//Hard Art is Sometimes Soft//
Sept 23rd – Oct 10th 2015
2225 Broadway, Redwood City, Bay Area, San Francisco
Curated by Tara de la Garza
Kanako Azuchi | Lauren DiCioccio Pete Hickok | Jung Eun Lee
Stephanie Robison | Zachary Royer Scholz
The medium of textiles is familiar in a very visceral way – fabric being something that we are intimately in contact with daily – our experience of the artwork is tempered by our own understanding of these commonplace elements. The work is therefore accessible where other contemporary materials, such as plastics or found objects may be confounding. The familiarity of the material draws the viewer in to artist’s work such as Pete Hickok’s central pedestal. Memories and associations can be applied to his draped white sheets, airbrushed to create a canvas on a form reminiscent of cat trees.
Lauren DiCioccio, perhaps recognizing the association with familiarity, labels her intimate sculptures Familiars, small embroidered and embellished forms that adorn the countertops where locals previously added cream to their coffee. The intense labor of these forms each contain their own personality and collectively create families of soft sculptures.
Repurposed fibre features significantly in the show. Zachary Royer Scholz takes objects and materials that have lived in the world and finds new ways for them to produce meaning. In this show he deconstructs upholstered velvet furniture and stretches it on a frame, revealing the typography of the fabric including years of sun damage juxtaposed with neighboring protected cloth. An archeological sensibility goes into the exposure of colorful weaving long hidden behind a stanchion rope barrier, other reclaimed rope defies gravity in an infinity configuration. A new life for the foam entrails of a cushion fill us with a sense of hope for our collective waste.
Dominant in the space though introspective in nature, Stephanie Robison’s blobs both attract and repulse when we recognize the association with human flesh in its most undisciplined form. The three large works, (one on the street) each represent the uncontrollable aspects of the self and the body. The work is both alluringly amusing and teetering on uncomfortable, most beautifully illustrated in the indecisive nature of High dive #2.
The conceptual nature of much of the work is illustrated most whimsically in Jung Eun Lee’s tightly wound ball of outgrown children’s clothing, the length of which corresponds to the amount of steps taken by her daughter during one afternoon of play.
A unifying factor in the exhibition is ‘the hand of the artist’ which can be seen in all the works, even the ‘cut and paste’ aesthetic seen in Kanako Azuchi’s video work. A mysterious piece, which defies translation – this cheeky narrative follows a pair of flying underwear on a journey through the phases of a woman’s life.
Our Inaugural show was called Hard Art is Sometimes Soft. It features artists from San Francisco, Los Angeles and Japan who either primarily or occasionally work with textiles to create challenging work that can be both diminutive and monumental. We had over 1200 visitors in 12 days. We hosted a film benefit, an offsite tech meeting, a kids workshop and Sumi Ink Club
Many thanks go to Premia Downtown for lending us the space and our Founding Member Martin Casado. Also thanks to our Supporters, Jennifer and Chad Kinzelberg. Project Co-ordinator Margaret Marshall | Photographer Erin Ashford| Installation Crew – Wendi Wakefield & Ivy Teng | Opening Night Crew – Judith Hellyer, Susie Peyton, Betsy Halaby, Echo Hansen | Lifesaver – Taryn Fleissner | Pamela Estes, Chris Beth and Beth Mostovoy.
// RE:PURPOSE //
Presented by No Longer Empty, curated by Tara de la Garza
RE-PURPOSE took over a small storefront space in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, examining the notion of repurposing objects, ideas and images. Tracey Moffatt’s video collage, Doomed comprising of edited found footage. Janet Nolan’s installation repeated singular objects recycled from the everyday world, (hundreds of broken umbrellas installed in the space). Corinne Kamiya asked us to Trade Your Pants and in exchange she made the trader a new object – a hat, bag or apron.
Keith Schweitzer curated UK street artist D-face’s aPOPcalyptic work