWN A CHALLENGE FOR HIMSELF, A CHALLENGE HE IS UP TO. IT IS EASY TO MISREAD HIS IMAGES: HE MUST BE A DEVOTED CATHOLIC, FOR INSTANCE.
FOR TATE, THE OBVIOUS IS NEVER SO CLEAR. HE SUBVERTS THE SACRED BY TREATING ICONS AS SECULAR IMAGES---A HEART IS NOT NECESSARILY A HEART, BUT AN IMAGE FILLED WITH CONTENT. HIS USE OF TEXT IS NEVER TRITE OR PANDORING, BUT RATHER TAKES US ON HIS PERSONAL ODISSEY OF HEALING.
IN OTHER PIECES, HIS FIGURES ARE VEILED AND COVERED, ONE WITH THEIR MATERIAL OF IMPRISONMENT, REMINDING US OF TATE'S FEELINGS OF INVISIBILITY IN SOCIETY. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE SUCH FIGURES AND NOT BE REMINDED OF HOW MUCH THE DISCOVERY OF SELF IS A DAILY EXERCISE OF UNCOVERING LAYERS WE HAVE ASSUMED OR IMPOSED ON OURSELVES. THIS SHOW REPRESENTS A JOURNEY WORTH EMBARKING ON......