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Jacqueline Skaggs, Charted Breaths

547 West 27th Street, 6th Floor, 718-417-1180
May 3 - June 16, 2007
Reception: Thursday, May 3, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

After several years of making paintings that married minimalism to the romantic use of light I had become suspicious of the works aesthetics. Aside from their conceptual, unseen, characteristics and though they were burdened in layers and layers of glazing, the paintings appeared too simple, too minimal, too obvious and most of all – too much about their surface.

I stopped painting for a while and turned to books. I turned to poetry and the tattered art history books that I have dragged around for over twenty years, the big fat separated-at-the-spine kind of books. As pure exercise I began borrowing images from various resources with the intention of creating my own narratives with them. I wanted a break from the practice of painting.

Using a pounce wheel I transferred figures, birds, moths, structures and forms from the pages of these books. Each image was made up of a string of small, punctured dots. While pouncing the stars from a Jasper Johns painting my eyes were guided to the small dots (periods) buried within the text on the page. I began mapping those and within days my transfers consisted only of the carefully mapped, charted dots. Soon, “The Paradiso, by Dante Alighieri” was reborn as I charted through the text of a 1904 edition and unleashed 33 “drawings” consisting of newly discovered constellations from Dantes very own heaven.

My work explores the moments between the words, between the thoughts, at the breath. A pattern of pauses emerges and surrenders to a predestined design born solely from words.

pounce wheel; Pounce bags are commonly used in conjunction with pounce wheels to transfer drawings from one surface to another. The toothed pounce wheel is used to perforate the lines of a drawing with small, evenly spaced holes, and then the pounce bag is used to dust those perforations, effectively transferring the design or pattern to the surface beneath.
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