Open Sesame: Art, Books and Objects

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Stephen Lavigne: In Finite Space, October 13 – November 27, 2016

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 13, 7–9 PM 
Artist Talk: Wednesday, October 19, 7 PM 
Night\Shift Collage Party with Stephen Lavigne: Saturday, November 5, 7–10pm

Employing drawing, collage, and hard-edge painting, Stephen
Lavigne's new work uses a standard milk crate to explore the
topic of space.

Lavigne’s drawings speak to the painterly tradition of representing three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional plane— but in this series, the laws of pictorial illusion simultaneously compete with the materiality of the drawings themselves. Abstraction in certain areas, combined with subtly textured surfaces (which the artist generates using repetitive gestures and layers of collaged paper, tape, and Mylar), flattens Lavigne's images and reinforces the drawings' status as objects. Two of the crates will be on display in the gallery; viewing these found objects alongside their perspectival yet semiabstract representations draws our attention to the unique manner in which we each perceive, understand, and describe space.

Lavigne's largest drawing, Nine Cubic Units (Blue Period Point), depicts a life-size stack of nine blue milk crates arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. The grid format and the nine shades of blue are taken directly from standard graph paper. As viewers zoom in on a single point, where two pale blue grid lines meet, they find nine pixels in a similar 3 x 3 grid. The artist pictorially extrudes each pixel into three dimensions, so that it becomes a cubic milk crate. The depth and detail of his rendering completely obscure the drawing’s tiny two-dimensional source, questioning our understanding of spatial perception and representation. A grid point on any map or scale drawing cannot sufficiently articulate the space it represents, or how something or somebody can occupy that space. This drawing of one such point, however, gives form to this insufficiency and to our inability to truly understand how we occupy the space around us.

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