Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Good Citizen Gallery: Friday, 2 September 2011

Karl Jensen and Ken Wood: Expansions and Stratifications
Opening Reception, Friday September 2 - 6 - 10 PM
September 2 - October 1

Structure, the behavior of materials, and pattern repetition inform the work for Expansions and Stratifications as the artists draw from or react against their modernist training in architecture.

Karl Jensen's highly articulated riffs on conventional construction techniques pay homage to the craft of building while expressing a desire for what is missing in contemporary architecture: richly detailed form that transcends function and exists solely for its own pleasure. The works in this show, considered "Expansions" by the artist, draw from one path of this endeavor. Paring down his variables to a single material and limiting his manipulations to vertical and horizontal cuts, Jensen shows us that economy of means needn't be tiresome; while keeping each piece of paper intact as a single contiguous web, he is still able to create seemingly limitless formal inventions, opening a window for the viewer into a world of infinite variations.

These expansions are part of an ongoing series of studies in the behavior of materials; in this case, paper's behavior under the simple influence of gravity. Changes to the width of elements and lines of force affect the camber of the material, thereby creating subtle variations across the entire field. Relying on gravity alone, the sculptures expand from flat to relief and from a rectangular plane to a shimmering floriated surface. Although much simpler, the expansions still retain the complexity and dynamic interplay of Jensen's earlier multi-material, interlocked, stacked and folded constructions.

Ken Wood builds up a language of straight versus curved elements to create his abstract compositions. These two contrasting geometries play off of each other as he assigns them different roles: the architectural world around us and the inhabitants who occupy and, in some cases, complete it. Systems of horizontal and vertical lines are layered on top of biomorphic forms, sometimes resulting in a clash that seems irreconcilable, and sometimes converging harmonically. This layering of systems builds up a series of "Strata," from which the body of work in this show takes its name. The two languages keep each other in check and sometimes trade roles, placing the grid in motion and leaving the curves pinned and immovable. In all this lies the message that there is constant negotiation and reconfiguration between ourselves and the built environment, and that the permanence we strive for will always elude us.

Examples of Karl Jensen's work can be seen at www.karl-jensen.com
Examples of Ken Wood's work can be seen at www.kenwoodstudio.com

Good Citizen Gallery
2247 Gravois Ave,
St. Louis MO, 63104-2852


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