Art and Visual Technology Department Brings RG Brown III’s ‘Invisible Forces’ to Fine Arts Gallery

Posted: September 29, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Some people who encountered the large triangle entrenched in the earth last year may have thought it was one of the many construction projects on Mason’s Fairfax Campus.

However, the embedded shape was actually an installation by sculptor and landscape architect RG Brown III. Brown, an associate professor of art at Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, created his first public installation, “Jamestown Triangle,” as part of the East Coast Sculpture Exchange in March 2007.

Sculptor R.G. Brown with installation
Sculptor RG Brown III with the Jamestown installation on the Fairfax Campus last year.
Photo by Nicolas Tan

Now, the Art and Visual Technology department presents “Invisible Forces,” a display of the images that were generated from the archaeological surveys of that installation. “Invisible Forces” will be presented in the Fine Arts Gallery from Oct. 2 to 23; an opening reception will be held in the gallery on Thursday, Oct. 2, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Brown first began “embedding” objects into the earth after a series of collaborations with colleagues in the archaeology and geology departments at the University of Georgia.

“I use the word ‘embedding’ to avoid any reference to death and burial,” he says. “Once the work is embedded, it can no longer be perceived by the senses, yet it still exists in a ‘parallel’ reality.”

Brown and his collaborators use archaeological geophysical devices to scan and reveal the embedded objects, and the data is used to create provocative two-dimensional images.

“On one level I am interested in bring into question traditional notions of ‘seeing,’” he says. “On another level I am interested in exposing forces that are ‘invisible’ but nonetheless exert powerful influences on our lives.”

“RG Brown III offers a hidden parallel universe, which sometimes interrogates life on earth while also nurturing it,” says Walter Kravitz, director of the Fine Arts Gallery.

“His images ask us to ‘see’ what is hidden, not too differentiated from the ‘reality’ we perceive in a photograph. The embedded images he refers to become meaningful as intersections of matter in the physical world and psychical representations.”

Brown’s sculpture has been in one-person exhibits in Europe and Africa, and he has also participated in group shows in museums, galleries and art centers around the United States.

Brown has been the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships and awards, and has been invited to countless artist residencies. His most recent honors include a Fulbright Scholar Grant, African Regional Research Grant and a Willson Center Research Fellowship for 2006-07.

His newest works include “GA ARC,” a sculpture installation at the University of Georgia Athens campus, as well as “disPlacements: GA ARC,” an exhibition of geophysical survey images deriving from the original work; “Parallel,” a sculpture installation at Sculpture Key West 2008; and “Westobou Canoe,” a sculpture installation at Augusta State University in Georgia as part of the Westobou Festival in 2008.

Originally from Dover, Del., Brown earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University; a master of fine arts in sculpture from the University of Georgia; and bachelor of arts in Appalachian art from the University of Hawaii.

The display and reception are free and open to the public. The Fine Arts Gallery, located on the ground floor of the Fine Arts building on the Fairfax Campus, is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends by appointment.

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