Often I am pulled under by the content of a created work, going beyond surface application into a deeper meaning. My mind usually navigates to the why and attempts to dig and sift for a broader understanding of what I am currently viewing. The paintings of Charline von Heyl and Dana Shutz are exemplary in this endeavor, their work draws me down a funnel hole in my attempts at deciphering. Once enticed by surface texture and gesture I am immediately brought into a conversation. Rarely am I one to merely flirt and pass, or perhaps with these two I have no choice, spellbound at first sighting.
It is beneath the surface that I tend to scratch, gnawing at a need for the elixir of meaning. This is an addiction I am willing to succumb to, though perplexed by the constant quandary. Pleased that I am by the formalities of surface, I’m quickly nudged by the question of why: our need to communicate by way of physical making.
A more than satisfactory answer to why is the work of Peter Lane and Michele Quan. Both are practitioners of form, utility and meaning, profoundly communicating the question of creating and making. Within the evidence of the hand and process, meaning is shown by physical gesture, where the carnal fuses with contemporary visual language by way of kneaded earth. Through process and visual cues content shows itself most meaningful, holding one’s gaze.
Through gesture of making we find meaning and solace well beyond the surface. This I find to be a necessity as we turn another year, another day and moment, saturated with the desire to know resolve. It is with the creative gesture we find our shared voice and even in the distance, our humanity. It is by way of pulling meaning through the gauze of content that life and living comes to focus, where questions are answered as well as unfold.