Opening Night at J.Langdon
WETTED SCROLL SERIES
The Wetted Scroll Series was begun in Budapest during the autumn of 2016. These first pieces were then rolled up and brought home. Work continued here in my Montpelier studio through the winter and I completed the series in early 2017. The works then returned to Budapest to be shown as part of a large solo exhibition in the Ferencváros Historical Museum later that spring. This exhibition at J.Langdon is their first US showing. To see the series in its entirety, click here.
I generally work in series, following the thread of a visual idea often gleaned from my previous works, or fed by hints received from something I’ve seen – maybe from artwork in a museum, gallery, book, or on the web; maybe from forms, textures or colors on walls, streets, etc. Sometimes the art materials themselves suggest the path to take, each piece guiding me to the next. It’s an intuitive process and an enjoyable one. With a stack of already prepared blank pages at hand, I work quickly, not lingering too long on any one piece and waiting till the end to appraise the entire group and judge it as a whole.
This working on stitched coated papers began years ago, in part a response to my desire to work large while keeping the works portable. There were, simultaneously, aethetic and associative reasons that this format evolved. The stitched scroll was for me a clear, meaningful reference to Torah scrolls. The free-hanging flexible panels suggested all kinds of historical tapestries and scrolls from different cultures, which pleased me. The surface texture that developed sometimes appeared leather-like, allowing for an impression of thickness and weight in a relatively thin paper. The stitching itself came to suggest wounds and the repair of skin itself, creating constrasting sensations drawn from both art and life – a cacophony of harmony and rawness I continue to find both stimulating and provocative.
I started drawing/painting on wet, coated paper surfaces in 2015 and 2016, with my Tablet Series, Black Monolith Series and Wetted Pages Series. The wet chalks give a sensuous feel to the act of mark-making, while the pooling tints of their dissolved pigments with additional touches of watercolor provide a lushness of color.
The forms themselves developed naturally from the divided sections of the vertical pages, initially formulating themselves as halves, which came to be joined with a neck and later unified into varied abstract configurations of a single, standing figural form.
Since completion of the Wetted Scrolls Series, I continue to be compelled by this mix of media and form, pushing stitched paper works into an expanded use of materials, mark-making and scale.
– Diane Sophrin
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