Curated by Jodi Hays and Laura Hutson
Tennessee State University
Hiram Van Gordon Memorial Gallery
3500 John Merritt Blvd, Box 9562
Nashville, TN 37209
October 23 - November 21, 2014
Opening: Thursday, October 23, 6-8 p.m.
Turning a medium around in one's hands, how one does with sewing and quilting — the intimacy and small scale — or the way in which a fold (what is hidden) and a seam (what is behind) are integral to the making. How can material extend beyond its own formality and become a metaphor for margin?
Taking its title from a term that indicates the often discarded edge of objects as diverse as quilts and stamps, Selvage looks at textile-driven abstraction in emerging art.
May 7 - June 20, 2014
OPENING: Wednesday, May 7th from 6-8PM
featuring work by:
Alek O., Ayan Farah, Evan Robarts, Gabriel Pionkowski, Graham Wilson, Hank Willis Thomas, Henry Krokatsis, Johnny Abrahams, Kadar Brock, Moffat Takadiwa, Nika Neelova, Penny Lamb, Shinique Smith, Tonico Lemos Auad
The Hole is proud to present our May exhibition utilizing our entire three galleries, Warp & Woof, curated by Toby Clarke and Kathy Grayson. Taking its title from the weaving terms "warp" (the vertical and static component of the weave) and "woof" (the dynamic and horizontal aspect of the weave), this exhibition looks at textile-driven abstraction across continents in emerging art.
Weaving is included in the show both literally (with woven works like the above by Gabriel Pionkowski where each thread of the canvas is de-threaded, painted, then rewoven) and metaphorically, as "warp and woof" can also be defined as the underlying structure of any process or system. The artists in exhibition unravel the trite cliché of the "fabric" of life by taking a temporal and indeed systemically structured approach to abstraction favoring personal history, traces, residues and chance.
Ayan Farah, Kadar Brock, and Graham Wilson all create process-driven abstraction that includes serendipitous destruction and creation operating within the systems they have created. Farah works with natural processes like light, heat, earth, wind and water to make "forensic" paintings without paint and composed by forces larger than the artist's hand. Brock creates his own "ecosystem" of paint where works are scraped and sanded, paint is collected in chips or vacuumed as dust and reworked into the lifecycle of his paintings and sculpture. Wilson works in a similar recyclical structure where paintings are sliced, stripped and reconstituted as the artist responds to and drives forward a circular artistic process.
Evan Robarts, Hank Willis Thomas, Shinique Smith and Alek O. include found materials into their conceptual framework in a web of memory, history and cultural forces. The discarded balls woven into reclaimed fences from dog parks or back yards in Robarts' work evoke a certain nostalgia in palette and ghost of past activity, while Willis Thomas' quilted athletic jerseys juxtapose family and warmth with public contest and sweat. Smith will here exhibit one of her "bales" of discarded clothes and fabric assembled into a chaotic monolith of towering textiles, while Alek O. includes a re-patterned and oragami-esque stretched parasol bleached by the sun.
Nika Neelova, Penny Lamb and Moffat Takadiwa use architectural ghosts to weave new artworks, as Lamb exhibits a sinister sewn-together floorplan of a mental institution and Neelova exhibits a Mobius strip of reclaimed bannisters from derelict buildings. Takadiwa exhibits a hand-sewn work of salvaged computer keys from trashed computers into a strange topography of non-information. These artworks look at how architecture and memory take shape in our subconscious.
Using both found and cast materials, Henry Krokatsis creates work that conjoins separate but wholly interdependent elements. Here he shows a non-functional cast black rubber mirror form that holds geometry, austerity and a lack of gesture. This is cast from, and joined with, a found junk shop mirror that by its nature embraces arbitrariness, material history and the narrative reward of subject matter. The piece shows the interconnection of elements fundamentally embraced by minimalism with the qualities minimalism sought to eradicate.
Tonico Lemos Auad, Gabriel Pionkowski and Johnny Abrahams perhaps exhibit the most direct "weaverly" tendencies but each includes the destruction of the weave simultaneous to the order it provides: Lemos Auad makes his works by actually unthreading parts of the textile to make ghostly shapes of removed threads in his screen pieces, while Pionkowski as mentioned above begins by unweaving the canvas completely. Abrahams paints meticulous panel paintings of silk Moiré patterns that, in pushing the digital interjection of image-making in between the weave and the painting, creates and captures these eye-boggling visual disruptions in the fabric. These artists inject entropy and disruption into the fixed grid of the weave and push within the limiting "warp and woof" to make space for emotion and poetry.