Bartha Contemporary presents the first UK solo-exhibition of works by Allyson Strafella entitled field.
field is a comprehensive presentation of American artist Allyson Strafella’s (b. 1969) work, showcasing drawings made over the past two decades. The densely arranged installation exposes the artist’s refined minimalist language that relies both on audacious mark-making and a striking use of colour.
Instead of traditional drawing tools Allyson Strafella (b.1969) has been working with typewriters, standard and custom built, for over two decades. The artist remarks: “I began drawing out of the need to communicate, to find my own language. I was looking for a way to record my thoughts and ideas and a typewriter was a tool that could keep up with my thoughts. However, I employed no rules of the written language: no capitalization, no punctuation, no paragraphs. The writing slowly transformed – the words left the page and what remained has become my language: drawing.”
Using sheets of pigmented handmade paper, she creates assured abstract forms by applying dense repetitive marks. These concentrated forms are derived from the natural and constructed landscape, which suggest a surprising familiarity. The fragile nature of the works stem not solely from the thinness of the material she employs but from the quality of the mark making. After piercing through the surface of the paper it barely holds its form.
These intimate works carry an immense presence, which often stands in complete antithesis with their delicate appearance. With patience and determination, she continues to find the edge of form and formlessness.
field coincides with a presentation of works at the Cairn Art-Space in Scotland (May 19 – July 1).
Strafella’s work has been exhibited internationally for many years, and most recently she has been exhibiting pieces in a series of two-person shows with Helen Mirra held at Meyer Riegger and Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin, Galleria Raffaella Cortese in Milan and Large Glass in London. A show with Kate Shepherd at Bartha Contemporary was held in late 2016.
Her work can be found in numerous public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Recently it was on view at the Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL(2014); the Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA (2014); the Hafnarfjörður Center of Culture and Fine Art, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland (2013) and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, MO (2012). She has held residencies at MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Skowhegan. Strafella is a Guggenheim fellow, a Gottlieb recipient and Pollock-Krasner Foundation recipient.