Monday, May 09, 2005

Artist of the Week 05/09/05

Caroline Cox is Williamsburg art world royalty. With her husband, artist Tim Spelios, she founded and directed the Flipside Gallery from 1997 to 2001. Since then, she has been focussing more on her own art and currently has an exhibition at the newly opened Sarah Bowen Gallery in Williamsburg (the website indicates it closed May 1st, but I know it's been extended...not sure until when though). Her latest installation blew me away.

I've been following Caroline's work for a while now, having planned to include her in an exhibition I curated that never quite found a home (incoming directors at museums seem to have no sense of loyalty to the planned exhibitions of their predecessors...minor pet peeve of mine). That exhibition dealt with translucency, and Caroline's work offers one of the most sophisticated uses of translucency of any artist I know. With haberdashery-meets-hardware-store-sourced materials (meshs, wires, mirrors, fishing floats, crystals, etc.), Caroline creates vast, complex colonies or microcosms, and although most of her materials are either opaque or transparent, with the nearly infinite number of reflections and resulting distortions, the transparent materials begin to do the work of translucent materials for the human eye (letting light through, but obscuring the objects beyond them somewhat). You'd probably have to have explored translucency as long as I did to be excited about that, but fortunately it's only one avenue of access into Caroline's work.

More immediately compelling is the experiential aspect of her gallery-filling pieces. The critic Susan Canning put it quite nicely in a text quoted in the gallery's press release (pdf file):

...A sense of wonder soon gives way, however, to confoundment as the cosmological references of the piece entice one to move beyond sensual experience and consider less tangible elements such as light, space, and gravity. When this happens these strange and inventive shapes seem less about artistic invention than the limits of the senses and the fragile and chance nature of existence...where contradiction is an operative element and transmutation an active state of being.

Again, I'm not sure how much longer this exhibition is up, but if you're in the Williamsburg area, it's a definite must-see.


Anonymous Macallan said...

Very interesting work. Do you have pics of any of her other stuff. The gallery link only had one, and it was interesting too.

5/09/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

There are few more images of Caroline's work on the web, but not many good shots...

Here's some

5/09/2005 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...


and here they are as actual links (preview...give it a chance, eh?):





5/09/2005 06:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Macallan said...

Thanks Edward

5/09/2005 08:25:00 PM  

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