Saturday, October 11, 2008

2003 - Wrapture

Title: Wrapture
Dates:May 9 - June 22, 2003
Location: Consolidated Works, 500 Boren Ave. N., Seattle, WA
Co-curated with Lisa Favero
Artists: Jacey Dunaway (Seattle), Stacey Greene (New York), Euan Macdonald (Los Angeles), Jennifer McNeely (Seattle), Jason Moer (Seattle), David Reed (New York), Susan Robb (Seattle), Beverly Semmes (New York), Jennifer West (Los Angeles)

Love. Lust. Entanglement. Transcendence.
An exhibition about the sensual play of surfaces.

In the gallery co-curators Meg Shiffler, Con Works director of Visual Art and independent curator Lisa Favero present Wrapture. Rather than offering a political or graphic dialogue about sexuality in visual art, Wrapture explores the erotic, sensual encounter at the level of seemingly unsexed, ungendered material, when two surfaces meet. As they respond to one another they become entangled, undulating in and out and around each other. Their two bodies no longer separate and distinct -- each completely lost in the other -- they are able to achieve a moment of ecstasy, of pure rapture in which the distractions and consequences of the external world have no bearing. Artwork included in the show demonstrates this type of encounter and in some instances also offers the genuine experience by inviting or directly enlisting viewer participation.

Internationally exhibited artists Beverly Semmes and David Reed, whose work has been collected here in the Northwest, provide the starting point for the exhibition. Both use the fold as the consequence of the meeting of two surfaces and as a metaphor for sensual encounter. The fabric of Semmes’s dress sculptures floods the gallery space with an infinite pool of folds as it meets the floor and soaks up the viewer’s space, while Reed’s illusionistic folds expand and unfurl off the picture plane only to entwine the viewer in an intimate exchange. If one disregards the viewer‘s presence, Reed’s large horizontal paintings instead present a notational account of intimacy between otherwise distinct planes. These two artists also address the expansive, seemingly limitless and consuming nature of sensual experience through their use of an excess of surface material.

Several Pacific Northwest artists, who have in the past dealt with an erotic theme in their work and have further developed their ideas, provide a foundation for the exhibition. New or newly commissioned pieces by them will be included. Among this group is a video installation by Jennifer West, a sound sculpture by Susan Robb and a large-scale sculpture by Jennifer McNeely. Rounding out the exhibit is a series of 20 photographs of lipstick by emerging New York artist Stacy Greene.