Jennifer Stillwell, Smokestack 1, 2016, wood, paint, tin cans, epoxy resin, 17" x 62" x 7"
New Work: Smokestacks, Spills and Figures
September 15, 2016 - October 29, 2016
Opening reception, Thursday, September 15, 6pm-8pm
Pari Nadimi Gallery is delighted to present New Work: Smokestacks, Spills and Figures a solo exhibition by Jennifer Stillwell.
In order to create new work Jennifer Stillwell finds an original process. Her material processes are physically amplified into playful, formal and critical responses to a site and its context. Concepts of the gallery space, the industrial space, the domestic space, the landscape and the body collide in her forms. Time, gravity and material tendencies become vehicles of expression with forms set in suspended animation. In her recent pieces, meaning and scale shifts with changes in perspective. Art historical references are embraced but at the same time deconstructed through her seemingly naïve use of everyday items. Within her forms one recognizes the familiarity of what they’re seeing while also being given the opportunity to redefine the embedded constructs.
For her new solo exhibition at Pari Nadimi Gallery, Jennifer Stillwell appropriates the classic prank of a bucket of liquid balanced on top of a door and combines it with the domino effect in order to create a new series of painterly sculptures. With the resulting spilled forms one has the opportunity to rewind back and forth through the process in order to imagine their original static state and how they may have been activated. The speed of the objects tipping over can be imagined but the character of the materials allows one to slow the image down.
Stillwell often discovers meaning in the form as she creates it. As one moves around the piece, from one perspective the individual emptying cans can be seen to merge into a stack and the spill can then be seen to transform into smoke. Building the sculptural series from cupboards and doors points to more subtle everyday gestures like pushing, opening or going through them and the emptying tin cans and paint cans embed concepts of ‘consumption’ in the work. Other ‘pours’ from art history can also be reflected on for context like some of Robert Smithson’s earthworks or Lynda Benglis’ latex paint pieces. Stillwell’s pieces work on the viewer to further contemplate beyond the gallery to current discussions of ‘spills’ in our landscape. Through all those considerations one can freely associate between concepts of the implied industrial space, the landscape, the domestic space, the gallery context and materiality in order to discover new insights between them.
Jennifer Stillwell studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and achieved an MFA with distinction in 2000. She has exhibited widely over the past sixteen years challenging a variety of contexts from the landscape to the post-industrial to the museum. Her work has been exhibited at Plug In ICA, Winnipeg; Darling Foundry, Montreal; Triple Candie, New York; YYZ Artists Outlet, Toronto; Oakville Galleries; Winnipeg Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Windsor, among many others.
A long time Winnipegger, Jennifer Stillwell now lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia. She teaches as an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria.