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Siobhan Liddell: Liminal

CRG Gallery
548 West 22nd Street, 212-229-2766
April 6 - May 6, 2006
Reception: Thursday, April 6, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Liminal comes from the Latin for threshold, and often refers to moments of perceptual transience or near imperceptibility.

Liddell presents a new series of collaged paper works on canvas, the largest of which, titled Pitch Black Ignorance stands out among the others in its saturated density. The wording of the title has on its own a starkness that, beside the darkened mandala-like emanations, suggests that this work might not be an exercise in the dark side of the spectrum alone but an exploration of the murkier depths of the human psyche also. Another work comprised entirely of clear push-pins arranged on the gallery wall in loosely formed letters, spells out “FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY”. Not at all perceivable from afar, but like much of Liddell’s work, its dialogue begins with the intimations of a whisper and builds over time. The statement could be taken with the mundanity and impermanence of the materials, proposing the brief and transitory nature of experience, though there seems, in its boldness and graffiti-like gesture, a secondary reading that could be pointing toward an indictment of an American cultural impunity in global terms. Perhaps here there is an altogether different threshold that Liddell is concerned with and the relative inability to perceive beyond it as well.

Liddell’s work has always found a means through subtlety, engaging spaces with a delicate awareness, using ambient light and the reflective color of materials that, in their faintly glowing hues and unassuming nature, hold a quiet power beside her intermittent and poetic use of text. There is a simplicity throughout her work that comes from a seemingly meditative understanding of material and process, where there appears a reciprocated evolution of form and meaning over time.

Liddell successfully confronts new forms of vocabulary in this body of work through a dialogue that has left behind traces of its origins and trajectories. In a grouping of wall-hung ceramic sculptures Liddell has produced delicately crude artifacts of her meditations on the material, each radial in formation and unglazed, leaving exposed in their dry matte surfaces the recorded imprints of the artist’s hands.
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