Daniel, one of our EAC Interns, writes about two of works on display in our 2020 EAC Faculty Exhibition. The exhibition is on display in our first floor gallery from January 11 - February 16, 2020.
Kasia Stachowiak, from TERRACE
Kasia Stachowiak’s print, I-94, develops a pseudo-photographic surface akin to Brazilian artist Lygia Clark’s early paintings. In the paintings, Clark suggests impossible spaces with simple two-dimensional shapes. Stachowiak does not quite work the same way, though. Whereas in Clark the tension happened between the flat medium and the volumetric instincts of its audience, in this work, there is tension in the ways its constituent images fight for objecthood. The surface here does not necessitate the three-dimensional interpretation that Clark’s paintings do. Instead, the photographic surfaces divide the square into (at least) three concrete masses. While these masses could be understood distributed on an imagined 3D space (the darkest on a foreground, the lightest on a background), the patterns depicted within the shapes actively fight that interpretation not just by crossing over boundaries, but in their general flatness. It is when these patterns become the focus of the piece that the masses start to function more like shadows than, indeed, masses and the print gains a real photographic narrative. Suddenly the tension concerns what is it that is depicted? Although the image never seems to pretend any literal realism, its patterns still evoke familiar shapes in the audiences' imagination. A step-ladder might live in the patterns towards the bottom, but beyond simple representational connections, this shape echoes itself upwards provoking more performative ideas of movement as per the style of the Italian Futurists. Again though, the patterns never pretend an actual realism, a one-to-one correlation with a real-world phenomenon. Some of Stachowiak's other work does. Generally speaking, their print-work consistently plays around tensions between photographic space and the flatness of print media. That said, in stepping away from the actually photographic and the recognizable as photography, the print suddenly affects the audience's faculty to imagine photography.
Kasia Stachowiak teaches Print Media at the Evanston Art Center.
Emily Culbert, Patina
While it essentially consists of reserved, geometric shapes, Emily Culbert's Patina seems to explore mostly notions organic and natural. The textural patchwork, while abstract, remains intently grounded in natural processes: as the title reveals, mostly the process of patination. That said, the specificity of the process is not too important. The title seems to be somewhat of a red herring, and what is important is the fact that it is a natural chemical process. Via morphic resonance, what the prints seem to reference most specifically is closer to those images of landscapes on Earth taken by the Internation Space Station. The veinlike results of the patination process repeat the spirals and swirls of clouds, rivers, mountain ranges, and even streets on cityscapes as seen from the hight advantage of the ISS. At the same time, these are contrasted with the vast white. At first glance, the raw paper functions as simple negative space, delineating the patches of patina. But the prints are off-center and there is a lot of white. Each of the moments in the piece competes for their presence in the composition, and yet the result is unequivocally serene.
Emily Culbert teaches Youth Fine Arts at the Evanston Art Center.