Friday, October 7, 2011

Meditations, Abstractions, and Distractions

One of our interns, Cori Burton (see her work at did a lovely write up about our solo show artist for this month, Carolee Jakes. See her show through October 22nd.

Carolee Jakes’ most recent solo exhibition at Studio Gallery is centralized around three concepts: meditation, abstraction, and distraction. Using mixed medias including painting, drawing, and sculpture, she has created a harmonious body of work that quietly echo each other while also standing alone as strong and determined pieces of art.

The paintings all include a rhythmic quality, with pulsing spheres and flowing brushwork that transform into violent uncontrollable marks. It is particularly in “Meditation: Circles and Sky” that these features stand out. Centered on the wall as the first piece the viewer sees when they enter the gallery space, the eye is immediately drawn to a radiating circle at the bottom left of the canvas. But as one travels closer to the piece, a sculptural element is noted, as there appears to be a textile built into surface, painted and repainted over several times. The viewer is then allowed to travel in and out of the piece, following the ebb and flow of glowing red circles that lead the eye across the painting. Then, much finer details are appreciated: hurried brushstrokes with paint piling on top of itself, layers and layers of color upon color that come together in a melodic way, blending together, but noticeably - gracefully.

As we move further into the show, the view is confronted by three ink drawings, triptych of connecting lines that come together as a surreal space. In “Distraction: Walking Along the Potomac”, “Distraction: Awake at 1 AM”, and “Distraction: Bridges Along the Potomac”, the same ebb and flow quality from the paintings is present, but delivered in a different manner. So much information is present, with so much to offer the viewer, that it is easy to get lost in one moment, distracted, relating certain images to familiar spaces, or simply following one of the many paths and letting it take them away.

Finally, we see a series of portraits of women, all silkscreened on textiles. There is an intimate quality in these pieces; perhaps it is the dated look of the portraits used, or the antiquated textiles used. The portraits are set into the fabric in such a way that they exist within it. This happens in “Patterns” especially, where the twirls of the textile interrupt and breakthrough the portrait at certain moments, making the picture unclear, distant. We sense that we know these women, or that the figures represent women that we have known, but there is something standing in the way of us fully knowing who they are or understanding what it means. A strong sense of nostalgia and sensitivity hits the viewer, as they are brought back in time.

1 comment:

  1. Wish there were more photos with the article. I went to the site mentioned above but it didn't offer artwork from the current show. Unfortunately, I am not in DC and am unable to see the work. Woe the pity, I would have enjoyed it very much.