Muriel Guépin Gallery is pleased to present “Dive In”, a group show of two artists who work with layers to uncover and create a history in their pieces. Both Michelle Benoit and Huntz Liu make their layers visible, much like strata. Benoit works in an additive way, in which she starts with an initial surface and builds outwards with painted sheets of bulletproof Plexiglas or Lucite. Whereas Liu builds up his surface with varying pieces of colored paper, and then cuts into it to reveal his strata. Both work with sculptural techniques of adding and subtracting forms to unveil the history of their process. While Benoit’s works encapsulate memories and places through light and Chroma, Liu’s cut paper compositions are an attempt to dissect mechanisms and kinetics found within both technological and natural structures.
Michelle Benoit works in an additive way where she starts with a flat surface of wood and layers transparencies atop it to create depth. Often her materials are recycled and reclaimed. Compositions are composed in relation with the size of the fragments and the ability to carry light. Collected, cut, painted, stacked, mortared and coalesced. Lucite, wood, paints and mixed media are cut, assembled, adhered and re-cut. Ingrained layers and seams are exposed. Memory is encased in complexion, saturation, and matter. Color combinations are coded and symbolic of and for past events, memory and place. This current body of work is a remembering, a collection of memory through light and Chroma. What results is a contemporary geologic core sample, a very personal, yet collective landscape. Some of her works mimic looking down into the ocean and seeing the different depths beneath, some murky, some clear. Her pieces look like they radiate light from beneath the surface, much like when you look into the ocean. There’s a constant feeling of wanting to look deeper, to carve away at what she’s created to discover something.
Huntz Liu on the other hand works in a subtractive way, where he builds up a surface with stacked colored paper, and then cuts into it to reveal the different colors and surfaces. In his work you are far more able to see the varying strata and get a glimpse into what his process is. He uses simple geometric forms that are carefully placed, allowing for the material to be seen and encountered clearly. These carved compositions may be conceived as the skeleton of a structure. Indeed, Liu is interested in revealing the mechanisms and kinetics found within both technological and natural structures: the organic and the mechanic. His work is about exploring the underlying layers (literally and figuratively) of both systems. His pieces somehow look like colorful archeological digs or exposed complex systems.
This exhibition will be on view until February 11, 2017