Mark Copper's work Mark Copper's work

A broken air conditioner and dead critters are hardly draws of artistic inspiration for many people, but four local artists have managed to create an exhibition that draws from just that — and much more.

The Institute of Contemporary Art opens a new showcase today for the James and Audrey Foster prize featuring finalists Sarah Bapst, Katarina Burin, Mark Cooper and Luther Price.

From artist to artist, each presentation stands alone, but together there are clashes and similarities that make the show, in its entirety, something that demands to be seen. Chief curator Helen Molesworth chose all of the artists for the exhibition. “I really wanted the artists to be in some kind of dialoguewith each other,” she says.

 

One similarity viewers can expect to see in this particular dialogueis precision. Each artist uses their talent to create interesting pieces that are strong in detail. Price’s manipulation of slides and Burin’s architectural designs are individually unique in theme, but each detail is purposefully created for the piece. According to Molesworth, “Art is about making decisions” — the decisions on display from Bapst, Burin, Cooper and Price are physical examples of just why they were chosen as finalists for the prize. The artists are in competition for a $25,0000 prize, which is not too shabby.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: SARAH BAPST

Sarah Bapst draws inspiration from found objects Sarah Bapst draws inspiration from found objects

Sarah Bapst draws inspiration from an air conditioner she found. She attempts to recreate the object using plywood and cardboard as materials. Every detail of the air conditioner is observed in each of her structures and photographs. Molesworth describes her work as “meticulous."

“You can often see the pencil marks where she outlined her cuts," she says.

The James and Audrey Foster prizeexhibition runs today until July 14th at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. [There is a chance for the public to hear from the artists and see the work for free on Thursday, June 20th!]

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