THE UNITY OF EVERYTHING
Art Times Two
731 Alexander Road Suite 200
Princeton, New Jersey
September 9 2018 – March 31 2019
Opening Reception: September 11 6-8pm
Deborah Barlow, Nandini Chirimar, Lorrie Fredette, Elizabeth Mead, Liz Quisgard, Andra Samelson, Daniel Zeller
Curated by Karen Fitzgerald
It is a rare opportunity to be part of an exhibit that assembles work around a concept that feels essential, primal, personal. Karen Fitzgerald has, in her inimitable way, brought together a group of artists whose work, while very different, shares a common foundation.
As Karen has described this commonality:
What language can an artist invent that gives us entry to the metaphysical, the extravagantly supernatural; that place where everything is unified? These artists each strive toward the unity of everything.
I am so grateful to be part of this exhibit. I have shown with many of these artists in the past, and some are included in my personal collection. They are all artists whose work I follow closely. How satisfying to have this chance to come together around Karen’s vision.
I will be at the opening on September 11 and hope to see some friends that night.
From the exhibit description:
The artists brought together for this exhibition think about unity, and everything. They think about the unity of everything – as futile and as real as this proposition is. There is a distinctive abstraction present in the work. Taking the process of the work itself as a touchstone, the ‘everything’ that enters process provides its own kind of unity. Much of the naturalness within this work is curved–circle–like in not only the creation of form, but in the navigating of beginning to end in the process of creating something new. After all, seconds linked to minutes into hours, perceived through the individual capacities, accrue into a day; eventually, that cyclical thing is present, morning wedded to night to morning again. Everything is united within the cycle.
The unity of everything also includes the wider conversation artists undertake with the outside world. The conversation of art, its history and community, as well as the milieu of the times: the social, political, economic, psychological, scientific, and cultural context that artwork is created within. Slowly what is importantly present in our world changes. Our containers of law, order, acceptability, and what becomes normalized change with what we consciously own. This is the dark matter of the unity of everything: it is essentially invisible, ungraspable because of the density of interconnection, influence, motivation. Artwork can make this dark matter visible.
In the words of Michael Longely, the Irish poet, “What can be transcendental?” What language can an artist invent that gives us entry to the metaphysical, the extravagantly supernatural; that place where everything is unified? These artists each strive toward the unity of everything.
Deborah Barlow’s work is fully and imaginatively present. Inhabiting the imagination is to enter a realm of unity. Sensual perceptions comingle with deeper thoughts. The surfaces and spaces Barlow builds speak toward a spatiality that contains fusion – no figure, no ground, no separations: a unity of is-ness.
Lorrie Fredette, Andra Samelson, and Daniel Zeller explore a similar terrain to Barlow’s. What differs is a distinct nodding to the visuals scientific explorations feed us. Cellular structures, chains of nucleic codes, streams of planetary plasma, the curving flow of lava, and unfolding of a trees rings: the mystery of these structures is echoed in their work, and beneath these echoes, like distant universal big bang radiation, we sense a grand unity.
Liz Quisgard and Nandini Chirimar also work with patterning as an organizing visual principle. What differentiates their work is the cultural legacies of the patterning. Both are influenced by traditional Indian and Persian patterns, the abstraction of seed forms found in paisley prints, and those woven elegantly into Persian rugs. With these starting points, each embark on play and conversation with these rich pattern histories. Chirimar’s work often echoes a kind of nostalgia for the purity of these patterns. Quisgard is uninterested in content of any sort – her work is intended as pure delight.
Elizabeth Mead’s work is an unfolding of surface giving way to deeper surface. Her exploration of surfaces that her physical self perceives is intimately bound to the mind that lurks below. What something is physically always contains something else. This layering, a building of a dwelling place for her being-ness is a striving toward the most basic unity of everything that each of us searches for, at some level, all of our lives.