Guttenberg Arts Gallery is pleased to present Studio Wallpaper (a work in progress), a new site specific sugar and porcelain toile installation by Susan Graham, currently Artist in Residence, on view February 6 through March 2, 2015.
Susan Graham’s works are built upon a conceptual standpoint of her unbreakable link with her hometown, family, and childhood. Utilizing her memories, dreams, and personal stories as her topics, Graham ultimately broadens their focus and addresses larger social and political issues that affect us all. This is most evident in her ongoing series of wall installations. Her process, based on the layout of the toile patterned wallpaper from a childhood bedroom, pushes this method to encompass entire rooms with various sized sculptural elements made from both sugar and porcelain that creates patterns representing repetitive acts or actions. These often result in the making of a multitude of similar objects which are linked to a particular psychological state. These materials give the work a deceptive feeling of domesticity or sweetness while the subjects are challenging in their high-low contradictions.
For Studio Wallpaper (a work in progress), Graham has created a gorgeous, spiral site-specific installation. Referencing to Guttenberg’s long history as the “Embroidery Capital of the United States”, she begins at a corner as the central central point and works outward into the gallery space. The patterns are drawn directly from the embroidered lacework produced by local businesses to form recurring narratives of complex pastoral scenes and the storytelling qualities found in traditional Toile de Jouy wallpaper using the same delicate look and a conceptually similar idea of preciousness, fragility, and intense process. Graham's works again takes these themes to a broader level and addresses human encroachment on nature using decoration that poetically depict the eternal struggle between nature and technology.
Susan Graham attended Ohio State University and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her work has been shown at galleries and museums including Neuberger Museum of Art, Musee International des Arts Modestes, Sete, France and the Tucson Museum of Art. Graham has received several fellowships and grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Smack Mellon Artist Residency, Ruth Chenven Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Recently, she completed a commissioned public work for an elevator lobby in the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s new medical facility in Baltimore, Maryland.
Exhibition: February 6 - March 6, 2015; Opening reception: February 6, 6-8pm.