LENA WOLFF & COREY DRIETH
Call & Response
May 29 to June 26, 2013
Ampersand is pleased to present Call & Response,, featuring work by Bay Area artist Lena Wolff & Colorado-based artist Corey Drieth. While rooted in the patterns & iconography of American quilt making, Wolff’s collages, drawings & prints also explore the nuanced visual languages of op art, geometric abstraction & color theory. Comprised of precisely cut paper painted with watercolor & gouache, her collages allude to the tactile practice of working with fabric. Through a process of pairing down & honing in on abstract patterns, Wolff reveals a dynamic organization that involves rhythm, repetition & a sense of kinetic aliveness. The pulsing & mesmerizing effect of her recent work, balanced by precise patterns & color relationships, is central to her practice of aligning the basic patterns of folk art with the reductive & illusionary language of American abstraction.
Corey Drieth’s gouache & wood paintings explore contemplative spiritual experience inspired by religious traditions such as Zen Buddhism & Quaker Christianity. Citing artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Agnes Martin & Richard Tuttle as precedents, his work aligns with the American traditions of small-scale, non-representational abstraction. Through the economical use of line, color, texture & the illusion of light & space, Drieth’s previous paintings create a visual dialogue between the painted surface & wooden substrate. His new drawings, composed of graphite & white colored pencil on aspen wood, jettison color in favor of a more direct exploration of two kinds of order, the organic & the analytic, thus attempting to be both sensual & rational at once. “My primary compositional issue is the radius,” writes Drieth, “even when the center is off or violated. The notion of unstable radiation (& the attempt to stabilize it) is central to the meaning of the work.” Though his drawing practice is focused on augmentation & evocation rather than representation & expression, the works are rooted in childhood memories of his father drawing diagrams on pieces of wood used to construct utilitarian & decorative objects. “I thought that the marks on the wood were in and of themselves interesting, incomplete & full of potential,” notes Drieth. The drawings thus function both as a contemplative practice (the process of making them) & as personal icons grounded both in memory & the visual language of non-objective abstraction.
graphite & colored pencil on wood (Aspen)
7 x 7 x 1 in.