Taking a Line for a Walk
Image: (Detail) Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, “Twine,” 2022, Fabric, wire, thread on stretched linen/fabric, 15 x 14”
“A drawing is simply a line going for a walk” ~Paul Klee
Featuring: Nanci Hersh, Sharon Bloomfield Hicks, Taesook Jung, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Kate Stewart, Samara Weaver
Taking A Line For A Walk is an exhibition of artwork united by line as a formal and conceptual element. Spanning a diverse array of media, rich with associative qualities, the artwork consists of sculpture, assemblage, painting, and ceramics. However, each artwork can also be seen as drawing in space. Beginning with a chosen material, be it pipe cleaner, clay, plastic, or acrylic, each artist allows for the form and meaning to meander and fuse, becoming something spectacular and unique, always with an eye to the linear quality of the composition.
The materials are allowed to speak. In the hands of Hersh, Lathan-Stiefel, found items such as netting, discarded plastic bottles, and onions are converted into objects of investigation and beauty, alluding to themes of environmental impact and sustainability.
Some artists play off of the associations intrinsic to a medium, subverting expectations and turning them on their head. Weaver paints watercolor paper by the yard, then folds it into densely coiled sculptures. Bloomfield Hicks mixes her media to create paintings that could be tapestries and tapestries that could be paintings. Stewart’s brushy and illusionistic paintings are disrupted by crisp lines and hard edges. This playfulness pushes the artwork over the line so it exists in more than one world simultaneously.
Technique, too, becomes an integral part of the meaning of the artwork. Jung meticulously builds a composition one mark at a time to create artworks that writhe and vibrant with life created by hand. Many of the artists in the show work with fiber, which speaks to craft traditions that are not typically associated with art. However, applying these techniques questions biases and preconceived notions, and considers new ways of making and seeing art.
From humble beginnings each piece ends in an unexpected place; ideas are realized and new connections are made. The artwork is a journey that allows the viewer to trace a line from a familiar starting point to new possibilities.