April 29 - May 31, 2015
Friday, May 1
Special Event: Reading
Tuesday, May 5
Vermont Studio Center alumni, staff and friends
Refreshments: 6 pm
Reading: 7 pm
Free and open to public
I make Artists’ Books because, for quite some time, my work had included music and a variety of different types of text. Each piece was sequential but confined to the rectangle, and it made perfect sense to me to transform the work into book form.
While experimenting with a variety of Artists’ Book structures, I became more and more interested in sculptural forms and the different ways in which books can be bound (or unbound).
“Bound/Unbound” asks the question as to whether each “page” can exist on its own as a strong and resolved image, or whether it needs the sequential context in which to exist.
The work in this exhibit uses a 500-year-old Korean papermaking technique called Joomchi. In this process you dampen layers of thin mulberry papers, then agitate them together for approximately 40 minutes, unrolling halfway through and rerolling in the other direction. You then unroll them and either let them dry or sculpt them and then let them dry. I am fascinated by this process, and have since integrated it into my work.
The images begin with photographs that I’ve taken, either of my studio floor, twigs sticking out of the snow or other seemingly mundane things that I happen upon. I then transform them in Photoshop and turn them into Polyester Plate Lithographs.
The origin is inconsequential— it is the alteration that gives the image its new life.
"Presence and Absence"
Lesley Cohen is influenced by an array of memories of her childhood experiences. In “Presence and Absence,” Cohen’s drawings veil these incidents in an abstract vocabulary of line and space.
Cohen’s deliberate use of only black and white is meant to convey the essence of things. She works primarily in charcoal and chalk pastel, a spare and expressive medium that allows her to convey her visual metaphors. The drawings are elemental and bare-boned. Despite these restrictions, she revels in the infinite freedom, endless variety and richness within this limited palette.
In one way or another, this body of work is derived from the same family of lines and space that she has been grappling with for a number of years. Her visual sources are tied to forms rooted in decayed nature, weathered surfaces and rusted metal. The attention she gives to edges, surfaces, and forms alludes to metaphors that interest her.
Her drawings begin with a general idea including a scaffold of compositional elements and, working intuitively, the work evolves from there. Each drawing transcribes an ongoing, three-way conversation between the materials, the unique marks her hand makes and her emerging vision. As she works, new dimensions of meaning come to light. She is on a journey to discover the secrets that are embedded in the process. During periods of reflection, the image and the artist inform each other to reach a unique visual resolution.