Myrtle Beach Art Museum Exhibit Creates Connection Between Disease and Art

Artist and educator Charles Clary lost both his parents in 2013, two weeks apart, to smoking-related cancers. Clary channeled his grief into his art: using hand-cut, layered paper to create intriguing formations that mimic viral colonies and concentric sound waves. Charles Clary: Infect[ious] Installations, an exhibition of works that challenge the viewer to suspend disbelief and venture into his fabricated reality, comes to the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC January 21 – April 21.  An opening reception will be Sunday, January 24, 2016, from 1 – 3 p.m. Reception is free for  members and $10 for non-members.
Flam-a-Pleural Movement #3 Charles Clary, Flam-a-Pleural Movement #3, 2015, hand-cut paper and wallpaper on distressed drywall, 24" x 24" x 4"

Flam-a-Pleural Movement #3
Charles Clary, Flam-a-Pleural Movement #3, 2015, hand-cut paper and wallpaper on distressed drywall, 24″ x 24″ x 4″

A native of Morristown, TN, Clary now teaches studio art at Coastal Carolina University. His work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally in numerous solo and group shows.
Flam-a-Pleural Movement #4 Charles Clary, Flam-a-Pleural Movement #4, 2015, hand-cut paper and wallpaper on distressed drywall, 24" x 24" x 4"

Flam-a-Pleural Movement #4
Charles Clary, Flam-a-Pleural Movement #4, 2015, hand-cut paper and wallpaper on distressed drywall, 24″ x 24″ x 4″

Following his parents’ deaths, Clary became intrigued by the form and structure of disease pathogens. “Cancer is a disease that is a perfectly structured killer; it is beautiful in its architecture but grotesque in its eventuality,” Clary notes in his artist statement.He began to create layered, structured “landmasses” made from recycled, discarded drywall and wallpaper.
Clary suggests that these three-dimensional structures “contaminate and infect the surfaces they inhabit, transforming the space into something suitable for their gestation. . . .These constructions question the notion of microbial outbreaks and their similarity to the visual representation of sound waves, transforming them into something more playful and inviting.”
The artist’s use of drywall and discarded wallpaper reflects his recent interest in nostalgia, along with the concept of creating order from chaos, beauty from destruction and hope for more joyous times.
Clary’s most recent paper installation sculptures deal with the idea that music is an intangible virus, and that its listeners are the “carriers” that spread this “disease” from one space to another. “Each paper tower resembles computer generated sound waves, Petri dishes, bacterial and viral colonies, as well as fungal and mold growths,” Clary writes. “The towers represent the similarities that each share on the micro level.”
Gallery hours for Charles Clary: Infect[ious] Installations will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m. Sunday, beginning Thursday, Jan. 21. Admission is free at all times, but donations are welcomed.
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