THe Neon Heater Art gallery

Material Translation 
Curated by Jordan Buschur

The three artists in this exhibition invoke or incorporate woven or printed textiles to enter a conversation based in translation. The warp and weft of fabrics become layers of paint, the bands of crocheted yarn move to colored pencil, and the presence of pattern echoes throughout. These patterns have origins, and here the idea of translation takes on new meanings. Referencing hybridity, migration, personal history and specificity of place, each artist acts as a translator of both physical material and cultural identity.

Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez's Leaning Chumbes translate indigenous Colombian textiles into painted forms. Originally intended for use as belts, Freidemann-Sanchez extends the designs onto large rigid forms, simultaneously adding strength and removing utility. The Chumbes, off the body and in the gallery, become monuments to hybridity and the trans-cultural experience.

Natalie Lanese's Multiverse series builds on multiples and repetition to yield drawings of a photograph of an installation of a painting of a painting, moving through layers of perception and illusion of two- and three-dimensional spaces. Both the repetitive process of creating the patterns and the color choices stem from an interest in her grandmother’s crocheted and knitted blankets. Individual colors are selected much the same way yarn is- what is available, from the skein or the tube, dictates the direction of the overall palette. 

In creating portraits without a figure, Sophie Treppendahl’s paintings collapse the distance between a person, their clothes, and the identity bound up between the two. The painting of the shirt on the wall is: a particular person’s shirt, a certain type of person’s shirt, a shirt style and fabric from a particular era/place, and a study of pattern, light, and painting handling, all at the same time. Who wears a Hawaiian shirt? Who wears a patterned shirt referencing Hawaiian shirts? Treppendahl moves through issues of cultural identity, tender tributes to friends and ex-lovers, and attempts at dissolving the person from the portrait to arrive at this group of paintings of inert yet haunted articles of clothing.

Exhibition dates: August 2-24