July 17, Joan Perlman

Curated by Joan Perlman

Nancy Cohen

Joan Perlman

David McDonald

Transmute: Nancy Cohen, David McDonald, Joan Perlman
Curated by Joan Perlman

To change from one form, substance or state into another.

The artists of Transmute use transformation as a primary element in their work, through material, process, or concept. Common concerns include an interest in the tension of opposites: order and chaos, transparency and opaqueness, the organic and architectonic, arbitrary and planned. The work embraces the abstract and often refers to natural or man-made phenomena.

Nancy Cohen's sculpture has been described as palpable, disjunctive and sensual. These works on handmade paper were made in response to her sculptural installation about the Hudson River's unique confluence of river and ocean waters. Her process uses chemical and physical permeation – paper pulp, rust and salt affected by water and the malleability of the paper -- to explore imagery based on the molecular chains and patterns of these waters.

In his sculptures and painting, David McDonald uses modest materials, and color, scale and textures, and transforms often humble means into evocative ends, to create a “profound fundamental:…the mysterious alchemy of material and form."* These pieces combine chips of paint found in the streets near his studio, worn from use, with paint store samples in an ideal state. He explores the interlocking qualities of parts, present in most of his work, and an interest in fragments and interconnectivity.

Using the light, colors and textures of the far north landscape, Joan Perlman's paintings examine the transformation of mutable natural form through the energy of geological process. Her abstract work is deeply engaged with the substance of place and the intricacy of nature's turbulence and flow. Shown here are paintings focused on Iceland's glacial rivers, whose power is from geologic forces deep in the earth, and pieces made with black volcanic sand, inspired by the fragile ephemerality of melting ice in the north.

*Holly Myers, LA Times

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