Extrusions – New Work by Jen Pack

 

"Sewing, using silk and thread as materials, is my primary mode of expression....it also references painting and drawing" – so states the artist Jen Pack in her artist’s statement of 2005. In her desire to transform space through the use of intense color and the creation of a physical presence beyond a flat 2-dimensional surface, she has accepted the primary coordinates of art-making based on concepts established in the early 19th century, when so much of modern color theory was articulated.

 

Such theories suggested that weaving was the origin of architecture – and thus all art – weaving’s wefts and warps were the fundamental structures of the wall surfaces; it’s knots, the braces, joints, and buttresses of 3-dimensional structures; and unfixed threads continuances of form and color beyond the basic structure, cascading in unison or springing externally to start other structures in other spaces.

 

Jen Pack’s works are fabulous conceits of woven surfaces which glow in translucent and ambient light; some have selected passages that fall to the ground in sensuous langour; others have threads “extruded” beyond the artwork’s token shape and spilling across the walls. In every case, the work is exuberant, colorful, and challenging. In each case the work does not automatically revert to a feminist aesthetic (weaving = craft = home arts); rather, each is fully a work of art unto itself with its feminine echoes, to be sure, but with its testaments to a masculine heritage at the same time.

 

 

- The late Robert Sobieszek was curator of photgraphy at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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