Star Offering by Chauney Peck
Yesterday, I got to gallery sit at SOIL and spend the day with Chauney Peck's Bang, Universe, Everything. I wrote the short essay in the show brochure so I've already been thinking about this new body of work a lot.
I really like her new approach of using chance as a framework to build these sculptural accretions. Brightly colored pieces of wood are wrapped in string and nylon cord then displayed on modest plinths of found timber. Some have had plaster added to them, others are embellished with fake flowers or ceramic bears. There's a looseness to them but they feel resolved.
They also feel very Northwestern. The re-use of discarded materials, a nebulous spirituality, and the strong presence of timber all exude a variant of what Jeffry Mitchell described as "Hippie magic" in his curated show, Call and Response, at Crawl Space Gallery last March.
One of my favorite surprises about this show is that many of the pieces are offerings. They're not for sale but if you connect with one of them, you should contact Chauney (contact info is at the gallery) and explain why and maybe you'll end up with it at the end of the show. Amanda Manitach wrote a great essay about how this additional element of gift-giving echoes the potlatch (a ceremony unique to the NW Coast region).
Chauney continues her work in cut vinyl. Only this time, instead of documenting piles of neighborhood trash, she's turned her eye toward representing nuclear test data and visualization of exploding stars. With poetic titles like "A Powerful New God is Coming", and "Imperfect Sun", these new pieces more abstract than her previous work.
Everyone I've talked to really likes this show. I've heard a couple of artists refer to it as their highpoint of 1st Thursday (and that's saying something because there was a bunch of great art!). You can preview the show here but it really has to be seen in person. I believe Chauney will be gallery sitting on Thursday, April 22 if you want to ask her any questions. This show was also my pick for City Arts NOW spotlight.
Also, in the backspace, Ben Hirshkoff present Floating. I really want one of his Asteroids drawings.