Check It Out: Very Big Art at the Fletcher Free Library | Live Culture
Pin It
Favorite

Monday, April 11, 2016

Check It Out: Very Big Art at the Fletcher Free Library

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 6:14 PM

click to enlarge "Oxyvision with escape hatches (thanks to Tomma Abts)," acrylic on hemp by Marc Beaudette - COURTESY OF MARC BEAUDETTE
  • Courtesy of Marc Beaudette
  • "Oxyvision with escape hatches (thanks to Tomma Abts)," acrylic on hemp by Marc Beaudette
Is there a word for forgetting what an empty space looked like as soon as it's filled? Perhaps in German? Whatever that word may be, it would be appropriate to address a new and very large addition to the Fletcher Free Library: the painting "Oxyvision with escape hatches (thanks to Tomma Abts)" by Reading-based artist Marc Beaudette

"I'd long noticed that huge, vacant gray space at the library. It seemed like a great place for a painting," Beaudette said during a phone interview. Last year, the artist applied for a Vermont Arts Council grant to create a work for the expanse of empty wall. "I didn't get it," he said, "so I got another credit card."

The completed piece was installed on Easter Sunday by a team that included Beaudette, his brother, girlfriend and two library staffers, Tyler Dutile and Dawa Jinpa.

"It was almost a disaster," said Beaudette, admitting that the group  struggled to hang the 13.75-by-12-foot, 300-pound painting. Drill malfunction, bent brackets and an impromptu rope-and-pulley system were all part of the drama. 
click to enlarge Preparing to hang "Oxyvision" - COURTESY OF MARC BEAUDETTE
  • Courtesy of Marc Beaudette
  • Preparing to hang "Oxyvision"
"I usually work as large as I can," said Beaudette. This impulse towards size — towards a monopoly of space — is a theme central to his work. In his written description of "Oxyvision," Beaudette writes: "Like a hacker, I have sought to reconfigure the monopoly on aesthetics held by power systems, [to] short-circuit and rewire them,using widely supported legitimacy to propel a message from somewhere else. Somewhere much more 'else.'” 

Thus contradiction is key to Beaudette, who identifies the painting's phrases "makeshift burden" and "leftover plan" as oxymoronic. The words, he said, are in "place of product title or corporate logo." The painting's hard-edged abstraction and color scheme brings to mind the clunky graphics of emerging computer technology, as well as pre-fab PowerPoint templates.
click to enlarge Fletcher Free Library interior - RACHEL JONES
  • Rachel Jones
  • Fletcher Free Library interior
Beaudette hopes that his contribution to the Fletcher Free will help spur an annual rotation of large-scale works there. "Oxyvision" will remain on view through next April, when the library will have the option to buy it permanently for $10,000. If somebody else buys it first, Beaudette said, the library will receive a percentage of the sale. If nobody buys it, then the wall may return to blankness: "It'd be a vacuum," he said. 

Library director Rubi Simon indicated by phone that she would be open to rotating artwork in the space. She also noted that, in the past year, the Fletcher Free has gotten a bit of a facelift, with new carpet and furnishings. "We’re definitely seeing more artists wanting to come display their work," said Simon. "When you lighten up a space, it’s definitely more appealing."
 
Whether or not the painting sells or spawns an artist initiative, Beaudette is pleased. "I'm just really grateful that I was given the opportunity to do this," he said. "The library was really cool about it." 

Tags: , , , ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

Related Locations

About The Author

Rachel Elizabeth Jones

Rachel Elizabeth Jones

Bio:
Rachel is an arts staff writer at Seven Days. She writes from the intersections of art, visual culture and anthropology, and has contributed to The New Inquiry, The LA Review of Books and Artforum, among other publications.

More by Rachel Elizabeth Jones

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

More on Art

Latest in Live Culture

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation