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”.

Back to List of Individual Statements     Image


© Yvette Kaiser Smith 2004