ELIZABETH DOVE: IT STARTED WITH AARDVARK, sponsored by MAGDA, is the third exhibition of a contemporary Montana artist organized and circulated by MAGDA and offered at an extremely reduced rental fee in an effort to make quality exhibitions available to the entire MAGDA membership.
This is a series of 26 screenprints, one for each letter of the alphabet, including every illustration from the dictionary, with images organized by letter. They do not portray the 3,100 dictionary illustrations as separate images as they in the dictionary volume, but instead overlap them in successive layers printed one on top of another so they co-exist as one merged graphic icon, a hybrid of all visual knowledge. Each heavily layered print becomes a gestural, somewhat haunted composite which is both legible and chaotic, a dense logo of information. On average, each print has more than 100 layers, with some letters having more illustrations. This colossal act of manual labor helps to form the conceptual basis of the project and is integral to the meaning of the completed material artwork. Exclusively using illustrations appropriated from a canonical cultural framework shared between the artist and viewer (the dictionary) quickly suggests the artwork is engaging in a conversation about meaning. The action of making is almost a performance that remains embodied in the work as a ritual dedicated to the beauty of trying to figure things out.
October 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018: MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney
May 1 – July 1, 2018: Copper Village Museum & Arts Center, Anaconda
September 1 – October 1, 2018: Carle Gallery of the Butte-Silver Bow Public Library, Butte
November 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019: Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings