Lines of Communication
This September Fountain Street will be featuring Core Artist's Joel Moskowitz and Jim Banks along with guest artist Catherine Carter. The show, Lines of Communication, runs from September 6th through October 8th. Opening reception will be Saturday, September 9th from 5-7, Artists Talk Sunday, September 24th from 3-5 and First Friday Reception Oct 6 from 6-8. I asked the artists to talk about the theme of the show and their individual process and concepts.
Joel: "all three of us use line as the principal graphic element in our work. We didn't know each other before the show, and it's not our "subject matter" that connects us. We are a diverse group. But our use of line, and mostly a line that curves, not a straight one, unites our work. Sometimes I think, there must be something common, among us, perhaps a desire to connect things, or the joy of gesturing, or an impulse to write, but without meaning. I imagine one continuous line going through my letters, reaching across time into Jim's world of tangles, leaping into the spaces of Catherine's elegant canvases, weaving through, and exiting, gracefully."
Joel on his concepts: "I have two concepts. The first is, to engage with Hebrew, the language of my religion. This is a personal quest, which somehow makes me feel close to my father, who died last year. One of the things we shared was a love and respect for Jewish tradition, but in different ways. I interpret our tradition freely, and perhaps that's why I like to thread a loose line inside Hebrew letters.The other concept has to do with placing letters of different languages on the same page. When I do this, I think about coexistence between cultures that may be in opposition to each other, or simply in contradistinction. When I juxtapose Hebrew with English letters, I'm thinking about the connections between the Spiritual world and the Everyday world. When I juxtapose Hebrew with Arabic, I'm thinking about bridging the gap between Jews and Arabs. And when I place all three languages together, I'm thinking in general terms about Relationship, praying that we can all get along."
Catherine: "The theme for this show is the shared focus of the three artists involved; namely, the use of the basic element of line. The title of the show identifies the effectiveness of line as a great communicator – of mood, ideas, emotions, energy, and life itself.
Catherine talks about concept: "My various series include different materials such as cut paper or collaged fabrics, and a variety of colors, surfaces, and techniques, but line is always the star. The reason for this is partly my love of drawing flowing calligraphic lines, and partly the fact that these types of marks can be interpreted in infinite ways, depending on the experience and preferences of the viewer. I enjoy offering abstract patterns and compositions to an audience, and letting them react and interpret as they please. "
And Process: "It all starts with a squeeze bottle filled with fluid acrylic paint. It’s like a giant liquid crayon to me, and I just start drawing. The formation of my lines is inspired by a combination of cursive writing and my memories of gestural drawing from observation. Sometimes I draw/paint on fabric, sometimes paper, sometimes canvas. Sometimes it’s white paint, which I let dry and then paint over with a variety of colors. Sometimes it’s one color, or several colors. Sometimes the original line drawing remains the composition, and other times the surface is cut or torn into shapes and collaged."
Jim: "Lines of Communication. That was Joel’s idea. A good one. The Lines part definitely relates to all of our work. The what of communication is a bit more mysterious. I don’t look at it in terms of anything verbal or what can be verbalized. For me to even attempt to verbalize my own work somehow puts it in a box. Don’t like boxes."
Jim on Concept: "When I was pre-literate, I liked to play “business man”. I would write letters, which would essentially be scrawls across the page. Later, like in art school, I’d find myself scrawling, either across or down, like Chinese. I translated a few into sculpture while in school. Later, I noticed a few major artists had these squiggles showing up in their work. It gave me permission to release what was already there. I call it affinities, rather than influences. Basically, I’ve a gene that likes lines and the weaving thereof. "
On Process: "Scribble. Double the line. Weave over/under. Study real knots and insert. It helps to be somewhat compulsive. Erase. A lot."