Today Ivy Jeanne Brown, founder and owner of the 13-year-old Ivy Brown Gallery, announced her gallery’s upcoming exhibition of Elizabeth Gregory-Gruen’s series, Cut Work. The body of work has been years in the making, and has developed significantly over time, garnering the attention of many notable international collectors.
Cut Work is an evolving examination of emotion using original imagery created in a free hand cut action technique employing a surgeon’s scalpel. Though seemingly perfect and symmetrical at first glance, the original images are cut with no guide, defined by the authentic energy of the free hand cutting. The reverse-relief effect is achieved by first cutting what will become the top layer of paper, with each subsequent sheet layered and cut individually. About her process, Gregory-Gruen says, “It is visceral. A meditation. Imperfection is perfection.”
In describing her influences and the development of her process and perspective, Gregory-Gruen uses conflict and contrast, control and freedom, to play together dynamically. Explaining further she says, “I use my meditative concentration combined with the knowledge of absolute freedom to follow my subconscious and create what appears as tightly controlled and planned work. I enjoy the irony.”
In a further ironic twist, Gregory-Gruen has subjected some of these delicate reliefs to the dramatic and violent treatment of shots from a 12 gauge shotgun. The effect is a bracing shock to the viewer, due not only to the ragged and violated appearance, but also to the process implied by the result. The comparison between the intact works and those that have been subjected to the firing range is remarkable.