Dimiishing Returns at Goucher College's Silber Art Gallery
“Jim Condron: Diminishing Returns,” a solo exhibition showcasing over twenty paintings and new sculptural works will be presented at Goucher College’s Silber Art Gallery in the Sandy J. Unger Athenaeum from January 30 through March 15, 2018.
“Jim Condron: Diminishing Returns,” incites viewers to examine the application of the economic principle of the law of diminishing returns to painting and art making in the 21st century. The paintings in the show range in size from 5x6 inches to 90x144 inches. Each painting gradually increases in size while maintaining the project’s foundational proportion. The sculptural works in the show reference farming practices and consider the framework by which the economic concept of the law of diminishing returns was founded and explained. The agriculturally based sculptures and abstract paintings also investigate the law of diminishing marginal utility. A highlight of the show is a sculpture made from a vintage 1940’s General GG tractor in a bed of Red Bird Peppermint Puffs. Visitors are invited to experience the principle of diminishing marginal utility by eating as many of the candies as they like.
“Thinking about the economic concepts diminishing marginal returns and diminishing marginal utility and the extent to which they apply to art raises interesting questions about how one can view art from the
artist’s, consumer’s, and museum curator’s perspectives.”
-Dr. David W. Findlay, Pugh Family Professor of Economics of Colby College, ME.
Through the paintings in this exhibition Condron presents a haptic convergence of scale, size, color, texture, and dimensionality. The works explore how the physical size of a painting impacts the meaning and power of a work of art for both the artist and the viewer. The paintings in the show are hung in succession vertically and horizontally from the largest works to the smallest works. It is the artist’s hope that as the viewer confronts the exhibition and then each painted canvas, the importance of the scale and size of the work diminishes and the viewer is absorbed in the experience of each individual work of art.
The sculptural works in the exhibition, constructed from vintage farm equipment, are poignant reminders of America’s rich, though tainted, agricultural past and the economic challenges American farmers face in the year 2018 at a moment in history when the commodification of art is unregulated.