Main Gallery


Curator: Debbie Hesse

November 26, 2002—February 1, 2003


James Clark, Eric Conrad, Joe Fucigna, Anne George, Sarah Gjerston, Ron Janowich, Clint Jukkala, Jane Miller, Amy Punchack, Orit Raff, Janice Redman, Mary Temple, Leo Villareal, Dina Weiss.

Installation view of Janice Miller’s work.

This exhibition brings together the works of artists using diverse strategies and materials in which the concept of softness is integral. Notions of fragilit/strength, material/immateriality, absence/presence are some of the themes that arise from this group. We know what is soft in relationship to what is hard, where softness is understood and experienced at various intervals along this continuum. We often speak of situations being bittersweet, a mixed blessing or a double-edged sword. Many of our experiences lie at the threshold where the tension between opposing forces meet.

The works on view, the impersonal and hard edges of architecture and technology are metaphorically softened and warmed by human touch. Meditative works explore spatial and temporal ideas through light and movement. Forms float, breathe and pulsate, existing in a continuous state of transformation between presence and absence. Fabric becomes a membrane, protective covering or drawing tool; softened hard materials gain clarity and strength through juxtaposition. Objects are swathed in yarn and cloth, mummified, protected and sometimes stifled. References to dolls, body parts, pillows, mattresses, food and nature explore ideas about comfort, memory and relationships. The theme of softness encompasses these disparate concepts.

-Debbie Hesse, Curator