About the Exhibition, by Perri Neri
The artists in this exhibition all share the organizing element of form. Form diversifies in the intricacies of color and texture and through the range of mark-making from the small expression of the wrist to full bodily motion. Form is the vehicle that propels their stories about place – stories that collectively are like those of the universe – movement, time, balance, and force. .
Vian Borhcert dances color and form across watercolor paper with an ease, flexibility, and spontaneity. There is a playfulness side to this work. The delicate and luminous way the artist paints feels more like a memory that has slipped through her gestures; a feeling manifested in the form of birds.
Abstract painter Virginia Cramer uses color as a way of manipulating form to create a sense of place, particularly spaces that house “the female experience and a deep love the natural world.” Nourishing domestic space, exterior spaces, and psychological spaces are renewed through an engagement with color. Abstract shapes escape the flatness to which they have been confined. “My pomegranates,” Cramer explains, “explore internal space through the use of color, composition, and texture, inviting multiple interpretations of an ancient symbol and concepts related to individuality”
The colors and patterns in Ellen Gordon’s paintings are roller coaster rhythms of fences, grids, and fractured geometries – a kind of mapping. The artist guides us along a journey of the personal narrative through landscaped layers of abstraction and portraiture. Playful and speculative, the rhythms remain determinedly open-ended and essentially borderless. An un-plotted story with unbounded possibilities.
Sarah Hessinger’s brushwork is characterized by a swift and confident touch that draws inspiration from nature. Rhythmic lines curve from one edge to another, evoking a sense of curiosity and introspection. They disappear and resurface as if in relentless pursuit of answers to profound questions: is something that is lost in a better place? Will it reappear? Should we look for it? Disappearing takes on a complex and mysterious form, animated with deeper meaning, inviting contemplation on the concept of rejuvenation.
Laura Lou Levy is an artist who keeps her audience on an edge of recognition. The intersections, boundaries, and thresholds that occur in her work imbue the viewer with the psychology of ‘place’ where the energies or expectations of change and transactions are palpable. Levy’s compelling work titled Shadow, Beit HaShemesh, is named for a place where shadows are cast, “… onto the tiled floor of the courtyard I circle endlessly with my younger sister, as she fades into Early Onset Alzheimer.”
Lisa Nelson Raabe’s multi-media work are highly articulated compositions that force the eye to take its time as it journeys across their surfaces. Raabe’s stitch of the needle creates the form that holds the tension between past and present, between pattern and gesture, between mind and matter. Fields of Change 1.1 and Fields of Change 6, trap and transform an idea. Raabe turns discarded things, things that no one cares about, into a conceptual act of storing time.
“Our own life has to be our message.”— Thich Nhat Hanh
The work of these six extraordinary artists share similar elevation of the human spirit through the freedom of form, material, and invention. After diving into the curatorial process, I came up for air and with greater appreciation, recognizing the healing powers of works of art. I believe more than ever in the self-created narrative and the wisdom of the life story. Thank you to all the artists in this exhibition. I am grateful to know you and to share your art so that we all can conspire to create together in the sunlight of our truth.
Happy Summer with love and cosmic optimism always,
Director of Refrigerator Poetry Visual Art Archive