Works Gallery
Artist Information

Harness

Lauren Quin, Rebekah Goldstein and May Wilson

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 10th, 2017, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Exhibition Dates: June 10th – July 1st, 2017

An industrial nylon strap–a harness of sorts, tethers May Wilson’s grouping of three curved and limb-like forms, allowing each its own hobbled independence while providing the precarious trio the ability to stand as a collective whole. The harness–an instrument of control, subordination and sometimes subtle direction looms large within the boldly ambiguous and abstract-leaning  works created by artists Lauren Quin, Rebekah Goldstein and May Wilson. Whether it’s Goldstein’s paintings that continually frame and reframe the canvas, creating and obstructing space and the movement of the viewer through it; Wilson’s animated sculptures that confront the approaching viewer as they flop onto one another and hang from the gallery’s supporting architecture; or Lauren Quin’s densely layered abstractions that suggest figurative forms embroiled in struggles for visibility as they weave back and forth from background to foreground–each artist creates work that confronts and redirects the agency of the viewer, simultaneously exploring the tensions and power dynamics between elements contained within.

Foraying into the dense jungle-like paintings of Los Angeles based painter Lauren Quin, the viewer is met with viscerally intense and claustrophobic fields, slashes and erasures of saturated color overlapping ad infinitum.  As more time is spent with the works, areas of color and line begin to precipitate into gestural figurative forms, and much like May Wilson’s bodily sculptures–only fragments of bodies are suggested.  As these hybrid bodies emerge, obscuring and overlapping one another, falling in and out of focus–the odd sensation of assessing our own limbs and corporeal limitations arises providing the works themselves an interesting power dynamic with each approaching viewer.

In contrast to the stains and bleeding edges found within Quin’s work, the abstractions of Rebekah Goldstein embody a particular hard-edged sharpness that mirrors our own built environment.  Whereas Quin’s handling of a composition throws the viewer into an instant hazy disorientation, Goldstein’s bold strokes of color and segmenting pattern expertly draw the viewer into and through the painting’s adjoining spaces much as an architect is able to move bodies through rooms by way of a building’s design.  Yet a description of Goldstein’s canvasses as architectural should not be misread as stiff or overly precise, rather she employs a refreshingly confident flow through her paint handling and a masterful balance of both frenetically busy and vacant airy space within each composition.  The artist’s recent explorations of painted sculptural forms echo and interject those found within the confines of a canvas, broadening the experience of her work from the psychological into the physical.

Contrasting the paintings of Goldstein and Quin are May Wilson’s equally painterly and pathos saturated self-supporting and suspended sculptural works that feel simultaneously defiant of and weighed down by the weight of the world. Utilizing a unique mixture of pre-fabricated industrial materials including vinyl, felt, nylon straps and cement to name a few, Wilson creates achingly personable forms that through scale, and their inherent clumsiness demand presence within the exhibition space.  The weighty tubular forms that have become something of Wilson’s signature, echo our own limbs and their orientations within the room exert an element of control in how we navigate the floor of the gallery.  The exhausted lean, lazy drape, and heavy flop of the artist’s sculptures provide a sense as if they’re performers actively engaged within a melodramatic futuristic drama of our own industrial making, implicating those surrounding the work not as viewers but as active participants.

Atlas(t)

Mansur Nurullah

San Francisco based artist Mansur Nurullah creates intricately layered freeform quilts comprised of scavenged materials including: industrial cordura, truck tarp, boat sail, discarded road signs, bike tires and leather remnants in addition to the traditional quilting materials of thread and batting. Teeming with a palpable frenetic energy, Nurullah’s works take influence from the quilting of Rosie Lee Tompkins and the women of Gee’s Bend, Yoruba textiles, the intensely layered craft of Ghana’s El Anatsui, or the punk abstraction of SF’s Mission School; yet the artist’s quilts firmly maintain a voice and vision all his own. As a cab driver for nearly a decade, Mansur found an outlet for the stresses of the job through returning to his studio and working on quilts after the end of a late night shift, often working until the early morning. The artist cites his intensive process of stitching over each section of a quilt as a repetitive action akin to circling the city’s streets as a cab driver. The decline of the city’s cab industry pushed Mansur to become a counselor within the city’s public school system–a shift that manifests within his work as the winding paths of color meandering through space.

Referencing the function of an atlas as a time-specific collection of maps, “Atlas(t)” as an exhibition speaks to the spatial and temporal elements indexed within Mansur’s works. Subdivided fields of color and embroidery read as contour lines of elevation transposed over abstracted aerial views; sculptural protrusions actualizing our sense of these quilts as markers of place. While the faces of Nurullah’s quilts read as broken fields of color, the backsides reveal the repurposed traces of the Bay Area’s recently discarded material pasts–a nylon Clif Bar tent cover, a courier company’s messenger bag or characters from a Looney Tunes bedsheet that have all become recontextualized; simultaneously interconnecting long histories of quilting and textiles with recent cultural shifts within San Francisco at large.