Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brenda Mallory

I love the way Brenda Mallory relates her very abstract forms to the natural world. They a beautiful and strange at the same time. The piece below is part of an installation titled Offcuts.

About this work she explains:
"A nearly bottomless supply of cloth pieces in the shape of an elongated oval known in geometry and religion as the vesica pisces are stacked in my studio. For Offcuts, I set myself two parameters: one was to use only these pieces as a base; the second was to adhere to a basic law of physics which states “matter cannot be created or destroyed, but can only change its form”. If I cut apart a piece of fabric I had to form something else with what remained. Nothing went into the trashcan. What I did to the shapes was not restricted in any other way. They were variously burned, waxed, sewn, bolted, rolled, stretched, crushed and combined with other materials."

The work above is a snippet of her Porous Borders, an installation piece in collaboration at the Portland Building with Toronto artist Fei Disbrow. Regarding this work she says, "Porous Borders deals with the fears and paranoia that dominate post 911 culture. The work creates is a feeling of discomfort and a lack of ease, even evoking repulsion by using forms that almost seem natural, but are actually deeply strange and offputting."

Below is a detail of work from another installation piece titled Biophilia.

Brenda is one of the featured artists in the Luminous Layers, Exploring Contemporary Encaustic curated exhibition at Lake Oswego, Oregon opening in late June.