Mixografia is pleased to announce Materiality, an exhibition of artworks by Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Lynda Benglis, Analia Saban, and Rachel Whiteread. The exhibition considers artists who use material not only as a means to create, but also as a conceptual foundation of their bodies of work. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, January 13th, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Crochet, a series by Louise Bourgeois, combines her lifelong fascination with embroidery and printmaking. She depicts a piece of cotton thread in various entangled arrangements. The scarlet red fibers in each print boldly stand out from the crisp white background of handmade paper. Each arrangement considers the delicate flexibility of the material, as a simple line without a definite form that can be moved and altered to create a multitude of images. Appearing to be gently woven and placed onto a flat surface, the tangled patterns evoke both a sense of lightness and tension.
In Color Echoes, a series of monoprints by Lynda Benglis, she builds compositions with a combination of organic forms and watercolor washes. Each uniquely hand colored print stands in a vertical orientation, using unconventional materials such as polyurethane foam to create the basis for the protruding forms. Her self-described biomorphic shapes suggest natural formations, which pulsate through the picture plane and rise off the surface of the paper. Here Benglis emphasizes her spontaneous process, allowing the materials to have their own authentic motion. In each print, the watercolor reacts to gravity and the forms in the paper with its own characteristic energy of stillness or fluidity.
In Helen Frankenthaler’s monumental and stoic prints, she worked with a range of materials from wax to plaster, allowing her physical interaction with the materials to let the images come forth. The resulting compositions seem to capture the process of their making, as the spacious color fields sit beneath the set gestures of Frankenthaler’s uninhibited actions.
Analia Saban furthers her career-long examination into the physical qualities of common objects. In her series of plastic bag prints, each bag is printed with a different design that varies on the theme of “Thank You, Have a Nice Day”, a slogan which has become integral and iconic to the imagery of the disposable plastic shopping bag. Tinged with humor and irony, this series of “plastic” bags, printed in high relief on handmade cotton paper, continues to play upon Saban’s manipulation of material, while elevating the disposable into the realm of art.
In Squashed by Rachel Whiteread, she depicts two sides of a flattened and worn metal can. The compressed object suggests a shell without substance, something meant to contain space stripped of that fundamental element. The varying shades of the two sides serve to document the aspect of time, with one side weathered by its exposure to the sun, and the other contrarily facing down toward the earth. Whiteread focuses on the textural nuances of an object that has been removed from its conventional context, and which has taken on its own life in the process.
The thread expresses the uninterrupted passage of time. Mending, crocheting, and braiding mirror the endless rhythm of the metronome. Like the river flowing down a mountain, they are symbols of continuity.