Featuring works by: Alexander Kori Girard + Rachel Kaye
Show runs October 5 2018 – January 5 2019
Here’s one storyline. Here’s another. Here’s an endless number of storylines hovering on the groundless surface.
Kaye’s granular drawings are seasonal, even hourly, depictions of light and intimacy. They blanch in the yellow California summer. They fold in, purple and blue, at twilight. The borders disappear as her shapes meander across one another, building conversational layer upon layer.
While this close-ness is front and center in Kaye’s waxy colored pencil drawings, Girard’s communal patterns retain an anthropologic distance. They look in on a make-believe landscape of make-believe palm fronds and make-believe humans, spinning ancient tales with modernist dance moves. Precise as woodblocks, Girard’s paintings nod to the design work of his legendary grandfather, Alexander Girard, while refusing to be still, vibrating in primal clay and blue and black pigments.
Drawing is the primary medium through which I explore my ideas and I am continually evolving various techniques. This series which I have named ‘Groundless’ is an exercise in both restraint and the withholding of color. In focusing on the stark contrast between black and white I draw attention to each shape as a silhouette on its own but also in conversation with the larger composition of many small shapes coming together to create a landscape. In starting with a single shape as opposed to mapping out the composition prior to drawing, I allow each individual component to give birth to the next and in this way create an organic unfolding of form, space and relationship. Paying close attention to the positive and negative spaces, I compose a large communal dialogue wherein unexpected combinations occur and allow the viewer to find their own narrative in the piece. I have been evolving this graphic, hardline technique of pen and ink over many years which was born both from an interest in printing as a medium and also from the idea of creating smaller works on which to base larger scale pieces. While the pieces in this series have the potential to be scaled up, they also serve to create a more intimate conversation with the viewer as they draw the eye in close. This engages each person to not only identify shapes individually but also to read them as a whole composition. Without a horizon, there is an equal weight to each individual shape in the composition. Within these floating landscapes I employ narratives of humans exploration within the natural world and between one another. In an age when the human dependency on and infatuation with technology is ever increasing, I feel these images serve as a language of graphic symbols that resonate on a very human and accessible level which serves to remind us of the importance of our relationship to our surroundings especially the natural world. I believe this life is one of consistently finding ways back to our primal relationship to nature. Honoring and respecting this connection is a daily practice through my work. These images serve as my exploration and documentation of this connection and the ongoing search for balance.
These colored pencil drawings are a practice in meditation. Exploring color, hidden symbols and motion. Thinking about the seasons and their change in mood. Shadows and the optical play. Drawing is just a portion of Kaye’s practice, but it has always been at the core of her work. Often relying on it as a constant medium when in pause with other works in progress. She is a painter and has worked in sculpture and textile design.