June 6th 7-9pm
Artists in conversation with
art critic Shana Nys Dambrot
June 18th 7pm
May 16th – July18th
Brand Library & Art Center
1601 West Mountain Street
Glendale, CA 91201
Susan T. Kurland
Curated by Yoram Gil
Please join us May 16th through June 19th as the Brand Library & Art Center features “thread/bare” a group exhibition of women artists who weave together 2-dimensional mixed media work with sculpture, and two site-specific installations to form an exciting, beautiful show.
Los Angeles art critic, Shana Nys Dambrot, describes “thread/bare” as an exhibition in which “threads converge and commonalities are laid bare among a group of artists who each in their own way pursue the elusive connections between nature, experience, and abstraction.” The exhibition concept began with the idea that history is always personal, but evolved into wider threads of exploration on the nature of being in the world and “the transformative, even alchemical, effects of art-making as an action.”
Participating artists include:
In my paintings, memories and experiences turn into imaginary environments where meaning is created through the interactions of color. My process is intuitive, fed by the senses and highly inspired by other art forms – especially music and dance – as well as by nature. Working in oil on panel, the surfaces are developed intuitively using knives, brushes, fingers, and cloth to form dense and sheer, intersecting layers. I am interested in the boundary between what is known and unknown, familiar and unrecognizable, new…the subtle shift when one color becomes another – the porousness of our definitions, of our bodies and our environments. http://www.kundell.com/
Susan T Kurland
The inspiration for my work comes from the needlework that women have done over the centuries as creative expression at home and in the factory. Growing up and observing the interactions between my mother, grandmother and family friends enlightened me to the common bonds women share. The different facets of sewing connected the women together as they shared their expertise, ideas, experiences, and stories as well as supplies with one another. The frustrations and tedium of the day seemed to fade away as they began their creative process.
I’m interested in a visual expression of themes such as identity, longings, personal mythology, iconic memories, and the turning-point significance of any given time and place. My process creates an historical journey for a painting’s surface, which is a metaphor for life’s narrative, with its endless layers of self-reflection, discovery and transformation. Like a map of possibilities, our lives are a compilation of markers, some lingering close to our surface, some that become partially hidden with time or intent, and those that are obscured and forgotten. Like life, my paintings are as much about what is buried as what is revealed. I began using stitching in my work to literally, and symbolically, put back together pieces of the whole, and to connect disparate parts. The lines and shapes created when I draw with thread suggest life’s pathways and spaces – some chosen by us, some chosen for us. Bits and pieces of old sewing patterns, maps, photographs, etc. represent the emotional surfaces on which our recollections are built. Through my paintings I reflect on the search for life’s elusive equilibrium. The works explore the tension between anxiety and contentment, chaos and order, vulnerability and power, while referencing loss of innocence and remembrance of wholeness.
My personal life experience and my investigation of symbol formation in deep scientific inquiry challenged me to question my most firmly held beliefs. Today, “not knowing” informs my art-making.
The artist appeals to that part of our being…which is a gift and not an acquisition-and therefore, more permanently enduring. Joseph Conrad
As a maker, I put forth things from my insides out. In Lewis Hyde’s book, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, he speaks of the artist’s gifts as having the ability to awaken his own. The spirit of a gift is kept alive by its constant donation. If this is the case, the gifts of the inner world must be accepted as gifts in the outer world if they are to maintain their vitality. Process is the journey of the hand; material the tactile, evocative, sensorial vehicle which generates awareness through communication, triggering ideas and images from which form arises. The inner gift that we accept as the object of our labor, and the outer gift that has become a vehicle of culture, is not necessarily what we long for, but the gift that, when it comes, speaks commandingly to the soul and irresistibly moves us. The activity of making, taking position as choreographer of action and conductor of process, approaching the material from the viewpoint of investigation and experience, I am imposing myself on the material as it poses itself on me. Sensing a good question and pursuing it, I allow myself to be led to the next question. I am searching for a dialogue with the material. This gift is the clarity of my intention. The work focuses on the nature of the container and the vast boundaries in which information is contained, preserved, and revealed. It seeks to pose questions, create images, and form associations for the viewer. Fundamental questions about origin and condition are direct and powerful. These question act as triggers; the work is the conduit for the flow of ideas. I am intrigued by the way things are born, formed and transformed by the forces of nature. It is my hope that the work leads toward a process of revelation, recognizing the subtly of transformation, the dynamics of cause and effect, and how perception and under standing forms, informs, and influences the world that we live in. The work is formed directly, using raw materials, natural and industrial (branches, leaves, straw, fibers, papers) that act as armatures for the clay. This process involves coating, dipping, and layering these materials. The firing process acts as an accelerated aging and evolution process, petrifaction, producing a “contemporary fossil”. I seek to create a dialogue between the raw materials used, the “verb” that forms the work (layering, rolling, twisting, pounding…) and the object (residue of process). When this marriage of process, form, and fire unite, the work resonates, encoded with the past, present, and suggestive of its potential future. Images of nature form the microscopic to the macroscopic, from earthly to cosmic, guide much of the imagery I am currently working on. Nature provides me with a complete point of departure when working; the systems, forms, colors, textures in nature are vast. From this thematic place, my unconscious often charts the path while I am working. Much of the current work employs the use of multiples. These pieces can be viewed as individuals or a part of a whole. I like the relationship of parts, the dialogue created among groups and the declaration that nothing exists in isolation. Hugh Prather the poet states, “Everything connects to everything else.” I think this statement and belief is the foundation from which all my work emanates from. This connectivity suggests a process, motion, dialogue, potential and possibility in material and time. Everyday the present becomes expansive and at the same time seems to reach back into the past. All of these overlapping threads of experience, memory and collective (un) conscious create pathways for exploration and contemplation. I hope to continue to navigate this vast territory. All quotations are taken from, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, Lewis Hyde, New York, New York, Vintage Books, 1983. www.janetneuwalder.com
This body of works is about the process of applying and juxtaposing fragments of paintings in order to merge them into new and coherent images. The resulting, surprising visuals combining the arbitrary with the intentional, as well as creating fluid images out of frangments.