Monday, September 27, 2010

david ambrose

north african shadows, 2008, watercolor and gouache on pieced paper, 22x16, the occident and the orient, 2008, watercolor and gouache on pieced paper, 30x22, the bay of smoke, 2008, watercolor and gouache on pieced paper, 17x22

...The work involves two seemingly divergent elements: control and chance. Each sheet is first pierced repeatedly with a pin tool. The patterns create a system of levees, dams, and Braille-like raised surfaces that control the flow of the pigment. The paper then takes on a rich and varied topography. As the sheet dries, the pigment is repelled by hundreds or thousands of openings creating an elaborate patterns. Each sheet is then colonized or infested with a linear matrix.

My use of decorative lace as a painting support has evolved from many sources. The first being that its intricate patterns and shapes resemble the elegant tracery and stonework associated with cathedral design.

Lace has been a symbol of wealth and power in Europe for centuries. The art of pricking was used by lace makers as a way of transferring a pattern. The hand-made lace used in my work was common to my household as a child. Each piece comes with its own personal history, giving the work a distinctly feminine accent.

By then taking the perceived masculine activities – painting and building – I conjoin the two forms, creating a surface of visual, social and cultural tension. While both painting and building imply the heroic and autographic, the realization is that each edifice was built by thousands and took in some cases hundreds of years. The communal would triumph over the individual. The result is a structure as ornamental and anonymous as a simple piece of lace.

the only way to see this work is in person, the details are amazing! fortunately, his web site includes some really nice detail shots...see more here.

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