Caroline Lathan-Stiefel’s delicately-webbed “drawings-in-space” cover, divide, encircle, and fill spaces. Often large in scale, they activate opportunities for viewers to develop a physical experience of the work as one navigates around it. Lathan-Stiefel’s Wider Than the Sky Redux (2014) remains a suitable example of these statements, originally exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville’s monumental atrium. Composed of multiple meticulously-constructed structures of wire, sewn fabric patches, wire cleaner, and plastic suspended in the space, the installation draws inspiration from the rhizomatic structure of the brain and its circuitry after the artist’s father suffered an episode of encephalitis that caused damage to the speech and language area of the brain. Driven by an interest in how the brain can be damaged and “regrow” itself, the installation utilizes the humblest of materials to offer a delicate yet impactful visual expression of this triumph.
While components of Wider Than the Sky Redux will be on display for Lathan-Stiefel’s much-anticipated solo exhibition at Galleri Urbane, the artist will also present new bodies of work that sustain her interest in the movement and growth of biological and architectural systems. Titled Churn Dash, the exhibition borrows its name from a historical quilt motif, an appropriate reference given the artist’s affinity for craft materials and assemblages of fabric constructions. But the work in Churn Dash leaves the traditional nine-block piecework behind, substituting it for more uncommon elements such as plaster, cardboard, plastic juice bottles, and glass science-lab equipment. Patching and piecing remains an important element for the show with the exhibition of new quilt-like pieces on canvas, floor sculptures, suspended articles, as well as larger installation work. And just as the components of a quilt are assembled to make the whole, the multiple components of Churn Dash undoubtedly amass to one unforgettable artistic experience.
An opening reception for Churn Dash will take place at Galleri Urbane Dallas on Saturday,
January 6th, 2018, from 6:30-8:30 PM, and a conversation with the artist will take place at 6:00 PM.
Caroline Lathan-Stiefel is a Pennsylvania-based artist who has a BA in Visual Arts from Brown University in Providence, RI and an MFA from Maine College of Art in Portland, ME. She is the recipient of numerous awards, such as the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at galleries, museums, and art fairs nationally and internationally, including MOCA Jacksonville’s Project Atrium series. Lathan-Stiefel has completed temporary and permanent public installations and her work can be found in diverse private and museum collections across the country. Churn Dash marks the artist’s first solo exhibition at Galleri Urbane.