Isis Hockenos + Piper Grosswendt
Closing Reception Saturday March 17th, 6:00-9:00pm
On view by appointment and hours TBA, Feb. 19th - March 25th
At first glance, Piper Grosswendt and Isis Hockenos make incredibly different work, both formally and in terms of content. However, after close observation, they seem to reach back and forth into each others’ worlds, mirroring moments and moods across style and approach. Hockenos depicts an idyllic pastoral landscape with a dark underbelly, full of laborers propelled forward in endless repetitive action. Grosswendt makes rhythmic amalgamations that germinate from observed architectural details; in this body of work, particular cinderblock patterns act as compositional scaffolding. Hockenos displays the moments of labor, while Grosswendt meditates on the result. Pattern, local surroundings, work, and repetition meld together with very specific color choices; both artists use bright pastels rooted in the California landscape, both built and natural. With this current work, Hockenos and Grosswendt reveal their place and time in history with a loving eye toward the beautifully mundane and the action behind it.
Isis Hockenos is influenced by the wind and the salt and the craggy shores of her native Northern California coast, while being inspired too by the urban angles of the cities in which she has lived. Isis studied visual arts and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, NY and printmaking at Fondazione Il Bisonte in Florence, Italy. Isis is an Artist Member at Gallery Route One, Pt. Reyes Station, CA and a Resident Artist at The Midway Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Isis has exhibited locally and internationally including at Vorres Gallery, San Francisco, Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, Gallery Route One, Pt. Reyes Station, Sagan Piechota Architecture, San Francisco, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, and at Galleri Oxholm, Copenhagen, DK. In 2016 she was awarded the Gallery Route One Young Artist Fellowship. Rhizosphere was Isis’ first curatorial project in San Francisco.
Statement: "In recent paintings I have been exploring the concept of task and labor, both physical and emotional. I have been employing mirror imagery and repetition to evoke the sensation of repetitive task. A strong connection to my natural environment, to humor, to narrative and use of color, frame these interests. My subjects also include the work implicit in gender and relationship dynamics. There is a female sense of urgency, of responsibility, of bondage that insists we maintain momentum and forward pressure. Systematic gender-normative behavior reinforces this bondage. Despite the toil depicted in many of my paintings, pleasure and humor are integral. Even if there is thematic discomfort in a piece, the viewer accepts that thorn because of the painting’s inherent visual satisfaction. I want to provoke but in doing so, also want to delight. I like the incongruity of pairing serious subject matter with unexpected colors and improbable titles. This allows for the viewer to access the work from several different points."
Piper Grosswendt lives and makes work in San Francisco, where she received her MFA in Studio Art from California College of the Arts in May 2017. She is from Kailua, Hawaii and holds a BA from Bowdoin College.
Statement: "The house across the street from my own is separated from the sidewalk by a cinder block wall. The bottom row is made of solid blocks, the top three rows of the decorative blocks that resemble a four-petaled flower with the tips of the petals ending at the corners of the square. The house sits on a corner, and the wall follows the curve of the road. All of the cinder blocks are regular right-angled units; the curve of the wall is not smooth. Sometimes, when I walk past the wall, I look at the way someone carefully mortared each block in place."