Art Montana








© Jennifer Reifsneider, The Myth of Sisyphus, 1999  mixed media, sound;  162 x 90 x 36"

Naming The Place, Placing The Name:

Mixed Media Work by Jennifer Reifsneider

Exhibition Dates: March 10 - June 10, 2001
Yellowstone Art Museum

When the rain comes, it starts and makes its first mark on the ground,

followed by another, then another. Soon, millions of droplets join in an onslaught,

which covers the ground. At first the ground is dry, then moist, then wet,

then soaked, then wet again, then moist and then again dry.

This is rain, this is sustenance, and this is time.

Jennifer Reifsneider frames the subject of time and space as a universal yet personal experience. Her works wash away the barriers between viewers who regard themselves as sophisticated art connoisseurs and those who regard themselves to be outsiders to art. The modern angst of questioning our very being is brought to light by the familiar rituals of hands manipulating common materials.

The chair reminds us of a human presence, our own human presence, surrounded by an endless, even pointless, process of de/reconstruction. The cycle of making piles of papers and the sounds of crumpling swirl around us as we attempt to find the integrity of our own mind. To paraphrase Emerson, "It is not enough that we are doing, its just, what are we doing?"

© Jennifer Riefsneider, Six Months, 
1997, Canvas and Thread

Minimalism, which has obviously influenced Reifsneider, is a twentieth century style of nonobjective art in which a minimal number of visual elements are arranged in a simple fashion. This movement seeks to express universal ideas through significant forms. It is rooted in western industrial culture and traditionally used manufactured materials and forms, yet in Reifsneider’s work the hand-made remains important. This exhibition is in many ways a metaphor for the creative process. We, the viewers, acknowledge the universe of floating chaotic symbols, which we can reach out and grasp and order and interpret. We share the experience of language. We unconsciously order letters and words as we readily communicate and dialogue. We name the place, and we place the name. This process is looked on anew through this exhibition, where Reifsneider alters mediums and our spirit is lifted. We are confronted with the connection between the essential purity of the creative us and an examination of our own time and space.

The rain falls again and we count the first few drops.

Reifsneider continues to order meaning out of chaos.

The floating universe of symbols that will cycle around and be used

and reused in new and different ways renews us, the audience.


From Naming The Place, Placing The Name: Mixed Media Work by Jennifer Reifsneider,

Stephen R. Glueckert, Curator,

This exhibition is touring through the Montana Art Gallery Directors' Association


© Jennifer Riefsneider, field/silence, 
2000-2001, dictionary and tape

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