Lineations

“Everything is about two things coming together.”
–Ann Hamilton

STATEMENT

A lot of my time has been spent making sense of a world that is beyond our limited capacity to make sense of it. We see the world – encounter it -- all at once, and remember it, at best, in snippets. Hence, true perception is a composite of smaller, more fleeting moments. If arranged just right, and contemplated at leisure, perhaps the beautiful, sublime enormity-of-it-all will unfold itself to our limited vision. Better an intimate scale than a vast terrain. Nature would speak to us, I believe, quietly, if Nature is to be heard at all.

Lineations is the culmination of more than 25 years’ worth of looking and working in a method that combines straight and altered photography, transparent layers of vellum, and hand-drawn elements of carefully variegated line weight; all are brought into a balance where no one material element outweighs the other. Vellum acts as a mixer of color much in the way a filter might act on a lens. Spindly green vines, captured photographically, are echoed by spindly, meandering lines of graphite rendered manually. The haptic and the visual combine into a compositional whole that is light on its feet and yet encourages ponderous conceptual investigation. As I hold my camera, I strive to find ways to bring the architectonic into dialogue with Nature. Back in the studio, as I arrange my photographic and hand-made elements, I do so with a mind to reveal the act of perception, itself. When all the different pieces of a composition finally come together into a seamless whole, there is a kind of phenomenological shudder, and I reveal the se-er along with the seen.

In many works here, you can easily recognize the shapes of trees and flowers, sky and sun, yet you are never quite sure of what you are looking at, of where you are and how you got there. This lack of grounding is the Experienced world, where your own senses are affirmed. In LC18_248, ripped areas of paper create a visual “stop” to the photographic illusion of a mass of vegetation and at the same time they allude to the fibers of the plants themselves. In LS17_222, a row of flowering shrubs is visible only as shadows, attesting to their solid presence outside the frame (much, perhaps, like our own). These irrepressible vegetal things aren’t just the subject of my gaze, but I’d like to think that, in a way, we are almost seeing the man-made world through their “eyes.” They cast their shadows on to geometric planes; they (somehow) sprout up and live in tight spaces between walls and fences, make their home in asphalt cracks, and crawl over rectangular elements with impunity. I simply extend their world with my pencil, connecting it with my own. And in the process, render my memory timeless.

INSTALLATION VIEWS
Yancey Richardson Gallery, Lineations, 2016

 
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