Dow, Gunderson show opens Friday at Giampietro Gallery in New Haven
Giampietro Gallery—Works of Art
91 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 777-7760
Cross Currents: Karen Dow and Laurie Gunderson
Oct. 10—Nov. 22, 2014.
Reception: Fri., Oct. 10, 6—8 p.m.
Press release from Giampietro Gallery
Fred Giampietro Gallery is pleased to present new works by Karen Dow and Laurie Gundersen in an exhibition titled Cross Currents. This show will be on view at the 91 Orange St. location in New Haven from Oct. 10 through Nov. 22. There is an opening reception on Fri., Oct. 10, from 6—8 p.m.
Jeff Bergman writes:
Karen Dow makes flat work, yet the architectural and sculptural elements within belie their flatness. The distinct layers in the artist's newest body of work act in surprising ways, exposing forms while ghost images reveal themselves under marble dust gray. Like exposed composite rock segments, striations appear. Stacked and patchworked forms assert themselves as the gray fogs over layered and masked formations. Most of these solid forms are the final layer, completing the balancing act. Within Dow's painting, there is always the possibility of imbalance and irregular shapes ready to topple at the slightest breeze.
|Art by Karen Dow|
Dow has spent the last few years using printmaking techniques to create unique works on paper. The act of creating these monoprints itself has influenced the artists approach to the painting process. By inking hand cut materials, variable color and texture appear in the print process. Dow has recreated this indeterminacy by masking her canvas laid affixed to board with a hand cut frisket, an opaque vinyl material that adheres to the surface. The hand cut line wobbles, making both the mask another way for the artists hand to come across. By painting over all but these masked areas, the artist creates an "Aha" moment when she excavates the relics left behind. Louise Nevelson's irregular forms, composed of collaged remnants, serve as both an apt comparison as well the artists’ inspiration. Rather than work with collage, the artist builds a thorough world beneath and chooses her own remnants.
"Signal," 2014 is a multitiered work, containing several blocks of color. In the upper left, a square is divided black on the left and gray on the right. It appears to be right at the front of the plane, helped some by a red/orange layer behind it. This small area recalls Barnett Newman's zips as well as Pat Steir's large nearly monochromatic diptychs. The red and orange area in the middle left of the plane, also propped on a ledge, is a focal point and causes the eye to draw up to the dark area and then over to the right to view the "flag." The flag is an area with a four segment square. All around the gray midtone, adds a muted field of light. With "Signal," soft, dusty colors recede and bring to mind Giorgio Morandi's Etruscan palate. The dominant colors, autumnal yellow and orange and gauzy sky blue, light the way. Everywhere a counter balance of color is assumed, dispersing weight around the plane.
Laurie Gundersen writes in a recent statement:
I am a utilitarian folk artist: a dyer, spinner, weaver, quilter and basket maker. Primarily self-taught, I have explored these various media by diving into materials close at hand. Fascinated by the creative ways of making folk art from scrap, I make textiles reflecting that spirit and my love for blending contemporary designs with traditional techniques.
This collection of small textiles has helped me reflect and remember the people whose work in textiles have inspired me and provided movement in my life. Annie Albers, Lenore Tawney, Mary Hambridge, Randall Darwall, Hiroko Harada & Yoshiko Wada to name a few. Over the past decades my craft has slowly evolved, eventually leaving the art-to-wear movement behind. However, I have been gathering textiles over the last three decades in hopes of constructing art with it. Here is the new beginning of that process.
Gundersen lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her studio/showroom is called Appalachian Piecework and is located at the train depot in Staunton.