Press Releases


Jennifer and Kevin McCoy: The Allure of the Literal
David Opdyke: Plan C

February 5 through April 6, 2008
Opening reception: Tuesday, February 5, 5:00-7:00 pm
(The artists will be present)

Art & Culture Talk Programs:
Monday, March 3, 7:00 pm lecture by David Opdyke
Tuesday, April 1, 7:00 pm, lecture by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

All exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public.


ALBANY, NY--- The University Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of two concurrent exhibitions: Jennifer and Kevin McCoy: The Allure of the Literal and David Opdyke: Plan C. Although the McCoys and Opdyke approach their work from different conceptual perspectives, they share an interest in reframing the ways in which we perceive the current cultural and political landscape.

The museum's first floor features five multimedia projects by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, including their acclaimed video database project, Every Anvil (2001), in which indexed shots from old Looney Toon cartoons are broken down into descriptive categories according to violence and physical extremism. Each category is contained on its own CD, which can be selected and played on a DVD player. The CD cases are labeled: EVERY FLATTENED CHARACTER; EVERY EXPLOSION; EVERY HAMMER AND HATCHET; EVERY FALL FROM A GREAT HEIGHT; and so on. By dissecting predictable storylines and reconfiguring them into non-hierarchal fragments, the McCoys emphasize alternative ways to experience conventional narratives, a strategic approach that is at the heart of their artistic practice. 

In High Seas (2007), featured in the center of the museum's first floor, the McCoys turn their attention to the magic of movie-making. This kinetic sculpture includes a video camera, a single light, a mechanical wave-guide, and a five-foot model of the Titanic. As the ship model moves up and down along the wave-guide track, its movements are captured on a large screen behind the sculpture creating the illusion of an off-kilter movie in which the mighty Titanic is cast adrift upon stormy seas.

The relationship between technology, make-believe, and everyday reality are further examined in Big Box, 2007, which features a model of an American-style big box shopping mall placed on a slowly rotating turntable. In between each clean, generic store facade is either a trash-filled wasteland, or an over-grown jungle. A single camera films the scene presenting it as a drive-by view on a wall mounted video monitor.  In Double Fantasy 3 (Career), 2005, the McCoys represent their childhood dream jobs by means of a miniaturized revolving film set, lights, and a video camera. 

The most recent project on view is collaboration between the McCoys and painting students from the UAlbany Master of Fine Arts program. Together they will create two new painted images based on fragmented film cells from Disney's Cinderella.

Jennifer & Kevin McCoy live and work in Brooklyn, New York. They have been artistic collaborators since 1990.  Their joint projects have been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, P.S.1, Postmasters Gallery, and The New Museum in New York City and other venues. Born in Sacramento, California in 1968, Jennifer McCoy received a B.A. from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1990. Born in Seattle, Washington in 1968, Kevin McCoy received a B.A. from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington in 1989. Each received an M.F.A. in 1994 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Electronic Arts.

The museum's second floor features recent sculptures and drawings by David Opdyke including his dramatic installation, Mixed Messages. First installed at the Corcoran Museum of Art in 2004, the installation has been reworked by Opdyke to take full advantage of the University Art Museum's thirty-five foot ceiling. The installation is comprised of two fleets of paper airplanes-over 2,000 in all. Each airplane is folded from a page of a bilingual dictionary; about half are from the Arabic-English side, the other half are from the English-Arabic.  Suspended from the ceiling in two grids, the planes appear randomly configured, but upon closer scrutiny they begin to form words that converge from opposite sides of the museum. Although there is no single point from which all the words can be read simultaneously, phrases from opposing perspectives emerge: "TERROR NETWORK INSURGENCY", "ILLEGAL OCCUPATION FORCES", "RISK TO NATIONAL SECURITY", and so on.

Opdyke's work continually probes the contradictory impulses that drive contemporary culture, but his sardonic reflections on the complexities of globalization, rampant consumerism, and military escalation are underscored by his obsessive approach to materials, most of which are culled from childhood craft projects.

Also on view are recent drawings and two new free-standing sculptures. Each is rendered with an unflinching precision that bears the hallmarks of this former architectural model-maker’s penchant for increasing the potency of miniatures through multiplication. In Odyke’s own words, “My goal is to present scenarios whose formal integrity makes them believable and whose bullheaded complexity reveals the grandiose absurdities and ambiguities that lie below the surface.”

Born in Niskayuna, New York, in 1969, David Opdyke lives and works in Brooklyn. He received a B.F.A. degree in painting and sculpture from the University of Cincinnati in 1992. His work has been exhibited at, among other venues, Fabbrica del Vappore in Milan, Ronald Feldman Gallery, Roebling Hall, and BravinLee Programs in New York City, the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He is the recipient of the Aldrich Emerging Artist Award from the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut and The New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture.

The exhibitions are supported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and the University Auxiliary Services.


For further information or visual materials on these exhibitions, please call (518) 442-4035 or visit our website at www.

MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 pm.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]