Viewing Surface brings together four artists who progress the materials with which they work through innovative texture and dimensionality. Joy Curtis, Meg Lipke, Mike Olin, and Carolyn Salas create tactual fields that stretch tradition by challenging the eye to navigate unexpected terrain.
Curtis deftly contrasts surfaces in her sculptures. Smooth fiberglass and reflective mirrored acrylic contrast with coarse, granular works made of salt and hydrocal that are meant to crumble over time, leaving remnants on the floors on which they stand. Lipke explores a range of progressive possibilities within the material boundaries of textiles and paint. She creates depth, volume, and form through skilled manipulation and coloration of materials in bodies of works that are simultaneously coherent, and uniquely diverse. Olin adds intensity to his paintings by combining classic painterly qualities with glints of unexpected materials, such as mustard seeds and linen threads, as well as carefully incorporated found objects, thereby imposing a subtle third dimension on his flat surfaced canvases. Salas’ textile and cast sculptural works create interplay among humans, space, and material. Dyed, unravelled canvases and totem-like sculpture impose upon the places they inhabit, manipulating the ways in which physical space can be navigated. Human sized sculptures of heavy, painted, resin are visually deceiving--they mimic the polystyrene pieces from which they were cast.
Through their artistic methods, these artists created smart, nuanced works that transcend means of viewing. The many textures and forms that transpire across this collection of works is visually strong, whether seen in person or on a computer screen.—Sophia Alexandrov