Reception 4.7.16, Thursday, 6-8 pm
In the first three pages of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Transparent Things (1972) an omniscient narrator proclaims,
“When we concentrate on a material object, whatever its situation, the very act of attention may lead to our involuntarily sinking into the history of that object. Novices must learn to skim over matter if they want matter to stay at the exact level of the moment.”
In various ways the objects and images gathered in this exhibition compel us to remain on or return to the surface. Often associated with superficiality a surface nevertheless can be a permeable border, a protective layer, and a significant presence, none of which constitutes the hollowness linked to the superficial.
Each exhibiting artist was prompted by an extended passage from Nabokov’s text above to consider the way in which their work engages with processes of being present. The works in Re: Surface challenges the bias of conflating surface to the cosmetic or the slight. Submergence, repetition, acts of extreme empathy, spiritual desire and color in collusion with materials that are transformed but uncannily familiar, are the operative gestures employed here.