An event every week that begins at 1:00pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, repeating until June 25, 2016
Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) presents “Symptomatic” featuring artworks from Cynthia Lahti, a Portland artist and 2013 Bonnie Bronson Fellowship awardee, as well as nationally and internationally exhibited artist and lecturer, Harriet Sanderson.
This two person exhibition is on view from June 2 – 25, 2016 at CoCA PS35 in Pioneer Square.
Curated by CoCA Executive Director and artist, Nichole DeMent, “Symptomatic” addresses a sort of dis-ease that overshadows our times. “Their bold work is about that vulnerable interplay between self- identification and culture, yet they have a fun, Neo-Expressionist style that provides levity and an abstract beauty which allows us to reflect and transcend the tension.” Cynthia Lahti’s art encompasses drawing, collage, and ceramic sculpture combined with found objects in an intentional naïve style that includes tossed out toys, glass vases and various types of containers. These upcycled objects represent ephemera from a simpler previous era. She then alters, manipulates, and integrates the found materials into her final artwork to expose contradictions that exist within the form while referencing the figure. Some of her forms are in a position of vulnerability or pain, yet also appear to be in a profound state of peace or ecstasy. Lahti’s work retains a strong reference to the real world while expressing the intangible world of emotion.
“My art is influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by my personal experiences and emotions. I draw inspiration from objects and images, both historical and contemporary. I seek in my art to force a deeper explanation of reality and to facilitate a connection with a larger human experience,” says Lahti. “The conjoined materials subvert and liberate one another and provide humor, as well as chaos. Each artwork weds and combines the sacred with the profane, the wise with the stupid, and the grotesque.”
Harriet Sanderson’s mixed media prints and sculptural installation embrace the idea that the physical body is the architect of experience and identity. Sanderson has lectured and exhibited sculpture and printmaking within civil rights frameworks around the country. Conceptually, her work unabashedly explores how chronic illness, aging, and disability complicates self-identity.
With a background in traditional printmaking, her digital images are constructed in much the same way. She layers scans of her own skin, previous work, and mattress pads, then draws on the surface with pen and ink. “With this tactile and vulnerable imagery of skin on display, I pursue the way our cultural repugnance of the imperfect human body creates a struggle toward identity, an identity that lies somewhere between the ‘damaged’ and ‘normal,” explains Sanderson. Fragments of photographs, irregular marks and torn pieces of paper combine to create art that transcends cultural stigmas and highlights a proclivity towards beauty, fun and expressive play.
“Symptomatic” is an exploration of the isolation of the human condition and the alienation engendered by modern society, but also provides artworks that creatively represent a greater empathy for a global civilization and expanding human consciousness.
### “Symptomatic” Opening Reception presented by CoCA Thursday, June 2, 2016, 6pm – 9pm, as part of Pioneer Square ArtWalk
Exhibition opens Thursday, June 2 and runs through Saturday, June 25. CoCA at PS35 106 Cherry St., Seattle, WA. Pioneer Square Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 1-7pm.