(Un) Common Threads, Part 2: Group Show at Elizabeth Harris

In Part 2 of Common Threads, we follow a line from Edward Shalala's photographs in the previous post to his tangible work in the group exhibition, By a Thread at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery (up through July 24).
In a series of four works, Shalala shows the canvas reduced first to thread and then to its ultimate entity: dust. From there the pendulum swings in a more material direction--the artists in the exhibition are connected by the filament and fabric--and then back to deconstruction . Let's start in the back gallery, where Shalala's four canvas reductions are on display. Here's one:

Edward Shalala, Untitled #7, 2009, canvas dust dropped onto contact paper, 18 x 21 inches (image from the gallery website)

Moving around the gallery, we see Mary Carlson's blood spatters rendered in copper wire and Mike Asente's giant embroidery. Did I mention the show is eclectic? Here the element of roundness, and the graphic quality of red, black and white hold the room together.

Mary Carlson, Wiresplat 1, 2009, crocheted copper wire, 79 x 124 x 1.5 inches; detail below. Mike Asente's small embroideries are on the wall around the corner

Mike Asente, Holy Rays, 2009, embroidery floss on linen, steel hoop, 46 x 50 x 1.5 inches; on wall: Boom, 2009, embroidery on non-woven interfacing, 10 x 13 inches

Moving from the back gallery to the front, we see Carlson's splatter sculpture in the distance and Elisa D'Arrigo's handstitched sculpture on the wall. Then we continue around the gallery with more work by D'Arrigo, hangings by Leslie Dill, and a deconstructed piece by Elana Herzog. With these three artists in particular, I'm moved to consider the Norns of myth: the first spins the thread of life, the second fashions it into fabric of individual texture and length, and the third snips the thread when the time comes. Take a look:

From back gallery to front, above: Carlson's Wiresplat 1 and Elisa D'Arrigo's stitched sculpture, which you can see better below:

Elisa D'Arrigo, Terra Cotta 1, 2009, cloth thread, acrylic paint, acrylic medium, pigments, 20 x 18 x 3.75 inches (image from the gallery website)

Panning the gallery: two more small sculptures from D'Arrigo and two "thread poems" by Leslie Dill. Both artists are known for their stitched works

Below: Dill's I was Born with a Veil, 2003, silkscreen, fabric, thread, 90 x 45 inches (image from the gallery website)

Panning the front gallery. More below about column at right

Holly Miller, Snap #18, 2008, acrylic paint and thread on canvas, 36 x 36 inches (image from the gallery website)

Mary Carlson, Wiresplat 2, 2006-2009, crocheted copper wire, 56 x 140 x 1.5 inches; right, Elana Herzog, Untitled, Column Series #3, 2009, stapled fabric on constructed column

Below: a detail of the work (image from the gallery website).
And that takes us back to deconstruction--a nice denouement for a show in which materiality is the theme.



Seth said...

These pieces are all so interesting. Loving the Wiresplats!

Nancy Natale said...

I love this work, Joanne. Thanks for posting.