curated by Angela Conant
Juan Pablo Baene, Angela Conant, Beka Goedde, Bradford Kessler, Elisa Lendvay, Rachel Ostrow, and Kiki Smith
April 27 - June 9 2019
Photography by Stan Narten
FreeHand presents work that is made without plan or premeditation, other than a kind of bodily memory. Each work by the seven artists in this exhibition came to being not from a template, but as readily as a spoken word borne directly from a thought. Unlike verbal language, each move or mark was made ad hoc, in response to the last, as the artist’s inner thinking was assembled into visual form.
While improvisational methodology has been well traversed in drawing, notably by the surrealists, FreeHand shows how intuition can lead in other media, such as stone, painting, and printmaking. The artists in this group see-saw from representation to abstraction, from two-dimensions to three, making real-time decisions using X-Actos, Dremmels and squeegees.
This exhibition celebrates the unique individual viewpoint as a hopeful guide forward. While consensus functions to merge and smooth diversity, these artworks delineate distinct facets of perspective. The works on view each present a progression of ideas like points to be connected, rather than didactic connective material between points. They present unassuming options and questions, and do not insist on their own correctness. Reveling in the honesty of instinct, they seek not the dull comfort of homogeneity. In a global consciousness wherein generalization has reached a dangerous zenith, FreeHand elevates the invaluable, minute intricacies of individual thought.
- Angela Conant, 2019