Monday, November 24, 2014

Andrea Myers

Installation View re-post of my article.

This year Grand Rapid, Michigan’s ArtPrize shocked many with a consensus on the winner Anila Quayyum Agha; Andrea Myers’ installation with Jeffrey Haase also presented an impressive piece that engaged viewers from many different angles. But if you couldn’t visit Michigan, Andrea Myers has a solo show at Circuit 12 Contemporary this month. I sat down with Myers for a few minutes before her opening and I got some interesting insight into the work.

Although much of her cut-out work in frames are her prints on paper; she, like me, felt these works were invoking the language of paintings. But as I reflect on whole show, Myers really is a fibers/hybrid forms artist. Even the works on paper celebrate the tear of the material. Her prints and found paper play with the surface, and is part of the reason my first impression was that these works were like paintings. Any in her Hollow Series seem akin to Post Minimalism, which have stark white areas hand ripped to expose the next several layers. The Ripple Series reflects the effect an object might make dropped in water.

Andrea Myers is a recycling true believer when it come to her work. Myers told me she never really throws anything away, but rather incorporates her leftovers into expansive works like Expanse. I told her it reminded me of those late 1800’s crazy quilts, where quilters would take all their leftover scraps and create a chaotic quilts. These abstract textiles were indication that Modernism was moving across multiple disciplines at the time. Fibers during the 19th century were not seen as art, but now textiles have been elevated to art status and I can see Myers work as part of this growing tradition. Myers denies practical function to her fiber work Expanse. This object acts more as a tapestry installation of colorful abstraction.

Myers creates works on paper, installations, and in a work like Soft Knots, she makes an abstract sculptural form. Upon looking at this object, I am reminded of abstract pottery or natural stones, but then the colors pop out at you. This makes the you reevaluate the object. I have to remind myself that this is made from stacks of fabric, because I am so use to sculptural shapes like this made from variety of hard surfaces. Her object has been placed on a flat plain white display box or pedestal attached to the wall. Part of the sculpture seems to ooze over the front of the pedestal. This draws your attention to look around and even under the object.

When I think about Andrea Myers’ work as a whole, the variety of approaches with similarity of style makes for good solo exhibition. I felt that all her art in the show played off each other to create a narrative of color and tears. The show will be up until 15 November at Circuit 12 Contemporary.

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