Los AngelesEmma Soucek: Edge Events
The edge of things, a profile, coupled with a past event, has always made me leap like an inspired diver off a board.
– Alfred Jensen, Alfred Jensen: Paintings and Diagrams from the Years 1957-1977
Parrasch Heijnen presents Edge Events, the gallery’s first exhibition with New York-based artist Emma Soucek (b. 1996, Long Beach, CA).
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The textural interplay of Emma Soucek’s painting comes in the form of pinched, spread, and pleated pigmented paper pulp. Soucek’s process involves taking something which is fully formed – in this case, construction paper and other commercial stationery – and deconstructing it to a raw matter before re-visualizing it in revived manifestations that adhere to the canvas as they cure. In each painting the artist engages chance, combining remnants of personal moments and memories to create a world of her own where positive chromatic energy and expression is circumambient. The malleable nature of Soucek’s medium allows for intuition and improvisation to take hold.
Soucek’s patterns are inspired by the history of utilitarian textiles and elements that mirror the exterior world. Each intense color harmoniously fades or bleeds into the next, creating a landscape in the artist’s all-encompassing vision. Soucek’s palette reflects an extensive study of Howardena Pindell, Sam Gilliam, and Milton Avery, as well as fragments of natural encounters. As she works the paper pulp to compose visual moments, inch by inch, Soucek derives a kinship with Pindell’s paper chad assemblages; in each, multitudes of solid elements are manually combined resulting in a detailed, texturally rich surface that maps energy, emotion, and instinct. Compositions encompass more than bold colors: depth appears as pleats overlap with pigments, resulting in new hues at each intersection. These abstract works have a sculptural quality, as the molded medium forms a relief, extending from the picture plane. Color and shape unfold appearing in spectral washes, creating patterned images that are both emotional and relatable.
Concurrently on view in the front gallery are works by the iconic New York-based artist Howardena Pindell (b. 1943, Philadelphia, PA). Cut paper collages and stencil-and-spray paint works depict Pindell’s intimate, invented universe. As the artist deconstructs the paper medium, she reinvigorates the material, establishing new bonds and combining elements freely and intuitively. Throughout Pindell’s work, process is paramount. Beginning in the 1970s, Pindell’s use of paper established a path forward, elevating the medium beyond the realm of craft. Both Soucek and Pindell work instinctively, using the tactility of their chosen media to determine the outcome of the work. The distinctive way in which they each juxtapose disparate elements results in abstract imagery that is as dynamic as it is rooted in the history of image making and communication itself.
Emma Soucek (b. 1996, Long Beach, CA) lives and works in New York. Soucek received her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2018. She has taught workshops to New York schoolchildren through the New York-based non-profit Wide Rainbow. Soucek’s work was featured in a solo presentation at NADA Miami 2019 (Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY) and has been included in two-person and group exhibitions at: Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, SW; Marinaro, New York, NY; and At Peace Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
Courtesy of the artist and parrasch heijnen gallery, Los Angeles