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The Grey House That Thinks Itself Into Your Head Without Asking

Pace University's Peter Fingesten Gallery
1 Pace Plaza, B Level, 212-346-1637
Tribeca / Downtown
September 12 - October 2, 2008
Reception: Friday, September 12, 5 - 7 PM
Web Site

This exhibition brings together twelve artists who explore the associative power of color, material, structure and form through un-pure abstraction. Pushing the parameters of sculpture, painting, and works on paper, these artists develop their work according to distinct internal logics and processes, absorbing degrees of psychology, chance, narrative, cultural reference, and the bodily. In a range of outcomes, each artist works the physical possibilities of their materials to explore the space between the elusive and the recognizable, the concrete and the poetic. The title comes from a poem by Emily Graves based on a friend’s childhood memory of trying to explain the uninvited thought of a grey house, where he realizes: “after this, anything could think itself into your brain without asking…you might think you’re fine, but, / the grey house stings again; / it’s nothing! a picture / someone else’s refuge…”

Alison Fox makes paintings and sculptures that start with simple forms found in the real world. By abstracting and texturing the objects she removes them from mere representation and creates a new object that is more about ambience than picture making, installing them together to construct narratives of moods. Stacy Fisher makes sculptural collages with materials ordinarily used for construction or around the home. Plastered shapes are painted with simple patterns and adorned with chains and other hardware, resembling fragments of textiles or window displays. In her most recent paintings, Danielle Mysliwiec pushes the possibilities of oil paint to create the illusion of woven surfaces and structures that are at once coming together and coming undone, creating monochromes whose rich textures imply time passing methodically between both order and chaos. Hilary Harnischfeger layers paper with plaster and embedded minerals to create low-relief drawings and sculpture, forming extremely physical and intricate fields that waver between the microscopic and geographical, suggesting both psychological states and other worldly terrains.

Fabienne Lasserre’s sculptures approach themes of Otherness and difference through elements from science fiction, mythology, and fantasy. As she integrates materials with clear connotations to fiction, gender and class, part of her focus is on material as unformed and inchoate, synthesizing elements of abstraction, narrative, and references to the body. Tracy Thomason’s work uses the currency of transformation and materials to access connections between feminism, abstraction, and class. Commenting on how transformation is debatable and based on the individual, yet appealed by the masses, her paintings investigate the transmutations of formal and social codes. Pam Lins is interested in anxiety, the parameters of sculpture, ones physical approach to the work, and the beauty of failure. Often taking on adoptive methods for making sculptures, her recent work incorporates painting to increase the range of possibilities and to add meaning, variety, and representation, emphasizing the inseparability of abstraction and representation. In Charles Mayton’s piece, an arbitrary, discarded material is located as a site of production, establishing a unit of measurement in which the symbolic and metaphorical are at play configuring a context of accumulation, relating to temporality, displacement and the presence and absence of the subjects which constitute its “form”.

Molly Smith’s paintings and sculptures explore the notion of “between” and how it can imply both separation and connection. This duality is the subject of her work, pointing at the thin boundaries that separate alleged opposites and how the emotional is depicted in the physical. Ben Beaudoin’s work comes from a place steeped in a nostalgia for an imagined future, a present that is in an ever changing state of flux, and a past of questionable certainties. Each piece is a fragment of a larger knowing, dwelling in the space between the material and the perceptual, as if thought is in the process of being made manifest. Using painting, drawing and abstraction as markers of a space beyond the verbal and within the visible, Jessica DIckinson makes radically cared for surfaces that search for meaning in the minor, the overlooked, and the periphery, focusing on the links between perception and emotion as they unfold in everyday non-events. Jo Smail writes this about her paintings: “Going to extremes. Nothing / Something. I’m on the side of bewildered eccentricity. Something Helene Cixous wrote resounded. ”....and before the imminence of the starred silence, they hasten, assemble, and say the essential.”
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