Friday, March 4, 2011
Combining Work ~ Tansley and Jovanovic?
I’ve spent the past few weeks scheduling studio visits with a variety of artists… attempting to compile the exhibition schedule for Gallery 180 through 2012. My intention for future presentations, is to combine the work of a two and a three-dimensional artist for each exhibition… finding a common thread within the work.
Early last week, I had the opportunity to visit Jim Tasley in his studio at the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue. I’ve worked with Tansley in the past—exhibiting pieces included into group exhibitions. I was excited by the new paintings posted on his web site so I wanted to experience the work in person.
When I arrived at Tansley’s studio, I found the walls covered with work, hung salon style. The fourteen-foot ceilings allowed placement for numerous images from his current body of work as well as some smaller framed pencil drawings exploring the creation of his visual language. Moving on to the rich colorful canvases, I was intrigued by the layers of chaos becoming organized into beautiful flowing organic forms. It seemed that the composition created obvious contrasts of tensions with areas of rest, symbolic of the cycles of daily life. There was something pulling me into each canvas… urging me to further explore the complex patterns of shape, texture and color. I found these images intriguing and plan to include Tansley's work in a future exhibition at Gallery 180. You can view some of Tansley’s work at: jimtansley.com
Interestingly enough—yesterday afternoon, I met with another artist whose work seems to merge seamlessly with Tansley’s imagery. Vesna Jovanovic has a studio in Lincoln Square where she begins her drawings by dripping ink onto paper, hanging them on the wall and exploring the random forms until she sees the beginning of an image. The process continues… She draws into the random drips, creating an organized—and sometimes subtly political—composition through the buildup of beautifully executed organic line. The funny thing is that I was actually there to see Jovanovic’s sculptural work.
The vessels—most standing three to four feet tall—are again, based on somewhat random exploration. The pieces are begun with a process of coiling clay on a potter’s wheel and—prior to being fired—the walls of the vessels are cut to expose a variety of interior surfaces... exposing beautiful hidden forms beneath the—once solid—exterior shell. The forms shift as they are fired, offering an element of chance to the final presentation. Perfect in their imperfection, the vessels are fired at extreme heat [cone 6], and the final surfaces are often an unexpected surprise. Additional work by Vesna Jovanovic can be found on her web site: vesnaonline.com
It seems obvious that the work of these two artists should be seen together. Watch for the future exhibition at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago.