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‘Altered Appropriations’ in Guggenheim Gallery

September 1, 2010

A new exhibit opened Tuesday in Chapman University’s Guggenheim Gallery, taking viewers into a meticulous, obsessive world of art that seeks fresh ways to visualize and present the familiar. Called “Altered Appropriations: Making Strange,” the exhibit features works by Abigail Reynolds, Kim Rugg, Curtis Mann, Soo Kim, Ishmael Randall Weeks, Mickey Smith and Peter Wegner.

The artists often appropriate images and other media

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before using their artistry to  “cut, collage, destroy, fold and frame in order to see the world anew,” says guest curator Jody Zellen. For instance, the Canadian-born Rugg takes the front pages of newspapers and reorders the type, so the structure is recognizable but the text is unreadable, creating “beautiful gibberish,” as the exhibit brochure says.

The South Korean-born Kim uses an X-acto knife to painstakingly cut specific parts from photographs, turning skins of buildings and rooftops into transparent structures with new patterns and designs. The multidimensional effect is disconcerting at first but ultimately involving.

The exhibit is the first of three this academic year to be curated by artists from outside the university, says Professor Richard Turner, gallery director.

“Altered Appropriations” runs through Oct. 8. The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 714-997-6729.

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