Form or Function – New Exhibtion at ArtPort Kingston

Date(s) - 04/24/2021
12:00 pm-5:00 pm

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ARTISTS : Chuck von Schmidt, Karen Jaimes, Staveley Kuzmanov, Traci Johnson, Barbara Marks, Ellie Murphy,
Courtney Puckett, Jim Osman, Rachel Urkowitz and Gabriele Hamill, Inna Babaeva, Clemens Kois, Sophi Kravitz,
Christina Kruse, Jeanne Atkin, Kathleen Vance, Erika DeVries, and Rodger Stevens.


The exhibition “Form or Function” presents works that crosses over media and discipline, exploring the relationship of
objects in between contemporary art, design and craft. “Form” and “Function” are often clearly defined, but here is an
attempt to blur notions and create dialogue. One basic principle of “good” design is “form follows function,” which
states that the form art takes should be based upon its intent and purpose. If form follows function, the shape of an
object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose. But what if “form is the function”? The debate
between art and design is old and continues to grow. Looking at everyday images, objects, tools and materials, we have
very diverse emotional bonds with them. An artist creates a dialogue with their materials, providing intentions. Is it an
object’s form, their history, or the story we create that attracts us?

Jim Osman’s wood construction sculptures are based on deceptively simple relationships—piling, bridging, angling. This
contemplation of balance implies furniture, architecture, toys, and high modernism. Courtney Puckett’s human-scale,
found object and repurposed textile assemblages integrate sculpture and craft practices. Karen Jaimes sculpts clay to
address sociopolitical issues and question the systems in place. The trans-historical and transcultural nature of ceramics
makes it the perfect material for metaphor. Barbara Marks’ upcycled paper works of disassembled packaging are intimate
and personal; perhaps they’re narrative. Christina Kruse’s minimalist drawings and sculpture create an association beyond
form and engage a sense of balance. The hand knit steel bag of artist/jeweler, Jeanne Atkin assumes a surprisingly soft
shape, accentuated by the nestled wooden and glass eggs inside. The photographer Clemens Kois constructs a
heightened level of beauty and value in objects with his teetering stacked towers of delicately balanced vertical
composition of maybe overlooked objects.

Interaction can animate the function of an object. Chuck von Schmidt’s playful “SIT” piece invites viewers to become a part of
the sculpture so it takes on a new life. Ellie Murphy’s site-specific intervention with hundreds of hanging strings plays off the
existing architecture of the gallery space to create an introspective physical dimension. Stanley Kuzmanov’s sculptures combine
her repetitive patterned textile designs within three-dimensional geometric structures that float in space. Rachel Urkowitz and
Gabrielle Hamill’s tiny couches bring the potential for play into conversation with craft and color. With the invasion of
amorphous, slug-like blobs into mass-produced homegoods, Inna Babeva transforms these objects to give a sense of being
overwhelmed by material. Creating a euphoric “safe space” with positive soothing energies is Traci Johnson’s intention with her
soft sculptures and carpeted mirrors. All the forms and functions alter intentions creating new meanings.

ArtPort Kingston is following CDC Covid recommendations and requests everyone to follow the rules: masks and safe
distancing. We will limit the amount of visitors inside at one time. We want everyone to be safe and healthy.ArtPort is a
newly established cultural space in the historic Cornell Steamboat Building along the Rondout Creek in Kingston located
at 108 E Strand. ArtPort’s aim is to be a destination for art experiences and unconventional interaction between
contemporary art and a wide range of audiences.

* Current ArtStream Arists: Invisiblehand Press: Lilah Friedland and Christina Bohnsack, Julie Hedrick, Kirsten Hassenfeld,
Michael Lokensgard, Susan Rowe Harrison, Ben Quesnel, Jessica Backer, Jordan Tinker, Erica Hauser, Julia Whitney
Barnes, Maim Divees, Bart Uppings, Roberta Ziemba, Linda Schmidt and others.
Contact: Laurie De Chiara, ArtPort Director/Curator,,