Latin York: selections from the National Gallery

By Emmy Walters
Staff Writer

Photo by Dunn Fout
Photo by Dunn Fout

From October 25 – December 15, Sewanee’s University Art Gallery will be hosting “Lain York: Selections from the National Gallery.” Artist Lain York found inspiration for this particular body of work in the 2012 American presidential election. In exploring various snapshots of time from our nation’s history, York wanted to “look at the bigger picture of an information stream, from a visual archive of collected images, with the thought of uncovering patterns that might become significant.”

York’s images are mostly taken from 18th and 19th century political caricatures and engravings that aim to unfold a “more fluid interpretation of a historical record that subtly unfolds on a grander time scale.”

In pursuing a political topic, York intended to “remain neutral in any evaluative sense” in order to “open the door for more direct participation and association” by the viewer. She found that much of the subject matter concerning the upcoming presidential election corresponded with “hot button topics of the first four American presidencies.” By no means a political research expert, York says that she hopes to “provide a visual platform for conversation…to determine the narrative [of the artwork].”

York used more non-traditional tools in her work such as vinyl, graphite, and correct tape that explore more familiar contemporary themes and materials with which others “might have a relationship.” Time, York claims, acts as an “arbitrator [that] reveals its natural form to us” in this body of work. She calls it “a fluid form, one that is constantly changing but…existing in a natural state.”