Updated: May 7
April 20 - June 14, 2019
Curated by Chenhung Chen
Debbie Carlson, Chenhung Chen, Gina Herrera, Echo Lew, Snezana Sarawairi Petrovic, Linda Sue Price and A.M.Rousseau create sensual art works out of ordinary materials. These artists extend the dimensionality of their work through the interplay of shadows, negative space and color. They weave wire, plastic, rope, color and light in immersive, undulating experiences that provide physical and aesthetic momentum to unite the diversity of materials into a singular language.
Sway is a movement – an investigation into the seen and perceived spaces that inform meaning. Although not kinetic art per se, this is energetic work, and this vitality resonates with invitations to sway in and through the openings the artists offer us to engage. Sway is also an assertion of authority, and these makers are exercising their command of materiality that comes from dedicated practice and intention.
Debbie Carlson uses geometry and architecture to make place. Her hard lines cast intricate shadows that expand the scope of her work and challenge conventional visual language about permanence, installation and objecthood.
Chenhung Chen weaves found objects and wire in graceful, draped compositions that feel at once lyrical, protective and inquisitive. Like Carlson, Chen operates in the space in between; her work is made of used computer cables and power cords with delicate yet durable, thin wire, tough materials that Chen transforms into an embrace.
Gina Herrera plays with form and color creating self-referential objects reminiscent of familiar shapes that connect us through our own memories to the experience at hand. She collages, paints and assembles layers that tell stories about process and women’s work.
Echo Lew’s meditative long-exposure photographs bend light, turning the work in sublime paintings that feel as if they are in motion. His work is suggestive of Jesus Rafael Soto, as both elevate immateriality and sensory experience to art form.
Like Chen, Snezana Petrovic weaves her work from humble materials. She transforms simple zip ties and other plastics into playful, large-scale forms and installations. Her bold use of color animates the raw material, giving her objects significance without losing their lightness.
Linda Sue Price is a multi-media artist concerned with building rich, narrative abstractions that incorporate neon as more of a textural element than a textual one. Price uses neon to examine fluidity and light, particularly as she sets the tubes against lush dark textiles that reference simpler times.
A.M.Rousseau’s work reflects the serendipitous convergence of art and science, music and literature. There is a descriptive quality to her paintings as she investigates interior spaces, the places where matter is questioned but meaning is made. Yet however formal in structure, her compositions are rooted in emotion and the vernacular of feeling. Rousseau is a consummate story teller and her paintings pulsate with narratives we didn’t know we needed until we encounter them in her work.
Sway brings together this group of artists, friends and colleagues in pursuit of aesthetic mastery. As viewers we are moved and enriched by their attentions and the dynamism of their work.
- jill moniz, Essayist
I view line as a fundamental element to indicate movement. This group of artists has taken inspiration from many diverse sources – nature, past masters’ drawings, Chinese calligraphy/paintings, music, technology and mindfulness. What we are presenting here are seven individuals, each through their particular medium, interpreting that fundamental element.
- Chenhung Chen, Curator
I am a mixed media installation artist and sculptor. I find potential in found objects and materials by repurposing and reassembling them in an unconventional context to give them new life and visibility. Employing simple methods such as gathering, binding, stitching, pulling, and weaving, I shape my materials into organic, growing forms that suggest narrative. Adapting my work to a new environment each time it is assembled opens up possibilities for the work to evolve and find its new form in unexpected ways. The fact that this experience is transient and will only take place in a specific setting gives the work a certain dignity.
My art is about dichotomy: Concord and dissonance, stillness and chaos, the beautiful and the grotesque, the subtle and the powerful. I look to contrast the materials of daily life such as natural material--like wood and industrial material--like cables. This contrast parallels with the distinction of Yin and Yang, Female and Male. From this are formed works dealing with balance, the making of the invisible into the visible, the driving force for inner fulfillment, the meditative process, human internal structures and the transitional human condition. www.chenhungchen.com
While serving in Iraq, amid the devastation of combat, I was moved by seeing miles of mountainous trash heaps. I viscerally experienced the global extent of the systematic destruction of the planet, exploitative, unsustainable, and perhaps worst, careless, unconscious, accidental. This led me to question my own practices, hoping to lessen my environmental impact. I began to build three-dimensional forms out of discarded and natural objects. I am engaged in an aesthetic and spiritual ritual to channel and honor Mother Earth, to seek connection and communion with a power greater than myself.
After several hours of preparation, I use just a single shot to complete each image. During an exposure time of approximately one minute, I manipulate lights in front of the camera to create “Light Drawings.” Sometimes I invert the positive image to a negative one on a computer but otherwise the “Light Drawings” are not manipulated. Sometimes I put the same positive and negative images side-by-side in the finished piece. The technique originated in 1914 when scientists Frank and Lillian Gilbreth used small lights and an open shutter to track the motions of factory workers.
Snezana Saraswati Petrovic
I am fascinated with everyday objects as a starting point for magic and transformation. The recycled, repurposed and 3D drawing/printing combined in site specific installations explores a line or absence of one. The focus is on negative space and the line that separates visible vs invisible. I am interested in unknown environments that reflects both micro and macro scale. My art seeks to open a dialogue between the past and present moment, in a poetic language of visual interplay between seemingly opposites: young/old, fragile/strong, impermanent/permanent and abstract/figuration.
Linda Sue Price
I opt to bend primarily free form as opposed to pattern- the traditional way of bending neon. This offers the opportunity to see the neon tubes from a different perspective. Underpinning the abstract imagery are thoughts about how we define each other through assumption, how we live in these little worlds of ours, how we get stuck in trying to make things right or wrong thereby creating a false sense of security. With a focus on emotional relationships and the human experience, I create work with a gestural and playful core. Elements of abstract expressionism, pop art, graphic design and historic neon signs influence my work. www.lindasueprice.com
Lines are an elemental part of everything. Every line is a reflection of individual will, a unique indicator of purpose and direction. Just as in hieroglyphics, the line is a kind of handwriting that can be read if the system of mark making is understood. The line becomes a meditation, the mind and body connected, ultimately finding expression through motions of the arm, wrist, and hand, exiting via the implements of a brush, pen or pencil. In this way my work has much in common with the timeless quality of ancient Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, at the same time as it is firmly rooted in contemporary art practice.