Fragile State

An Exhibition by Cynthia Mason

June 2 – 25, 2017

Opening Reception Friday June 2, 6-9 pm

show statement

In Fragile State, I explore spaces and objects of instability through investigating the makeshift and the haphazardly constructed. I use the grid in the same way human beings have always used it, to set boundaries, maintain order, and control. In my work the grid goes through many phases—it goes limp or is in state of decay—creating voids for the viewer to investigate. These voids dissect and fragment space as units of exploration. Facades or ill-fitted linen sometimes drape the grid creating odd nonsensical intersections. I am interested in the intersections, events and actions that occur in the spaces that surround us. These are the fragments of space that reflect the fragile state of our reality.

artist statement

Trained as an architect and fascinated by the overlap and edges of topographies, I make low relief wall constructions that scramble the spatial and material codes of painting, seducing the eye into uncharted territories. My constructions Aggrandize Grids take the form of layered grids and are named for my material choice of junk mail. It’s main purpose is to increase the status or wealth of, or to aggrandize. Made from a paper mache-like paste of artist gesso ground and old junk mail, composed wet and when dry incised with graphite then cut into grids, Aggrandize Grids function as an open framework, both literally through grids and metaphorically as a repositories of random information from the mail. The folded and stacked materials destabilize the grid; the vacillation between structure and not increased as florescent colors behind the ground layer illuminate the space behind. Cast shadows add even another dimension, playing in and around each facade. The grids expand dimensionally, as my love for materials results in folding, rolling and attaching porcelain, plaster, steel and 24k gold leaf in haphazard or makeshift methods invented anew each working session. I love to reveal how materials repel or merge, ooze and crack, how they patina and shift to show their existence. These material interactions create moments and intersections that reflect the complexity and fragility of reality in spaces not yet recognized. Examining the placement and characteristic of each material shifts us from recognition to pure perception in moments of pure embodiment.