Bull and Ram | 1717 Troutman, #226
Bull and Ram presents...
"Gwenn Thomas and Sarah Mattes"
Opens Saturday April 13th 7-10pm
1717 Troutman #226
Bull and Ram is open Saturdays and Sundays 1-6pm
The show runs through May 12th
Gwenn Thomas has been navigating sound. With Sonancy, the artist known for her photographic work, makes manifest audio frequencies. Composed of painted and drawn lines broken into smaller rectangles, Thomas’ Sonancy series references the ink drawings--which were scanned and photographed--of her past work. Now distancing herself from the lens, Thomas considers unmediated representation. Unhinged from their grid-like moorings, the diaphanous lines appear almost pixelated, like painterly mimesis of the digital. This is electronic noise in paint and pencil; a visualization of computer coding. Or perhaps this is an elegy to a pre-digital world. Though possibly more so, this is a play with the representation of sound. In color and composition, there is lightness to the series--as though each work were an echo, like sound itself.
Sarah Mattes constructs dream-like sculptural paintings. Inside her Red Hook studio, looms a white plaster column a foot away from a diagonal wooden pole and blue painted canvas. It’s presence is unobtrusive, almost calming. Across the studio, an empty square plaque is erected above a pile of white stones, stacked to mid-height. Composed of wood, steel, nails and plaster, “the way i remember it,” stands stark, like a tombstone to no none. To the right, eight wooden plates hang on the wall. Mattes has dug into the wood, rubbing pigment on and off. Their surface is painstakingly carved, like lacerations in skin. A large grey canvas with spots of black hangs in the back left corner. Adjacent is a wooden panel stained with colored markings. Called "walking," the canvas conjures images of the sidewalk in winter, the ground blackened, but not dirty, adorned with spots of gum. Although mostly pale in color, Mattes' creations have a dark undercurrent. Yet it becomes clear: nothing can harm us here, not the wooden pole growing out of the wall or the twisted steel wire and nails curled in the corner.
--Eve Marie Blazo