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September 15th - 29th

Retroactive Continuity is an exhibition focused on inviting the viewer to notice details and subtle variations. The show’s title refers to a literary device, usually found in television and other popular serial fiction, in which previously established facts in the narrative are subsequently changed, ignored, or contradicted to allow the storyline to move in a desired direction. 

In today’s political landscape, we are seeing the established facts of history, science, and even recent occurrences being rewritten, ignored, or contradicted (“alternative facts”) in order to support partisan objectives. As entire fields of study come under attack and our news media sacrifice reporting standards to accommodate “multiple perspectives,” we are left to grapple with questions of how our collective reality is defined and agreed upon, what facts constitute the basic building blocks of that reality, and who decides.

The scientific process resists the shoehorning of evidence to fit one’s ends, but it also presents another model for us to consider the slippery nature of reality and how we decide what constitutes it. Data, after all, must be interpreted in order to draw conclusions, and new evidence may refute or revise previous conclusions. The fact of human involvement in an experiment can–and does–affect the nature of our results. Science, too, has been subject to gross failures of objectivity (phrenology and other now-debunked theories that formed the basis for eugenics projects come to mind as examples). Metaphors scientists use to explain their theories in popular contexts can also be erroneously and even harmfully applied (for instance, the application of the evolutionary concept of “survival of the fittest” to political and social goals via “social Darwinism”). And yet, scientific tests and their resultant conclusions are probably the most accurate and objective means currently available to us to define reality.

My work has long been inspired by the variation and repetition of basic forms and patterns within natural structures. This show, like my previous work, employs visual language taken to a great extent from the molecular and atomic structures that make up the world. While remarkably few elements form the basis of all matter, they combine and repeat in a dizzying variety of ways to form the infinite diversity of life and nonliving things in the natural environment. 

Significantly, it is how atoms and molecules are organized into structures that determines the physical properties we experience in the world. For example, charcoal, graphite, and diamonds are all made up of carbon atoms, but how those atoms are organized determines whether the resulting material can be crumbled in your hand, glides in layers across itself, or adheres together as the hardest substance on earth. Likewise, it is the structure of the elements in my compositions that form the basis of the viewer’s experience. Abstraction invites interpretation, but the structures to be interpreted are fixed, and in the case of art, they are intentional. One can argue what a shape looks like from a particular perspective or vantage point, or what is form versus what is ground, but one cannot argue that the marks are in different places on the paper than they actually are. In this way, my work calls attention to what is up for interpretation and what is not, as well as the interplay of perspective and the construction of reality.

The show will consist of 30 x 22 inch original drawings, all executed in ink on paper. All artwork is original and the sole creation of the artist.



Exhibition Preview

5:00-10:00 PM