I’m telling you: we’re carried by tornadoes we barely notice, whirlwinds we barely feel, aggressions we barely acknowledge, because we’re half awake. Things are translated into something alien.
– Etel Adnan, “Shifting the Silence”
Parrasch Heijnen presents the gallery’s second solo exhibition with New York-based artist Emma Soucek (b. 1996, Long Beach, CA).
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Through tactically manipulating paper pulp, Soucek constructs rhythmic paintings where fragmented patterns fluidly merge. These movements, though rigid in anatomy, shift and alter as gestural waves of pixelation. The artist revisualizes the grain of her medium in expanding forms, recycling from a larger narrative.
Each work begins with a loose underpainting. The aqueous pulp is pressed into the canvas following this primary structure, then dissected in a revision process, allowing gestures and markings to organically collide. Soucek’s intentional disruption of the grid, like the disjointed motion in My Simple Nervous System (2022), marries elements of free-flowing current with chaotic unity. Initially, the medium is blended with water, acrylic paint, and a fixative before being molded to the plane. As it sets, the grain of the painting physically melds together, engaging gravity with the artist’s balance of movement and control.
The front gallery space includes works on paper that delve further into Soucek’s process with an intimate look into her use of graphite, oil, crayon, and watercolor. Each brush stroke is distinctly visible in the same manner as the artist’s hand markings. Punctuated by line and color, these studies exist as exploratory gestures with intentional breaks and shifts.
Soucek harmonizes color, texture, and pattern in an unspoken translation of thoughts, where each piece feels intrinsically subjective and personal as the viewer immerses in her tessellated vision. Through conscious sensory awareness, the artist responds to her own bodily experience, expressing a kinetic relationship with the painting in its composition. The physical compression of the pulp impresses saturated peaks of pigment, redirecting the light and adding depth through cast shadows.
As Soucek describes: “The choice to be directly or indirectly in communication with one’s conscience is an invitation that presents itself to us daily. Painting sits right next to this choice, observing the periphery and recording the moments that we have forgotten, overlooked, and are waiting to experience.”
Emma Soucek lives and works in New York. Soucek received her B.F.A. in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2018. She has led workshops for New York City schoolchildren through the non-profit Wide Rainbow. Her work has been featured in two-person and group exhibitions at: Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, SE; Marinaro, New York, NY; At Peace Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; CANADA, New York, NY; and the Bunker Artspace, West Palm Beach, FL; and resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), CA. Emma Soucek is represented by Parrasch Heijnen.
Courtesy of the artist and parrasch heijnen gallery, Los Angeles