Kachadourian’s ‘Forest/City’ to fill FAM gallery

Gary Kachadourian, Forest/City (mock-up), 2014, courtesy of the artist

Gary Kachadourian, Forest/City (mock-up), 2014, courtesy of the artist

An installation by artist Gary Kachadourian that “re-manufactures” the great outdoors overtaking an urban environment will inhabit the entire main gallery and part of the lobby of the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University starting Thursday, Aug. 21.

Kachadourian’s “Forest/City,” designed specifically for the FAM, will open that day in conjunction with a reception and ArtTalk by the Baltimore-based artist. The artist talk will begin at 5 p.m. in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center next to the lobby of the museum.

The reception, artist talk and admission to the FAM to see the installation, which will be open through Friday, Oct. 17, are free and open to the public.

Kachadourian offers a home-brewed batch of “absurd realism,” blurring the boundary between maker/creator and machine, said David J. Brown, FAM director and organizer of the exhibit.

“In one sense, he’s like a factory worker,” said Brown. “He ‘manufactures’ objects – familiar ones that exist in his mostly urban world of Baltimore, where he lives and works. In another sense, he operates quite differently from many in the art world by being fully engaged in the documentation and a democratic distribution of most of his works, making them available to almost everyone. He sells small unfolding works and scaled-down versions of his pieces for roughly twice the cost of printing.”

For installations such as his upcoming work at the FAM, he starts with a series of detail-oriented pencil drawings and a gallery mock-up. He then prints the various components to create full-size proportioned elements that are installed section-by-section on the museum’s walls and floor.

“Visitors will enter the work and be fully surrounded by the environment,” said Brown.

Prior to the exhibition at WCU, Kachadourian produced an entire McDonald’s façade, trash dumpsters, traffic barriers, portable toilets, his old Volvo station wagon, the interior of his house and a vacant lot; installed in both interior and exterior spaces.

He also recently completed an installation for the Arkansas Art Center’s “12th National Drawing Invitational: Outside the Lines,” a biennial event that seeks to feature some of the most outstanding and innovative artists drawing in America today.

Kachadourian also will be discussing his work and critiquing the work of WCU graduate students in the School of Art and Design while on campus.

The FAM is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Museum admission and parking, available on both sides of the Bardo Arts Center, are free.

For more information about the installation, ArtTalk and reception, contact Brown at djbrown@wcu.edu or 828-227-2553. For general information about the FAM, visit www.wcu.edu/museum online or call 828-227-3591.