Featuring: Aili Schmeltz + Katy Stone
March 4 – April 23, 2022
Artist Reception: Friday, March 4, 5-8pm
The works of Aili Schmeltz and Katy Stone move between individual and collective experience, tying personal stories to shared landscape.
Johansson Projects presents Receiver, a two-person exhibition featuring works by Aili Schmeltz and Katy Stone. The exhibition presents hybrid pieces combining sculptural, painting, and textile processes that find their inspiration from the natural world.
The works of Aili Schmeltz and Katy Stone move between individual and collective experience, tying personal stories to shared landscape. The formal proximity of these two artists is loosely apparent, as each focuses on the tools of color and material to reexamine spatial relationships. Aili employs the narrative mediums of painted canvas, fabric dye, and thread, while Katy uses laser cut aluminum or acrylic, in concert with sculptural relief and shadow. Each artist in her investigation intimately communicates an awareness of connection to nature and our place in it.
Aili Schmeltz extends the stitched, undulating layer of pattern around the edges of her paintings, calling attention to their dimensionality while illustrating her belief that these works are both paintings and wall based sculptures or ‘objects and windows’. The examination of the liminal and the in-between spaces is a conceptual thread throughout Schmeltz’s oeuvre; she often uses saturated color, linework, and framing devices to describe edges and connections, where volume meets space, or where earth meets sky, for example. Driven by a fascination with landscape and history, her work tells living stories of those deeply rooted to the land though a widened scope. The CA Women series draws from her research of trailblazing women to commemorate place and cyclical time in a grouping of smaller scale, intimate works that the artist likens to devotional paintings, a parallel of marking a place and period of time by connecting a plant or flower with a woman from history. The stitching resembles meandering lines of mycelium and rivers, radiating and stretching in harmony with the substrate while redefining the detailed, meditative process of traditional ‘women’s work’. The larger paintings bring form into focus on a more monumental scale as an environment, allowing the composition to be wild and organic, a requiem to nature as much as letting go of control.
The hallmarks of Katy Stone’s stylistic idiom are material, line, and shape merged to create a hybrid of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Her space-activating installations create a sense of structure and fragility that investigate relationships between the microscopic and monumental. She describes her forms for this exhibition as “traces of topographies”, built with accumulated layers that flow, reach, and converge. Here, materiality finds itself in an exchange with the immaterial, in a realm of aesthetic speculation and imagination. While the forms in Stone’s work evoke landscape elements such as water, clouds, wind, and geological tracings, universal associations may emerge. Conceptually, her works capture glimpses of unidentifiable processes unfolding – the quiet formation of a cloud, the tresses of forest growth, the ripples from undulating water. In this sense, these pieces are also fabricated documents of cyclical time.
Offering up the opportunity to examine how we receive and process visual and aesthetic data, Schmeltz and Stone act as expressive translators, each leaving her personal imprint on these unique mediums as metaphorical bridges to the viewer.
Receiver runs from March 4 – April 23, 2022, with an artist reception on First Friday, March 4, 5-8pm. Johansson Projects is open Thu-Sat 1-5pm and by appointment.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 510-999-9140