Adrian Kiss, Charlotte G. Chin Greene, Daniel Boccato, Jane South, Lina McGinn, Mira Dayal, Trevor King, Viktor Timofeev, & Zachary White.
15 July – 30 August, 2022


July 15 - August 30, 2022
Opening Friday, July 15th, 6-8pm

Spencer Brownstone Gallery is pleased to present Crucible, a group exhibition featuring works by Adrian Kiss, Daniel Boccato, Charlotte G. Chin Greene, Jane South, Lina McGinn, Mira Dayal, Trevor King, Viktor Timofeev, and Zachary White.

Leather shrouds, mechanical organs, obscured icons, soft rose windows, displaced corpus, impossible basins, shifting glass.

Many current artists have largely rejected a need to reconcile their practices with those from documented Canon following the acknowledgement of the linearity and exclusivity of Western, patriarchal, and colonialist art histories. “It’s been done,” a former *coup de grace critique, has lost its edge. And the resulting scramble for new visual rubrics has introduced alternative ways to describe art and art practices.

Amid these shifts, the language of metaphysics, especially those rooted in the spiritual or sacred, remain commonly used. Genesis of the work.... It sublimates the thing, transcending... Fonts, icons. Revelations and transfiguration. The corpus. Geist. The sublime. The language of the intangible lends itself to discussing concepts that need questioning and redefining. Crucible features nine contemporary artists exploring a variety of material and concepts: new iconographies and systems of symbols, the corporeal and the ethereal, the mundane and the elevated.

Artist Bio

By establishing improbable and surreal connections between materials, forms and functions, ADRIAN KISS creates quasi-bodies made of both synthetic and natural material including leather, cotton, and linen. The sleek chroma, organic textures, and streamlined design recall fictional lifeforms or futuristic technologies but are bound through the conventional means of quilting. The use of a traditionally gendered craft, Kiss explores implicit gender in form and the very human impulse to make and seek patterns.

CHARLOTTE G. CHIN GREENE’s mechanic organs are plotted on a steel coordinate. The objects are of an industrial system in origin and in function. Their disembodied states and spatial orientation reference the fractured segments of global production. The permeable grid suggests an undefined virtual expanse. For Greene, all objects are digital within a cybernetic world - viewed by and viewing with machinic eyes.

DANIEL BOCCATO’s work features a wall relief part of its wallwork series. A wallwork is a two-dimensional shape seamlessly embedded in the wall raised in relief by roughly one inch. Once installed, these works are painted over with the same wall paint used in the wall and truly become one with the wall. Boccato has used various symbols, icons and themes for these wall reliefs in the past, such as eagles, trees and lions. For the work in this show, it chose a cartoon hand quoted from one of its favorite animated cartoon series growing up. Removed from their context and stripped of their original intent, Boccato submits these shapes through the same process in an egalitarian and non-hierarchical fashion. These hyper streamlined bas-relief emblems embody a process of erasure and iconographic augmentation.

JANE SOUTH’s work delves into the formal and material in-between in new and sophisticated ways. Tectonic assemblages combine architectural and pseudo-industrial forms with the softness of canvas, tarp, packing foam, and thread. Swaths of subtle tones are applied with a painterly and reductive brush. South’s creations lie between the second and third dimensions; hard and soft, form and perceived function.

A fleshy over-sized gourd precariously sags over the edges of a crushed cardboard box– a reference to Constantin Brancusi’s portrait of Princess Marie Bonaparte, “Princess X,” that is both humorous and unsettling. In his sculpture, Brancusi reduces the Princess to a phallic form claiming that, “My statue is of woman, all women rolled into one.” Whereas, in the words of Picasso, “Here it is: the phallus!” Atop a small limestone base, the bronze phallus towers, reaffirming its masculinity. LINA MCGINN’s interest lies in this duality-- the representation of both the masculine and feminine in a singular form. Adding back into the conversation everything that Brancusi worked hard to strip away, in order to get at the “true essence” of the subject, McGinn has replaced the “spiritual” with the human, the quotidian. Supersized, the gourd references the body in all its fleshy and sensual detail: pores, imperfections, cracks and bumps. By equating the phallic, futurist sculpture to a gourd, and its limestone base to a crushed cardboard box, McGinn is challenging the viewer to see the world differently. Reclaiming the narrative of sexual duality from Brancusi, the oversized gourd questions gendered constructions and repositions female portraiture in a new context.

Embodied drawing tops a rigid systematic structure in MIRA DAYAL’s Nets. The looser lines' arrangements are determined by dropping hairs from her head onto a small maquette of the overall composition, and then blowing that arrangement up to the scale of the drawing. Each square within the compositions measures exactly two feet. The paper is produced for photography backgrounds, where the flat surface is used to suggest a larger void within which a subject's image will be taken.The rules for this project is a response to Robert Mangold's "Column Structures," Leslie Hewitt's untitled sheet metal sculptures, Dorothea Rockburne’s mathematical compositions, Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction," and Brian O'Doherty's hair paintings, which he made just before publishing his essays on the white cube. The overall shape of suggests a flattened box but the cube is never complete.

TREVOR KING’S practice has recently revolved around building ceramic sculptures based on drawings made by his late grandfather during the last five years of his life. The drawings were first based on pottery he had seen on Antiques Roadshow but gradually pulled more and more from his imagination. In translating these drawings into forms, King looks for ways to materialize the imagination - - to make a sculpture that looks like a sketch, feels like an idea, and embodies the power and potential that clay offers to reshape our experience.

VIKTOR TIMOFEEV’s ink drawings spawn from irregularly scaled grids. Formless voids are uncovered in between the borders of these patterns, divining hieroglyphic abstraction and images that activate bursts of pareidolia. Their function in regards to the drawing is like that of a trellis to the plants that grow from them rhizomatically. A pattern is then worked into the grid with ink. The resulting image is both arbitrary and controlled, abstract and depictive.

Sixth generation stained glass artist, ZACHARY WHITE, imbues the fifteen-hundred year old artistry with contemporary forms and concepts found more commonly in his practice as an architect and tech developer. His work explores the embodied-ness and negotiation of information within the confines of the contained glass frame. The linear network of the lead and isolated fragments of color become the matrix on which image, light, representational depth materialize.