The process for this installation was very much like making a painting. Techniques were very pared down and consisted of staining sheer organza with watercolor washes; then layering and draping the fabrics on the walls and inside of a closet with glass window. In addition, areas of the walls and closet interior were stained with gouache to make very subtle “markers”.
What was the inspiration for using these materials and techniques?
The work was conceived as a response to the light and space in which it was installed. The light in the room is beautiful and very embracing. I considered the light itself one of the materials I was using. The textured, frosted glass panel on the closet door is another material in the piece. It is a conductor of light – translucent, as is silk organza — these materials have a visual affinity. My intention was to use very economic means to draw attention to the qualities of light. Layers, veils and very subtle, glowing color are the vocabulary. The work exists inside the closet and outside in the room — the viewer is drawn first to a soft silk scrim in the corner and tiny painted areas of the walls, then may see the image partly concealed behind the glass door — he must open the door to see the entire image revealed. In addition to the quality of light in the room, I drew on my recollections of medieval churches in Amsterdamn and England — on the interactions of space, light and iconographic traces one encounters in such places — remnants of our attempts to visually articulate spiritual experience.
Here is my artist statement for the exhibition:
All buildings have an essential principle (spirit/character) that presents to those who enter and spend time there. The interior of 1414 Monterey Street invites one to linger, to pay attention.
In choosing a location for an installation, I wanted to develop a work in concert with the qualities of the house and the permanent collection: to follow the essential principle. What struck me was how each work in the collection relates intimately with the architecture, making use of some characteristic aspect of the room in which it is located. Subtle, economic, often beautiful installations wait to be discovered, emerging unexpectedly from the body of the building. The presence of the human hand is evident. Qualities of light and space that are taken for granted become central.
The second room of Alan Wexler’s Bed Sitting Room for an Artist in Residence is peaceful, flooded with light so beautiful it has presence. Time is suspended. Something shared but private, positive and embracing is sensed. unwritten employs the qualities of light, fabric and architecture to evoke the experience of this place.
What is an upcoming project you are working on?
I am currently working on a series of prints that I would like to develop into artist’s books.
What is one artistic endeavor (exhibition, techniques to learn, etc…) that you would like to accomplish and have not yet?
I would like to continue to explore opportunities to make installations — this is a relatively new endeavor that I find very exciting and from which I learn — it expands the scope of what I think is possible. It is a different way of thinking and stretches me artistically.
I am also interested in learning more about how to use the web and digital photography, animation as an extension of the painting and prints I make.
Where can people find out more about you?
Here are some links to some more of Rise’s work: