kasia kay art projects gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition of Diane Christiansen and Jason Dunda. Christiansen’s exhibition “Spring is the New Winter” will showcase new works including painting, drawing, installation, large sculpture and animation as well as a collaborative work with artist Shoshanna Utchenik.
Diane Christiansen –“Spring is the New Winter” explores themes of impermanence, sensory bombardment, mind chatter and psychological refuge using drawing as a common thread. Animation, painting, collaging, drawing and installation all rely on the grubby mark of the human hand. The multi-layered, often playful nature of the work creates an arena in which profound, universal subjects such as suffering and mortality become assessable and connective for the viewer. Some compositional and iconographic elements are reminiscent of Tibetan Thanka painting and eastern landscape traditions. Just as the wrathful and peaceful deities in Tibetan painting represent internal states, so the “buffalo girl” character who reoccurs in this work can be seen as our internal anxious loner and the smoking heads can be viewed as a neurotic, internal Greek chorus.
Christiansen collaborates with Shoshanna Utchenik in the work Ego Forest as part of the exhibition. The tree stands alone, though it represents the lush and treacherous ‘Ego Forest’ we all traverse. In an ongoing collaboration called ‘Notes to Nonself,’ Diane Christiansen and Shoshanna Utchenik are mailing small drawings and paintings between Chicago and Ljubljana, Slovenia, ruminating on the state of the individual in 21st century American culture. These notes on the nature of self ornament a simply constructed tree, and point autobiographically to the dangers and pleasures of the ‘Poison I.’ Where do we (and where should we) begin and end, as lone trees, artists, workers, women, consumers, procreators, lovers, fighters, political bodies… insignificant fragments of a sublime incomprehensible whole? How do we dispense with the academic answer to that question to answer HERE, NOW, with every action and every breath?
“We want this humble object to stand as a noble offering, even as we cower in the unknowable forest.”