PAPER CUTS: NEW WORKS BY JACQUELYN GLEISNER
September 10 – October 17, 2019
Reception on Thursday, September 12, 5:30-7 p.m. in Pegasus Gallery
Paper Cuts debuts a new series of works by Jacquelyn Gleisner at Middlesex Community College’s Pegasus Gallery and the Niche Space. The show’s title, defined as a wound caused by a piece of paper, connects to the concept of Gleisner’s current body of work which is centered on the—sometimes cutting—meaning of words. Each work contains one word—shrill, nag, and floozy, for example—that has been drawn or painted in a way that correlates to the artist’s subjective interpretation of the word. “Floozy,” drawn in a loose curlicue script, has scalloped edges and is repeated and pasted into a decorative latticework. From this drawing, numerous layers of colorful laser-cut papers and mat board are glued together, creating an intricate mass where letters and sometimes full words emerge. These works call attention to pejorative or unfavorable applications and undertones of specific words. The words are sometimes hidden, but their appearances—deceptively decorative—begin to engender new connotations.
Alongside this series, one of Gleisner’s Scrolls will also be on view. The scrolls are based on patterns that mimic weavings and other forms of handiwork and represent a harmony of opposites—a union of aesthetic traditions rooted in both craft and fine art contexts with references to tropes in abstract painting, especially from the 1960s and 1970s. Explicitly created on paper—a material structure that is accessible yet fragile—these scrolls are photographed in natural and constructed environments. Inside a parking garage or on a bed of snow, the scrolls become interwoven in a community and a specific setting, presenting alternative narratives about how paintings exist in this world.
Gleisner is a 2010 Fulbright Grant recipient. She studied fine art and art history at Boston University and received her MFA from the painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2018, she founded Connecticut Art Review, an online writing platform for the visual arts within the state.
See more of her work at jacquelyngleisner.com and connecticutartreview.com.
IN THE AIR: MIKE SWEENEY
November 1, 2019 – January 8, 2020
Reception on Tuesday, November 12, 5-7 p.m. in Pegasus Gallery
Mike Sweeney’s series “Cloud & Horizon” conceptually engages metaphors at the intersections of technology, communication, perception and the environment.
Works in the “Cloud & Horizon” series began by associating “the cloud” used for data storage with “clouds” produced by natural phenomena. Hanging and freestanding forms are constructed of woven strips of found paper, from which text and images are cut and torn. This technique produces a structurally unified matrix of fragmented bits of information suspended within the larger surface plane. The woven pattern appears within silhouetted shapes of amorphous clouds, architectural structures, landscape features, tree canopies, etc.
Complicating and complimenting the fractured content of the silhouettes are embossed texts pressed into white paper, legible only as shadowy phrases hung like sheets and towels on a laundry line. The dialogue between the woven silhouettes and the laundry-like embossments encourages personal associations while leaving unresolved
possibilities for clear or factual conclusions about their meaning. Much like Sweeney’s earlier series “Books of Things We Do Not Know,” a series of solid wood carvings that appear to be ‘real’ books, this exhibition encourages contemplation and self-reflection through familiar subjects. Through personal engagement, Sweeney hopes to encourage simple awareness of perception, misperception, and all that we don’t fully understand.
Mike Sweeney completed an M.F.A. at the University of Connecticut in 1990. Since that time, he has been making art while working within educational organizations and libraries as a means of engaging with and encouraging his own and others’ curiosity and understanding of our world. Mike lives in Middletown, CT.
See more of Sweeney’s work, past and present, as well as his recent feature article in “LandEscape Contemporary Art Review” at https://mikesweeneyartist.com