Current Space is proud to present Unfixed, a solo exhibition by Kottie Gaydos and Matisse in Bath, paintings by Se Jong Cho and sound by Marc Miller. Please join us
Current Space is proud to present Unfixed, a solo exhibition by Kottie Gaydos and Matisse in Bath, paintings by Se Jong Cho and sound by Marc Miller. Please join us for the closing reception and artist talk.
Closing Reception: April 20th, 7-10pm
Artist Talk: 8pm
Exhibition Duration: March 30th – April 20th
Gallery Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, noon – 4pm
This work investigates the intrinsic role vulnerability plays in the healing process, and probes the instances in which the efforts of systems designed to protect and withstand harm, fail. Once stacked, ceramic vessels dipped in cyanotype, a light sensitive photographic emulsion, and left unfixed embody the liminal space between being and failure. These cairns function as counterpoints to archival pigment prints of unfixed cyanotype paper, framed and hung low on the walls. Coated with cyanotype emulsion, the frames are inherently photographic and bear witness to the environments in which they are hung, personifying the experience of the body as affected by internal and external forces. In concert, the cairns and photographic field of blue are a portal into a dialogue between the ideal and problematic body.
Kottie Gaydos holds an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She serves as Curator and Editor-in-Chief of Special Publications at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography (DCCP) in addition to teaching at MICA and at Towson University. Her work has been exhibited across the U.S., China, and Japan and is in private and public collections, including the Cranbrook Museum of Art. Recent exhibitions include the 40th Annual Paper in Particular, Curated by Eric Lutz, Columbia College Sidney Larson Gallery, Columbia, MO, and Sentinels (III) : Organize, part of The Neon Heater’s Year Seven: The Temperature, curated by Ian Breidenbach, The Provincial, Kaleva, MI.
Matisse in Bath
Se Jong Cho
I first saw Matisse’s “Large Reclining Nude” at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Next to the painting, there is an explanatory plaque, showing how Matisse progressed from more precise depictions of a figure to more abstracted colors and shapes. It struck me that this generalization required rigor and imagination, and I decided to explore Matisse’s paintings as a way to expand my understanding of creative expressions. Einstein said, everything should be “made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” As a scientist, I learned to appreciate the complexity of our reality, and I solve the challenges of representing this complexity both in my paintings and in my scientific research by “means of the cylinder, the sphere, and the cone” as Cezanne once advised. Making the Matisse interpretation series presented me with the challenge of painting a full body, which I had never done, and I approached this challenge by coming to a compromise between Matisse’ beautiful generalization of figures and my inclination toward precision. I wanted these paintings to echo Matisse’s shapes and colors, but also create something new, by merging my identity as a Korean woman and a scientist to that of Matisse’s as a son of a prosperous French merchant and a law student who discovered “a kind of paradise” when he began painting as a way to recover from an appendicitis.
Problems with Nudes
Nudes are problematic and I was hesitant to create images that reinforce the particular existence of women that has been prevalent in the usage and conventions of Western art. From Berger’s Ways of Seeing: “To be born a woman has been to be born…into keeping of men… A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping.” In other words, women are less present than being seen. Take Matisse’s reclining nude, for example; it’s a picture of a woman who is posing because she is aware of the surveyors’ gaze, including Matisse’s. So, I was conflicted about creating female nudes as objects to be seen. However, painting these nudes forced me to contemplate the implications of male gaze in women’s lives and how to resolve them in my own work. How do I preclude the male gaze in female nude paintings? The answer is that they are not nude, they are naked because it’s necessary for bathing. I concluded that if the figures are present, and are comfortable with their presences, then they are not merely posing to be seen; rather, they are daring to take up space in the world.
Se Jong Cho (born in Seoul, South Korea, 1978) paints to explore the extent of her imagination and to expand her ability to express it. She subscribes to the idea that art is a collective process, and hopes that her work can trigger the audience to explore the depths of their conscious minds beyond the representations in the physical world.
Current Space has been partially funded by the Meow Wolf DIY Fund, The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts.
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