Transfiguration: Woven Forms
Hudson Valley, NY-based multimedia artist Jennifer Zackin mounts solo exhibition of experimental weaving
Madelon Powers Gallery, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
February 2 - March 6, 2022
Transfiguration: Woven Forms presents new sculptural works created by Jennifer Zackin during the pandemic. In this body of work, Zackin takes a deeper dive into her Vortex Weavings. Mathematically speaking, a vortex is a three-dimensional ring or doughnut shaped-object around which energy can flow. As it spins, a vortex forms through its central axis. This pattern can be found throughout the universe in hurricanes, galaxies, and atoms.
The design of a chair can serve as a marker of a particular era, or a manifestation of a certain historical moment. In the 7 Chairs series, Zackin uses her late 20th century lawn furniture and three tractor seat stools as armatures for imaginary 3-dimensional landscapes woven from materials close at hand – colorful rope and scraps of fabric become gravity-defying underwater-like worlds, mountain ranges, escape hatches, refuges. While ordinary chairs allow the human form to defy gravity by offering support, Zackin’s chairs are themselves topsy-turvy, existing in a world of the unexpected. Where floating is an option, new perspectives can be gained. The very definition of stability shifts, and transformation becomes possible.
The artist's ongoing Vortex works are woven with various materials – often cotton rope – on cube-shaped looms as large as an entire room. For the current exhibition, Zackin has created Phoenix, a 44”x44” loom onto which she has woven a fabric made from her own old clothing, piecing together bits and scraps to create a new, cohesive, multidimensional form.
Visitors to the gallery will be invited to bring an article of clothing to be woven into a community Vortex project. Over the course of the exhibition, through the interweaving of parts of our personal history, a unique collective fabric will begin to emerge.
For the last 22 years, Jennifer Zackin has been integrating public art, sculpture, installation, performance, collaboration, ceremony, photography, video, collage and drawing into acts of reverence and reciprocity. Whether wrapping trees in patterns of brightly colored rope, growing medicinal herbs in a public garden for public use, offering large masses of rose petals to oceans and lakes, creating absorbent tentacles ("hair booms") out of salvaged materials to aid in the clean-up efforts of toxic spills, Zackin seeks to engage and create community in her process, bringing art and ritual into everyday life. Every act is an exploration of exchange, communion, performance, skill-sharing, and mark-making.
Her work has been exhibited in national and international museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art NY, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art CT, Spertus Museum - Chicago IL, Rose Museum MA, the Wexner Center for the Arts OH, Contemporary Art Museum - Houston TX, The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden - Norway, Institute of Contemporary Art - Boston MA and the Zacheta National Art Gallery - Warsaw, Poland. Commissions include Governors Island NYC with LMCC, Katonah Art Museum NY, Socrates Sculpture Park LIC - Queens NY and the Berkshire Botanical Gardens - Stockbridge, MA. She is the recipient of fellowships and residencies, including Factory Direct at Pinchbeck Rose Farm, Art Omi, Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture.