CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS PUSH BOUNDARIES OF MATERIALITY; CREATE ART THAT REFLECTS OBSERVATIONS OF NATURAL PHENOMENAAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Join DZINE Gallery in San Francisco on June 18 for the opening night reception of One of Many, a group exhibition featuring new works of art by Karyn Gabriel, Tanya Hollis and Liza Riddle. RSVP to attend in-person.
One of Many showcases three contemporary artists pushing the boundaries of materiality to create works of art that reflect their observations of natural phenomena. In a series of ceramic sculptures and wall mounted works of art, the materials used by these artists, such as unglazed porcelain, ceramic, clay and plaster, are combined with elemental compounds imitating natural processes.
Liza Riddle’s background in science and art informs her Tracing Time series of geometric ceramic sculptures. Riddle creates works of technical innovation that replicate the cracking and transformation that she has observed in nature. Riddle’s invention of internal forms covered in clay results in naturally formed cracks and patterns composed of tiles as they dry over time. Her own mixtures of water-soluble metals are used for the coloration of the surfaces. It is this temporal process and transformation that Riddle invites the viewer to ponder.
Like Liza Riddle, who incorporates geometric forms with complex textural surfaces, Karyn Gabriel’s work is compelling viewed from a distance and invites the viewer in for a closer examination. Using clay as her primary medium, Gabriel expands upon her concern for repetition, modularity, space, material, and texture. For a wall mounted sculptural panel titled, Burnt, numerous irregularly shaped ceramic tiles are linked together by blackened steel wire. Gabriel’s joining the individual tiles is deliberate not only for its rhythmic gesture, but also as a metaphor for larger ideas of self and community; where the linkage of disparate pieces is seemingly tenuous, yet the whole is stronger when joined together.
Similarly, Tanya Hollis’ relief panels from her PARCH series beckon the viewer to pause and examine the material surfaces and compositions. There is also a deeper and darker element in Hollis’ work, where the viewer becomes a witness to environmental collapse. Created in one day and then left to dry over an extended period letting fissures and cracks complete these panels’ transformation, Hollis works with plaster, steel, carbon, and salt, and then floods the panels numerous times with water. The result is an abstraction of a landscape that is visible from multiple vantage points. Inspired by a view of the California landscape devasted by severe drought, PARCH is Hollis’ visual articulation for herself and for the viewer, of an intense personal response to the catastrophic effects of climate change all around us.
The three artists presented are unified in the use of similar media and materials, and each present works of art that focus on material to replicate systems, structures, patterns, and natural processes. Like the title of the exhibition, One of Many, the unique vision of the artist emerges from this shared approach, where material becomes metaphor for time and transformation, for our human identity, our place within a larger community, and for being a witness to the dramatic changes in the world around us.
One of Many at DZINE Gallery
Opening night reception – June 18, 5:30–8:00
On view through August 20
Monday–Friday, 9–5; Saturdays by appointment
128 Utah Street, San Francisco
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