Cindy Neuchwander & Hiroyuki Hamada
Surface Tension: Multimedia Absractions

May - June, 2007

The works of both Cindy Neuschwander and Hiroyuki Hamada hover somewhere between painting and sculpture, transcending the definitions of these particular media. In many ways, both of these artists create works that are better understood by looking rather than by reading or describing. Neuschwander and Hamada both work with an intense focus on process, creating heavily worked, layered multimedia objects.  The surfaces of their works consist of curious, unspecified materials, creating a sense of tension between what they are and what they seem to be. Each artist has succeeded in creating works that reflect a contemporary awareness; yet, the medium, genre, time, place, and cultural signifiers have been consciously neutralized.


Cindy Neuschwander
Surface Tension: Multimedia Absractions

Cindy Neuschwander is based in Richmond, VA. She received her B.F.A from the University of Texas and her M.F.A from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work is in numerous permanent collections including Neiman Marcus Collection, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Chrysler Museum, and the Mint Museum of Art. Recent solo exhibitions of her work include Anderson Gallery at Drake University, Plant Zero Gallery in Richmond, VA, Hodges Taylor Gallery in Charlotte, NC, and 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA.


There is a silent collaboration that goes on between the hand, eye, head and paint when I am making these paintings.  The process of habitual reinvention, of layering and scraping away, layering again, and then painting over, incising and painting, and then again, scraping and trying to find the “soul” of the painting, this is the timeline of painting for me.
Going into the studio and awaiting the discovery that comes from letting go of the result over and over again; each painting then becomes a manifestation of the routine of physical labor and decisions about surface and history.  By history I mean the history that is created by me and revealed by my selection of what remains and what is discarded.  There is a certain degree of risk taking involved at each level of the process; when is too much taken away, too much left on the surface, too much decision making and not enough intuitive links to the final outcome.  
The work is about excavation.  I am always searching beneath the surface and hoping to find the surprise that delights and makes me smile and realize, I’ve hit the mark.

Hiroyuki Hamada

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Hiroyuki Hamada now lives and works in East Hampton, NY. He received his B.A. from West Liberty State College in Virginia and earned his M.F.A. from the University of Maryland. In addition to exhibiting extensively in the northeast, including OK Harris Works of Art, New York , NY, and Plane Space Gallery, New York, NY, amongst others, Hamada has been awarded residencies at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the MacDowell Colony, Studios Midwest in Illinois, and the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts. In 1998, he was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.


I consider my works as paintings sometimes, while also being sculptures. I actually started out drawing and painting. The move towards three dimensions came as my interests shifted from the object-like qualities of my two-dimensional works into three-dimensional works that are actually objects. I have continued to explore the boundaries of two and three dimensions through the suggestion of object-like qualities on flat surfaces. In fact, my pieces look like they use different materials but they are almost always painted or stained plaster entirely.
I did not begin exploring visual art until I was well until college. Through a teacher I learned that the mere combination of visual elements can actually function as a very strong communication tool. This came as a great surprise and a pleasure for a young man who was trying to find his place in a foreign land.  I think this lead to my inclination to appreciate works that don’t require obvious references.  I like to pursue the ones that speak to our core going beyond our usual  boundaries.  It’s indeed great to see such varieties in people who enjoy my work.

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