hinge pictures: artist biographies

Sarah Crowner’s (b. 1974, Philadelphia, United States) diverse practice ranges from paintings and ceramics to sculpture and theatre curtains. Her bold and colorful paintings and tile works incorporate forms found in architecture, nature, and in the history of twentieth-century art and design. Her stitched paintings are created by using an industrial sewing machine to sew painted and raw irregular panels of canvas together, simultaneously revealing the painting’s composition and construction. Sections are painted in saturated primary colors to imply a form, a presence, a possibility. The stitched seams remain visible, like plant veins or arteries, reflecting her interest in systems and patterns, production and reproduction, in culture and nature. In recent years Crowner has exhibited her paintings in conjunction with ceramic tile murals and floor installations on elevated platforms, creating a bespoke, intimate environment and stage. Crowner embraces the idea of paintings as object and her works embody the experience of architecture and space both within themselves and their display. Her work draws attention to the surrounding context, from the painted walls, brick patterns, concrete floor or plate glass windows. These dynamic three-dimensional abstractions seductively speak to connection, opposition, separation, hierarchy, transition and assimilation.

Julia Dault (b. 1977, Toronto, Canada) creates abstract paintings and sculptures that often reveal the processes of their own making. Dault sometimes uses unusual materials such as vinyl, silk, and spandex as the support of her paintings. She first builds up multiple layers of paint, and then through a process of removal, exposes the underlying composition using industrial tools such as squeegees, combs, sponges, and foam blocks. Indicative of Post-Minimalism and Conceptual art, each painting is crafted with these tools as a way to set self-imposed rules that govern the making of the work. Many of Dault’s sculptures similarly fuse the industrial with the handmade. Some employ Plexiglas and Formica that she bends and rolls into shape, then tenuously attaches to the wall; others are inspired by the fretworks of colourful PEX tubing plumbers install behind walls. Their abstract compositions explore—and introduce imperfections to—vernacular industrial materials and underscore the value of engaging with the intricate and often beautiful systems that lie just beyond any given surface.

Leslie Hewitt (b. 1977, New York, United States) lives and works in New York. Working with photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations, Hewitt addresses fluid notions of time. Her photographed still life compositions comprised of political, social, and personal materials, result in multiple histories embedded in sculptural, architectural, and abstract forms. Mundane objects and structures open into complex systems of knowledge. This perceptual slippage is what attracts Hewitt to both the illusions of film (still and moving photography) and the undeniable presence of physical objects (sculptures). Exploring this as an artist rather than as a historiographer, Hewitt draws parallels between the formal appearance of things and their significant to a collective sense of history and political consciousness in contemporary art and everyday life.

Tomashi Jackson (b. 1980, Houston, United States) is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses the formal properties of color perception as an aesthetic strategy to investigate the value of human life in public space. As a painter studying color theory, Jackson observed that the language used to describe the formal interaction of colors echoed the language found in United States public policy documents and court proceedings regarding issues of public concern—including education, transportation, and housing. Jackson’s interrogation of shared languages of color, in reference to chromatic or social phenomena, creates a narrative framework from which she constructs her own language of abstraction for her videos, paintings, collages, and photographs.

Erin Shirreff’s (b. 1975, Kelowna, Canada) diverse body of work, which includes photography, video, and sculptures, is united by her interest in the ways we experience three-dimensional forms in an age in which our perception is almost invariably mediated by still and moving images. Her work explores the gap between objects and their representations, and the materials (and materiality) of image-making. As amalgams of analog and digital materials and processes, Shirreff’s work presents as an investigation of scale, translations, and possible relationships between picture and form. The passage of time and the effects of natural and artificial light are ideas and motifs that recur in Shirreff’s work, and are forces intrinsic to the process of making cyanotype photographs, a recurring practice of investigation for the artist.

In paintings, sculpture, photography, and video installations, Adriana Varejão (b. 1964, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) presents incisive reflections on the multiplex nature of Brazilian history, memory, and culture. Reflected in her hybridization of mediums in manifold forms—including sculptural paintings and floor-based sculptural works—is the syncretism immanent to Brazil’s postcolonial identity. Varejão draws upon aesthetic traditions and a visual legacy resulting from transnational exchange, imperial and otherwise, to create a confluence of forms that she conceives as a metaphor for the modern world.

Ulla von Brandenburg’s (b. 1974, Karlsruhe, Germany) practice builds through films, performances, installations, objects, music, paintings and drawings. With great interest in popular ceremonies and social ritual, Brandenburg creates images, which gradually distance themselves from reality and shift our expectations. Her practice draws from her research of abstraction, collage, colorimetry, psychoanalysis, bodily and costume patterns, and human gesture. Her immersive and labyrinthine installations made of fabric, her upside-down architectures and workable wooden structures are designed as watching apparatuses for her films. Ulla von Brandenburg considers the viewer as an actor of the work, someone who takes part in its creation.

Claudia Wieser (b. 1973, Freilassing, Germany) is known for her Modernist-inspired geometric constructions. Influenced by the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, artists who embraced spirituality in their aesthetic process, Wieser broadens their ideals to consider abstractions’s coexistence with physiological experience. Her hand is readily evident in a multimedia process that is both meticulous and delicate. Through an early apprenticeship as a blacksmith at Bergmeister Kunstshmiede, Wieser honed her understanding of art and the object, the aesthetic and the functional. This studied craft informs her approach to the technical drafting of her multi-faceted mirrors, hand-painted and patterned ceramics, and carved wooden sculpture.


✼ natalie’s upstate weather report:

October 25, 2022 — In the rearview mirror: I Will Keep My Soul has gone on press, the new website is launched, NY Art Book Fair hurricane has subsided. Now—finally—looking toward the horizon which happens, at this very moment, to be the blue on blue of California sky and Pacific ocean. But returning to the melancholia of fall and coming days of gray to read, read, read.


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