Continuing through May 14, 2016
Fresh off a pair of artist residencies at Pilchuck School of Glass and Tacoma Museum of Glass, Chicago-based artist Christine Tarkowski presents a series of metal and glass sculptures that challenge our expectations of the way these mediums can be used to artistic ends. In “Chthonic Void,” as in much of her oeuvre, material is content and the making process is paramount. Of course, arguably all artists are makers, but Tarkowski is one for whom the action of manipulating matter reverberates in the finished pieces, long after her physical involvement with their creation has ceased.
In her sculptures, black or clear glass has been poured over multi-sided cast steel forms and thin soldered steel rods. The glass “flows” thickly upon the surfaces and “drips” tenuously from the spindly armatures, cooled into the most fragile of hanging threads. Though actually fixed in place, the viscous character of the medium in its molten form remains, simultaneously frozen and perpetually animated. Accompanying the sculptural works are a pair of embossed paper pieces and a pair of wall-sized, screenprint-on-canvas installations. Both sets of 2-D works feature complex patterns of parallel lines creating an undulating optical effect, further reinforcing Tarkowski’s masterful ability to coax a visible experience of motion from static things.