These slides are from the “Not of Iron” group exhibition
at the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery at the Thompson Center.
“Misconception” speaks to identity; to our relationship
with the group that shapes us; to expectations of us in external
assumptions, preconceptions, stereotypes, and preset standards.
How are we viewed and judged? What choices affect our form? Whose
choices affect our form? Individual character as formed by outside
forces, by physical circumstance, and by belief systems.
At first approach, this wall-hung rectangle appears flat. The surface
painted enamel makes “Misconception” read like a painting
that utilizes a non-traditional surface. When confronted with this
wall monster (monster in scale and motion) face to face, the color
play is diminished by the thing’s three- dimensional presence.
Its character is intimidating. You experience movement; containment
and carving of space; soft containment inside porous bowls; violent,
rigid, compression of space between the wall and the convex (the
“back”) side of the bowls. Bowls that began as crocheted
flat doilies and extended through the resin process. Translucency
of the fiberglass wants to resonate from the front but is stopped
with an even, careful, surface of enamel paint that is the “back”.
Meanwhile, the back of the painted surfaces drips messily in ugly
presentation on the art works “front”. Back and front
determined by hanging the three-dimensional sculpture on the wall
for display. The “back” continues to assert its rights
as “front” by actively pushing out in unpredictable
rhythms its wall-like coat of paint. Is the flat coat of paint trying
to tame the outward movement…or is it inward movement?
It looks flat but is not. It organizes color on the audience-facing
surface like a drawing or painting. Its unformed flesh is built
by craft but the work is ultimately about containment, about movement,
about space…about sculpture. Whatever you expect as you walk
up to it, or during the first hello, turns quickly on its head as
you engage in dialogue with “Misconception”.
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