Studio Visit: Garry Noland

Garry Noland is an artist residing in Kansas City, Missouri. His work can be seen in PLEAT's June 2016 exhibition as well as garrynolandart.com.

Please briefly describe your work and how you go about making certain formal and conceptual choices.
My studio practice is multi-disciplinary. The one constant is an open-ness to “rough patches”, glitches or mistakes. The presence of edges or boundaries between mistakes establishes immediate contextual and formal relationships. Those abutments mime our interactions with art and with each other. 

What goes with what? What happens on either side of the line? What’s good and who decides?  Sometimes I am the boss of the material but just as often the material, by virtue of a chance arrangement, for example, will tell me what needs to be done.

These particular works are made of found and reclaimed materials from alleys, side streets and urban dumps. The base materials (pvc pipe and foam) are combined with new materials (bubble wrap, marbles, paint, tape). The resulting combination sets up the inevitable dialogue between the new/old:  purposeful/accidental and play/toil.

I am at ease with the natural marks and debris left in the foam, for example, in Failed Monument. The opposing sheen and luxurious suggestions of the gold tape against the foam examines just those combinations of new and old, planned and not.

Art puns and mime the systems and appearances we experience in both the non-human and human parts of nature. The oft-quoted role of the free press is "to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted". Art's first cousin role then is to find the mundane in the grand and the grand in the mundane. 

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them?
Influences...what isn't an influence?  There are some obvious, to me at least, formal and conceptual stalwarts:  Brancusi, Noguchi, Hesse, Tuttle, Feher, Puryear, and Bourgeois, among others. My most immediate influence is the hard work I see other artists performing. I think of Eric Bransby and Louis Cicotello, both professors of mine at University of Missouri - Kansas City.  Bransby, a well-known muralist, is nearly 100 years old and still in studio. Cicotello (died 2011) was a sculptor who always pressed for improvement.  I know that Bransby is working today and that Louis would be. If they're working then I need to be.