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Gallery Artist: Allison Paschke

Artist's Statement

All of my work is interactive. Sometimes movement through space and light affects the piece; sometimes the interaction is directly physical. I am looking for a present tense engagement, not a remote contemplation. My process is an intuitive balancing of the tensions between opposing forces.

Object vs. Place
While each wall piece, sculpture, or installation consists of physical objects, it also creates a place for the mind. The altered mirrors are soft distorted worlds to move past and peer into; The installations become worlds inside tiny porcelain elements; the small box sculptures form hand-held rooms, and so on.

Geometry vs. Imperfection
The attraction toward geometric simplicity is followed by a desire to add subtle complexity. For example, a perfect porcelain cube slumps in firing, or a simple square mirror develops richness and variation with the addition of translucent layers. Geometry is abstract perfection; imperfections add beauty to an otherwise sterile perfection.

Subtlety vs. Intensity
"To reduce, simplify, and visually quiet an image leads to the magnification and intensification of visual phenomena. Cracks and wrinkles are rich and tactile on an all-white porcelain surface. Shifts in texture between brush strokes and tiny bubbles become significant in a context of almost monochrome amber-colored resin."

The Miniature vs. the Vast
Each piece shifts between tiny and huge. Large wall and installation pieces are filled with thousands of tiny details that pull viewers into an intimate closeness. Tiny sculptural or wall pieces contain open areas of emptiness that open out into a void. The porcelain boxes are hand-held size but contain a simple glowing world of indeterminate scale. A piece containing multiple elements such as droplets or letterforms must have so many that they seem infinite.

Two vs. Three Dimensions
The impulse to enrich a flat surface balances a desire to simplify a dimensional object, and so each piece lies between two and three dimensions. For example, a translucent resin block is both a solid object and a permeable plane. In mirror paintings, because compositions are kept simple and open, the viewer’s reflected presence becomes part of the composition itself. The cubical sculptures conjure the image of a physical space to enter, yet each side is flat.

Fragility vs. Immortality
The ephemeral is especially beautiful to me: the passing of light and the delicate and fragile. Trying to capture these things is a futile bid for immortality. Porcelain is an ideal material to express this paradox, as it is both easy to break and durable in the earth.