Origin Stories is a graphically adventurous exhibition made up of sculptural and textile works by artists Alexi Antoniadis and Susie Taylor. The exhibition as a whole reflects the artists’ explorations of modernism, memory, and our surrounding environment through the optics of line, pattern, color and abstraction.
Susie Taylor’s textile panels–handcrafted with a traditional loom and cotton or linen yarn–seduce the eye with vibrant colors and geometric motifs. The motifs in her latest series are records from our everyday surroundings: lined paper, lawn chairs, referee jerseys, and Neapolitan ice cream, to name a few. The panels include intersecting lines that give us a bird’s eye view of our own memories associated with these iconic patterns. Susie’s work dissolves the space between art and craft practices, positioning weaving at the core of her exploration of aesthetics. Susie is a Bay Area-based artist, and looks not only to Anni Albers but also Sol Lewitt, Agnes Martin, Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly. She studied, worked and continues to create within the lineage of the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College weavers. Some of her greatest influences come from these legendary weaving workshops and/or from their students, like Kay Sekimachi’s dimensional weavings.
Alexi Antoniadis’ colorful steel artworks occupy a space between painting and sculpture, combining graphic abstraction and three dimensional line drawing. Alexi encourages viewers to draw their own meaning from his works as they are ultimately a record of the artist’s ongoing formal exploration. Alexi arrives at his compositions through an improvised process of drawing, metalwork and painting. Sometimes the work will manifest as a three dimensional form, as a flat cut-out or any combination of the two. Alexi is based in Natick, Massachusetts and finds his inspiration from the modern masters, as well as prehistoric influences like petroglyphs left behind by the Jordana Mogollon Indians (who inhabited New Mexico 900 to 1400 AD). “For me, seeing [the petroglyphs] gave me a deeper understanding of my own work and reinforced new ideas upon returning to the studio. I really appreciated how the petroglyphs connected humankind and nature through line, pattern and abstract symbols. I started to think of my own personal iconography and compositions in that way.” Within this context, he explores color, positive and negative space, light and shadow. Every sculpture is riffing off the idea of flatness or the picture plane in some way.
Like Susie’s work, Alexi’s sculptures convey a sense of symbiosis between connected lines. Planning out designs in sketchbooks–in Susie’s case, with mathematical accuracy–is a huge part of their artistic processes. Created on manual looms, Susie’s panels stand in contrast to the industrialized finish of Alexi’s steel sculptures, yet both present the subjectivity of visual representation and the craftsmanship and work ethic of contemporary technologies. The historically gendered labor clichés underlying textile mediums and steel sculpture are superficially approached, as Alexi creates the illusion of lightness and delicacy in his work and Susie makes no apologies with her bold designs.
Origin Stories runs from August 27 – October 27, 2022, with an artist reception on First Friday, September 2, 5-8pm. Johansson Projects is open Thu-Sat 1-5pm and by appointment.
For more information, please contact email@example.com / 510-999-9140
Alexi Antoniadis (born in 1974 in Palo Alto, CA) received his BFA in painting from RISD in 1997 and has had two significant practices throughout his art career. From 2006-2013 Antoniadis was one half of the art collaborative, Antoniadis and Stone. Their critically acclaimed work was exhibited in Boston and New York galleries, included in the 2012 DeCordova Biennial and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2013, Antoniadis returned to his solo practice and developed the personal sculptural language that he is known for today. Antoniadis’ work is included in numerous private and corporate art collections in the US. In the spring of 2018 he produced a large outdoor sculpture for Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA, and continues to create privately commissioned works.
Susie Taylor (b. 1967 Fort Collins, CO) has exhibited her work in the U.S. and in international fiber art and contemporary textile biennials in China and Ukraine. Solo and group exhibitions include Poetic Geometry, at Textile Center Minneapolis; MATERIAL MEANING: A Living Legacy of Anni Albers at Craft in America Center, Los Angeles; and FIBER ART: 100 YEARS OF BAUHAUS at Art Ventures Gallery, Menlo Park, CA. She is the recipient of a Handweavers Guild of America, Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving Level 1 and received an HGA Award for Beautiful Struggle at the National Fiber Direction 2015 at the Wichita Center for the Arts. She was awarded an HGA Award and the Innovation Award at Focus: Fiber 2014 at the Erie Art Museum. Other notable exhibitions include: Materials Hard and Soft, Greater Denton Arts Center, Fiber Arts VII, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, FAN: New Fibers 2014, Eastern Michigan University Gallery, and New Voices in Weaving, Contemporary Crafts Gallery- Portland; and in the forthcoming exhibition “Weaving At Black Mountain College: Anni Albers, Trude Guermonprez, and Their Students” at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, curated by Michael Beggs and Julie Thomson. Her work was recently acquired into the de Young Museum’s permanent collection (San Francisco) and has been published in The LA Times, American Craft, Fiberarts, FiberArt Now, The Textile Eye, Complex Weavers Journal, Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot, Handwoven, Journal of Weavers Spinners & Dyers and The Bulletin (Guild of Canadian Weavers) magazines. She has taught at Penland School of Arts & Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts and Tyler School of Art.
Alexi Antoniadis is a contemporary sculptor who lives and works in Natick, Massachusetts. Antoniadis’ colorful steel artworks occupy a space between painting and sculpture, combining graphic abstraction and three dimensional line drawing. Antoniadis encourages viewers to draw their own meaning from his works as they are ultimately a record of the artist’s ongoing formal exploration. Antoniadis arrives at his compositions through an improvised process of drawing, metalwork and painting. Sometimes the work will manifest as a three dimensional form, as a flat cut-out or any combination of the two. Antoniadis takes his inspiration from primitive art as well as the Modern masters. He is also influenced by the imagery and themes of science fiction as well as graffiti art. This hybrid of influences gives Antoniadis’ work its own unique contemporary voice.
Susie Taylor’s work explores geometric abstraction through the tradition of weaving, a process that requires a creative and technical mindset to solve visual and structural puzzles. Imagery, rendered by the interlacing of warp and weft, is embedded in the very structure of the cloth. The interplay of yarns produces discernible color tones and textures that support a deeper exploration of translucency, opacity, saturation and dimension. Inspired by Formalism and the Bauhaus, her compositions include basic shapes like blocks and stripes to address pattern, symmetry and color interaction, and the notion that ordered systems can still flirt with chance, interruption, and improvisation.