Reductive Readings:Text and Paintings
Central Library, Lobby Gallery
In this exhibition featuring local artists Marc Sapir and Katarina Wong, the nature of reading, language and how we derive meanings is in play. Wong challenges the viewer to take a "slow read" of the multiple meanings available in her work, while Sapir offers transformed renditions of familiar language, exploring the human desire for explanation.
Works by Katarina Wong
In my monochromatic body of work I wanted to make slow work - work that takes time to create, time to reveal itself both to me and to the viewer. By narrowing the scope of color, motion, and tradition, I hope to find something larger than each of those things, something that is on the cusp of being known but ultimately remains undefined.
The repetition of motion, brush stroke after brush stroke and wave after wave - not unlike the rhythm of daily life - creates images of ambiguous spaces, of light on breaking water or land, a mist clearing, the sea at night. The images can be read as all of these things simultaneously, and also resist any one reading when viewers see more possibilities unfold with each step.
Katarina Wong is an installation artist and curator who works in a wide variety of media. Her work has been shown nationally, most recently at PH Gallery in Chelsea, 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA, the Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn and the Bronx Museum of Art. She has received numerous awards, including the Cintas Fellowship for Cuban and Cuban-American artists and a Pollock-Krasner grant. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland at College Park as well as a Master in Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School, where she focused on Buddhist Studies. She lives in New York City.
List of Works:
1) Recurring Mist, 2004. Lithograph on paper. Each panel 22" x 30". Courtesy of PH Gallery.
2) B/W Mist (Embossing), 2004. Embossing (from linocut) on paper. Each panel 22" x 30". Courtesy of PH Gallery.
My current work involves the use of texts as abstract images in order to get at the notion of language as a shifting and fluid entity. Manipulated up to and beyond the point of legibility, the texts scan strangely, seeming both foreign and familiar. They become not so much language as its equivalent, creating a tension between concrete meaning and abstraction, leaving only residual traces of their original and obvious meanings. These transformed texts produce frustration rather than ease of understanding, asking us to reinvent their meaning.
It all boils down to desire: the desire for explanation and proof manifest in science, religion, and their intersection; the desire for meaning and understanding seen in the pursuit of communication through language; the desire for learning and progress, personally and socially. The underlying desire for perfection finds a perfect metaphor in the tension between digital data and analog form. To me, their fusion is emblematic of the different paths we follow in pursuing the encompassing nature of desire, paths that may seem to be mutually exclusive but that flow together in ways both confusing and beautiful. "The final aim of eroticism is fusion," wrote Bataille, "all barriers gone . . . its final stirrings . . . characterized by the presence of a desirable object."
Brooklyn artist Marc Sapir exhibits his paintings, drawings and sculptures throughout New York City and the United States. He has had residency fellowships at Yaddo and Blue Mountain Center. His Master of Fine Arts is from Long Island University.
List of Works
1. Untitled, 2004. Ink, archival ink jet on layered paper. 10 1/2" x 15".
2. Untitled, 2004. Ink, archival ink jet on layered paper. 10 1/2" x 15".
3. Untitled, 2004. Ink, archival ink jet on layered paper. 10 1/2" x 15".
4. Column A/Column B, 2004. Ink, archival ink jet on layered paper. Each panel 13" x 18".
Lobby Gallery exhibitions are supported by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation.