Garis & Hahn is pleased to present The Bluffs , marking LA-based artist Patrice Dworkin's first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will open on November 3 and remain on view through December 15, 2018. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, November 3rd, from 5 to 8pm.
Heavily influenced by her environment and a strong sense of place, Dworkin's intricately drawn mixed-media paper and sculptural works occupy the liminal space between representation and abstraction. For her current series, she was inspired by the breathtaking coastal sandstone bluffs near her home in Pacific Palisades. The steep, crumbling bluffs of Palisades Park are utilized as a visual symbol of vital conflict and eventual disintegration. The rhythmic, persistent erosion of the bluffs evokes the passage of time, just as the effects of human encroachment outline a conflict in which land and ocean will overtake human efforts in time and space.
As part of her everyday practice, Dworkin thoroughly explores the ground beneath her feet, photographing features that form the basis for detailed line drawings. Strongly influenced by traditions of mapmaking, she studies topographical and geological surveys of her coastal Los
Angeles neighborhood. In an area particularly susceptible to earthquake, flood, and fire, the artist portrays an abstracted geography that reflects resilience in the face of change.
The artist’s abiding curiosity about materials is reflected in the layering and carving of handmade paper, which gives her work complexity and depth. Negative-space elements removed from the surface are reintroduced in a pattern that evokes code, a message in a language not yet understood, or perhaps a key to the map.
Tondos, or works in a circular format, predominate in the series - emphasizing both the meditative nature of the investigation and the tropes of mapmaking. Dworkin's hand-wrought, ink and color-washed tondos serve as imaginary maps of the complex geological structures of the region - translucent, deceptively beautiful abstract evocations of the collision of human, land, and water at the edge of the continent in the early years of the 21st century.
Also included in The Bluffs series is a small-edition handmade meander book, which further echoes the artist's interest in storytelling. Employing acrylic-based and India inks as well as chalk pastels, and guided by an intuitive hand, Dworkin's highly worked composites break from the representational, abstractly deconstructing intimately familiar geographies.
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