Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to open the 2019 exhibition season with a group exhibition of new work on paper by Meg Hitchcock, Michiyo Ihara and Eleanor White.
Meg Hitchcock's work often begin with sacred texts; she cuts tiny individual letters from various scripture and uses the isolated typeset characters to create intricate designs. Letters are cut from a Bible and rearranged into a passage from the Koran, letters from the Koran are transformed into verses from the Torah, and so on. Her work addresses the limitations of language and interpretation and questions the exclusivity of fundamentalist belief systems. By deconstructing and recombining holy books of diverse religions, Hitchcock undermines their authority and animates the common thread that weaves through all scripture. A former evangelical Christian, Hitchcock is interested in the psychology of authority, surrender, and transcendence. The repetition of cutting and placing letters simulates the liturgical sacraments of the Church and alludes to the recitations of Eastern religions. The labor-intensive aspect of her work is a meditation practice as well as an exploration of the various forms of devotion. The work is a celebration of the diverse experiences of spirituality, as well as an acknowledgment of the desire for connection with something larger than oneself. By blurring the boundaries between religions, Hitchcock suggests that the holy word of God may be nothing more than a sublime expression of our shared humanity.
Meg Hitchcock's work is in the collections of Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Library, Yale University, Nouf Al-Saud of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, Christopher Rothko, New York, NY, Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AR, Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA, to name a few. Her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, The New Criterion, Art in America and many other publications. Hitchcock earned a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA and studied at the Fortman and Cecil-Graves Studios, Florence, Italy.
Michiyo Ihara continues her graphite snowflake series, now numbering over 150. Ihara's astounding drawings are entirely hand-drawn and imagined, her draftsmanship and details are unmatched. Organized on a square sheet of warm white paper, the pencil drawings occupy the middle of the space and reach away from the center with nearly symmetrical, lacy, cell-like layers. The drawings describe contained worlds, each unique as snowflakes.
Ihara work has been included in numerous exhibition throughout the United States including Lehman College, Bronx, NY. The artist was formally trained in Japan and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Working with a multiplicity of nontraditional media, Eleanor White strives to transform materials while honoring their innate associations. Crushed emu or chicken eggshell, wood ash, glass beads are some the familiar materials in White's work. By her own admission, she creates "obsessively constructed objects and drawings" her passion for experimentation combined with her formal training manifest in meticulously crafted objects. White literally and metaphorically layers materials; object and meaning inform one another in her captivating work.
Eleanor White has been awarded numerous professional honors including a Fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Artists' Books from The New York Foundation for the Arts, the New Art Annual award from the Stamford Museum, CT, the William H. Rinehart Award from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD, the Jacob K. Javits National Graduate Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, and has earned residencies at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA. White earned her MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. The artist lives and works in Beacon, NY.