Candice Ivy: Black Tide and Linda Fantuzzo: The Space Between

Candice Ivy: Black Tide and Linda Fantuzzo: The Space Between

February 11- April 16, 2010

A multi-media installation artist from Hartsville, South Carolina, Candice Ivy’s work focuses on themes of cultural and personal history by exploring the sometimes troubling relationship between family, community, history and landscape. Her video work has been shown in such venues as The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (’05), the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Providence, RI, (’05) and in the Sguardi Sonori 2007 Festival in Venice, Italy. Ivy’s large scale installations have been constructed for Next Wave Arts Festival, Sumter, SC (’05), Off Axis, Santa Barbara, CA (’06), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (’06) Charleston, SC and the Laconia Gallery, Boston MA (’07). She received her BFA from Coker College in Hartsville, SC and her MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Ivy currently lives and teaches in Boston, MA.

In the work coming to Sumter, there are two large wall projections of furrowed fields that speed by on either side of the viewer (like looking out of a car window) creating a central space where the main drama unfolds. The centerpiece of this triptych is a looped clip of several young men, perhaps in their twenties and probably younger, relaxing in a yard.

Matthew Nash reviewing “Black Tide” at the Laconia Gallery in Boston in October 2007, for the publication Big RED & Shiny writes: The viewer is separated from these men by a chain-link fence, and through this barrier it is obvious that they live in poverty. The handful of visual clues offered by Ivy tells a lot about these subjects: their bare chests and cans of beer; the folding lawn chairs and patchy, untended lawn. Here, the element of time, created and enhanced by the constant motion of the framing videos, is reversed and made tangible. These young men are waiting for something, or nothing, or anything.
Only one of the subjects of Ivy’s film addresses the camera, and it is a Pit Bull. This dog, often considered a beast of the lower classes, climbs up the fence between the viewer and the men, barking and pawing at the chain-link as it tries to get closer to the camera. The bark is not something we hear, as the sound in the room is reduced to a low undulating noise, like a passing train that has slowed down to a near-stop. Yet the dog continues to move toward the camera, its mouth open, the expression welcoming or dangerous, we cannot tell. None of the men move to restrain the dog, to save the camera, to do anything at all. Time passes only for this Pit Bull and no one else.

Two giant wall drawings in charcoal fill the gallery wall space with the choking intensity of that invasive Southern vine: Kudzu. The delicate use of black and white in “Black Tide” reminds us that some things have not changed in the Deep South for a long time. The film, shot near Ivy’s family’s home in South Carolina, generates nostalgia and sympathy in equal measure. The uneasy feelings conjured up suggest we would rather avoid and/or forget anyone that looks poor. Ivy can take us to places like this precisely because she is not judgmental–she can see, and wants us to see, beyond the stereotypes.

 Ivy’s artist statement reads as follows: Southern history is like a black tide, thick as mud, washing over its inhabitants. The residue remains present in the land as well as in the psychology of every individual. Being a native of the South, I have recognized this residue in myself my family and my culture.


Linda Fantuzzo, one of Charleston’s (and South Carolina’s) most respected and well known artists, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1968 to 1973. In 1973, she moved to Charleston, where she works full time as a painter.  Fantuzzo’s paintings are represented in many corporate and public collections, including the Greenville County Museum, SC, Gibbes Museum, Charleston, SC, the State Art Collection, and the Burroughs-Chapin Museum of Myrtle Beach, SC. Her paintings are in many private collections throughout the US and the UK.

Dennis Stiles, poet and feature writer for The Gallery Guide writes: The objects and scenes in Fantuzzo’s paintings are often commonplace- a roadway curving through vegetation, a hunk of burnished metal, walls, clouds, a prism – but her treatment of them is anything but ordinary. Unexpected juxtapositions give many of her paintings a quietly surreal quality. She emphasizes texture tone, atmosphere and above all an inner light created by very careful purposeful handling of cool and warm colors, applied with thick and thin paints and glazes. The typical result is haunting.

Kristina M. Kutkus writes in the catalogue,  “In the Dinghy, Lure of the Lowcountry”: The sites range from an abandoned mill to a bridge tower, however, each painting is about transition and change without sentimental overtones. Fantuzzo in interested in the fragment for it’s formal, aesthetic qualities and as something “unto itself”, a part left from an architectural whole. The atmosphere is diffuse and evokes a poetic decay that is eloquent and personal. The beauty of this moment in time is a metaphor for change.

 Much of the work comprising the Sumter show will be new work never before exhibited.

Fantuzzo states: I find interest in painting a landscape as much as I do a still life. What remains constant in all that I paint is the attempt to render light and atmosphere. Dusty air drifts around objects composed on a table, just as weather ranges throughout a landscape. The atmospheric conditions in each, is often the vehicle that conveys my response to a particular moment in time.


Opening Reception

Thursday, February 11, 2010, 5:30-7:30 pm

Artist Lecture, Thursday February 11, 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Candice Ivy will give a presentation about her work

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