Iterations

March 2 – April 20
Sponsored by Dean & Mary Harris
First Friday reception March 2, 7-9pm

Mary Robinson’s work is inspired by natural forms, particularly the branching systems of trees, roots, rivers, and human arteries, the elaborate chaos of tangled vines, and nature’s mode of creating variety within repetition. In her compositions, forms dance, smother, tangle, break, and escape in a multifaceted expression of awe, reverence, anxiety, and hope for life in the 21st century.

The monoprints in this exhibition are created from large stencils and matrices hand-cut from PVC foam board, chipboard and wood, as well as the leftover or negative shapes from those forms. They often go through the press many times as Robinson builds up translucent and opaque layers of color.

Robinson writes, “By mixing and remixing print matrices, as well as cutting up and reconfiguring paintings and collages, I try to disorient the viewer and myself in order to see relationships freshly. This continual composing, decomposing, and recomposing is also a reflection of the way I experience the world where circumstances can change quickly—technology is developing rapidly, political situations can suddenly flip, and the natural environment is, in many ways, breaking down at an alarming pace.”

The title of the exhibition, Iterations, has layered meanings. It implies Robinson’s recurring attempt to express her experience of living in the world, and also relates to the processes she uses. One definition is “the act of repeating,” as in printing from a matrix over and over again. But iteration can also mean “a different form or version of something,” as when creating an edition or set of monoprints from a matrix. The repeated exploration of a subject through materials and form runs parallel to Robinson’s daily meditation practice of observing the mysterious phenomenon of life with the mind.

Originally from Colorado, Robinson is an Associate Professor of Art and Head of Printmaking at the University of South Carolina. Her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and art centers throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Her work was recently included in Independent Spirits: Women Artists of South Carolina at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Robinson has attended residencies at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium; the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT; Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, GA; and Mustarinda Art and Nature Centre in Hyrynsalmi, Finland; and was invited to be a Resident Artist at the Hong Kong Graphic Arts Festival. She has also studied traditional woodblock printing and papermaking in Kyoto, Japan.


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