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Matrix 199: Vincent Fecteau Recent Sculpture

August 11 through October 6, 2002

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is proud to present an exhibition of meticulous, small-scale sculpture by Vincent Fecteau. MATRIX 199: Vincent Fecteau Recent Sculpture is the latest exhibition in the BAM/PFA's MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art, and opens on Sunday, August 11. This exhibition will be the first solo-museum show for Fecteau, whose work was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

Fecteau is a San Francisco-based artist known for his
intricately assembled two- and three-dimensional objects. Using readily available craft and model-making materials such as foam core, cardboard, balsa wood, and paperclips, Fecteau creates objects that appear to be preliminary models for larger, grander constructions. This sense of allusion – the suggestion that something is other than what it at first appears – is central to much of Fecteau's work. He enjoys the ambiguity that surrounds his pseudo-architectural sculptures, which can leave the observer uncertain as to whether what they are looking at is art or simply a model for the "real thing."

Fecteau also toys with the notion of "real" art by considering the less-than-perfect conditions in which a sculpture might be kept after leaving the artist's studio. Having observed that artworks in the homes of private collectors may sometimes sport a layer of dust and even a cobweb or two, Fecteau deliberately adds an unfinished quality to his completed work, leaving fine chips of wood, dust, and patches of dried glue on the surface of the sculpture to confound expectations of "museum quality" art. In this sense Fecteau is asking the viewer to have faith in the integrity of his art, by suggesting that they put aside their assumptions about what art is and should be. Fecteau himself sees this suspension of disbelief as one of the most alluring qualities of his work; "one of the most beautiful things about art," he says, "[is] the faith or will that can make a rubber band or a pushpin the location of all this meaning and at the same time acknowledge the limitations of its reality."

MATRIX 199: Vincent Fecteau Recent Sculpture features thirteen works, six of them new. Fecteau has had solo gallery exhibitions at greengrassi, London (named one of the best exhibitions of the year by Artforum magazine); Feature, New York; Mark Foxx, Los Angeles; and Paule Anglim, San Francisco. In addition to being featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, Fecteau was included in a recent survey of Bay Area drawings titled 'Marked" which was curated by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson and presented at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and the Hunter College Art Galleries in New York.

Public programs
Artist's Talk and Opening Reception
Sunday, August 11
Artist talk, 3 p.m.
Reception, 4 p.m.

Gallery Talk
Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, MATRIX Curator
Thursday, September 19, 12:15 p.m.
Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson discusses the artist's attempt to convey the quality of balance in his sculptures - and asks how they might address the presence or absence of balance in the world at large.

Performance
Aaron Ximm
Friday, September 27, 7 p.m.
San Francisco-based sound artist Aaron Ximm will present an evening of soundscapes composed from field recordings, also known as "found sound," in response to the work of Vincent Fecteau. Ximm's compositions are aural collages that evoke impressionistically, rather than literally, the sense of a place.