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Indepth Arts News:

"Soft: Curated by Debbie Hesse"
2002-11-26 until 2003-02-01
Artspace New Haven
New Haven, CT, USA United States of America

SOFT brings together the work of artists employing diverse strategies and materials in which the concept of softness is integral to their work. Notions of fragility and strength, material/immateriality, absence/presence are some of the themes that arise from this group

Featuring works by: James Clark, Eric Conrad, Joseph Fucigna, Anne George, Sarah Gjertson, Ron Janowich, Clint Jukkala, Jane Miller, Amy Punckak, Orit Raff, Janice Redman, Mary Temple, Leo Villareal and Dina Weiss

James Clark, Leo Villareal, and Mary Temple create meditative works exploring spatial and temporal ideas through light and movement. Clark’s vertical hanging plastic containers inflate via motion detectors, soliciting viewer interaction. In Villareal’s light sculpture, subtle shifts in light and color, achieved through programmed numerical sequences are manifest as pulsating light. And Temple’s sprawling acrylic polymer wall painting explores the relationship between the corporeal and spiritual.

Janice Redman, Eric Conrad, Sarah Gjerston, Dina Weiss, Amy Punchak and Jane Miller embrace fabric, as membrane, protective covering, or drawing tool. Conrad’s clustered figurative vignettes, crudely sewn from muslin and fabric scraps explore the complex psychological relationships between couples and groups. Miller creates whimsical and George’s c-prints reference the human form, as wisps of hair, fur, and transparent membranes blend ideas of abstraction with the figure and landscape. Gjertson creates an inflatable floor sculpture, constructed in the form of a mattress from military-issue fabrics, and patterned after the American flag, questioning ideas of personal and national comfort. Comfort and security are examined as well in Punchak’s window installation where a fabric garden of lace cakes and dense plant life lies over a mulch of broken plate shards.

Joseph Fucigna, Dina Weiss and Janice Redman soften hard materials, gaining clarity and strength through juxtapositions. Fucigna reconfigures industrial materials like deer netting and construction fencing into soft paintings evoking the delicacy of tulle or lace. Weiss’s yarn drawings and knitted sculpture refer to architectural pattern and detail. And Redman mummifies objects she is intimately connected to in muslin, rendering them useless.

IMAGES:
TOP - Anne George, Pom 4
MIDDLE - Clint Jukkala, Unitiled
BOTTOM - Leo Villareal, Open Air


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