Recombinant Abstraction

Curator: Barbara Koerble

July 7 - August 30, 2017

Reception: July 7, 2017; 6 - 9pm

Artists: Mike Cunningham, Angel Fernandez, Barbara Horlander, Trish Igo, Cynthia Lewis, Jill O’Brien, Adam Palmer, Susan Sitzes, and Fred Spaulding

Curator’s Statement:

Many artists have a talent for recognizing the expressive potential of materials, particularly when these materials are paired with contrasting or repurposed components. They delight in exploiting textures, colors and colliding forms. Often disparate materials are spliced together and the resulting artwork is animated by these striking juxtapositions. The artists' artworks, like recombinant DNA, may evolve into completely unique and abstract forms. The artists chosen for this exhibition by curator Barbara Koerble have proven their versatility in selecting and combining materials, as they utilize an intuitive sense for organic compositional possibilities. 

Mike Cunningham typically works in stone or bronze, and the works in this exhibition demonstrate how he exploits contrasting media in a single work. Angel E. Fernandez tweaks seemingly simple forms using lush material and bright color. Barbara Horlander’s whimsical series features surprising takes on human anatomy that are composed of cut wood, paint, beeswax and rusty metal. Trish Igo and Jill O’Brien have a shared interest in works that derive from or refer to animals acquired post mortem, often splicing and stitching furs together with other materials such as fabric, clay and acrylic. Cynthia Lewis deftly contrasts multiple materials and sensuous textures in her complex compositions, often incorporating brilliant color through enameling or glazing. Adam Palmer splices organic forms together to create abundant variety in his delightful flora and fauna oddities. His drawings exemplify recombinant abstraction in their convergent mark-making. Susan Sitzes combines found natural materials with an elegant simplicity, often contrasting geometric interventions with the organic nature of stone, wood or rusted metal.  Fred Spaulding’s wall pieces are layered paper collages of cut-out shapes of drawings and prints, some of which derive from steel matrixes displayed on the wall.  His related painted tabletop sculptures are energetic figural abstractions.

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