FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TACIT ALIGNING: PAINTINGS BY DRAGANA CRNJAK AND DISLOCATION OF A MORE COMPLETE PATTERN: PAINTINGS BY FIONA ROSS AT PAGE BOND GALLERY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2016.
Page Bond Gallery is pleased to present Tacit Aligning: Paintings by Dragana Crnjak and Dislocation of a More Complete Pattern: Paintings by Fiona Ross opening Friday, November 4 from 6 to 8 PM. The exhibition will run November 4 to December 3, 2016.
Bosnian-born artist Dragana Crnjak bases her practice on the elusive interplay of sensation and perception. She is best known for her large-scale paintings and drawings, in which overlapping fragments of line, shape, and color lead the viewer’s eye into seemingly infinite spaces and new dimensions. Her latest paintings materialized after a recent sabbatical from teaching, which enabled Crnjak to travel to sixteen Serbian medieval monasteries in 2015. Stimulated by “the physical yet intangible qualities” pulsating within the monastery interiors, she sought to “revive the elusive…to develop work from a single perspective, that of experience, compounded by thought and feeling, memory and anticipation as opposite ways of learning and knowing.” The resulting body of work vacillates between presence and absence—between visual surface marks and the impalpable shifts in awareness to which they give rise. Geometric lines traverse shifting planes of subdued color, while abstract shapes appear suspended in flux, never fully formed. Engaged in exploring the cognitive processes by which visual experiences become meaningful, these compositions present tentative, transitional moments that await completion in each viewer’s own mind.
Crnjak immigrated to the United States in 1997. She received her BFA from University of Akron in 2002, and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004. She has earned several prestigious awards, including the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in visual art (2008, 2011, and 2015) and the competitive Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in drawing (2004). She is currently Associate Professor at Youngstown State University, Ohio, where she has taught painting and drawing since 2006.
Spontaneity and precision intersect in Richmond artist Fiona Ross’s intricate, optically stunning works on paper. Her recent series, Dislocation of a More Complete Pattern, draws inspiration from the imperfections and irregularities found in nature: “Imperfect patterns, visible everywhere from fingerprints to crystalline structures, emerge and evolve spontaneously, causing significant and exciting changes in patterns,” she writes. For many of her latest works, Ross began by arranging droplets of water in grid-like patterns on Yupo—a smooth, waterproof paper made of 100% polypropylene—and then filling them in with dabs of acrylic paint. Yupo’s impermeability allows colors to spread and merge spontaneously upon the surface before drying so that, as with natural pattern formations, deliberate marks yield to the effects of gravity, hydration, and evaporation. Ross repeats this process several times, simultaneously creating and destabilizing pattern structures with each new layer of paint. This technique produces clusters of translucent color that resemble brilliantly stained microscopic cells. Taken together, these delicate clusters form, in Ross’s words, “a material structure of intact and broken patterns” that reward viewers’ sustained observation and attention to detail.
Ross received her BA and MST from Fordham University in 1987 and 1988, respectively, and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001. She has exhibited in China, South Korea, Belarus, India, and the United States, and her work is included in national and international corporate collections. Ross has also received several important awards, including an International Fellowship from the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland (2007), the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship (2005), and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship (2004-2006; 2011-2014). In addition to making two-dimensional art, she has taught sculpture at University of Richmond since 2002.