Kelly Sturhahn: Transient Patterns
The 6th Street Container Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by artist, Kelly Sturhahn. Sturhahn’s work explores traditional themes of the sublime in nature with contemporary reflection, simultaneously considering experience, perception and transformation. As an artist in New York City, she became drawn to the work of the Romantics and the Hudson River School, and their appreciation of art and nature. Utilizing multiple media, Sturhahn pushes conventional boundaries to convey her ideas, creating new, authentic forms. In her works on paper, she responds to source imagery, emphasizing what might be referred to as photographic flaws, such as lens flare, blur or pixilation. Her expressive use of ink and wash results in exquisite works that are at once a commentary on painting traditions and a record of her personal journey. In her installations, Sturhahn employs intricate craft techniques and tactile materials such as lace and sequins, activating space on a grand scale. Light, nature, photography, textiles and architecture intertwine, transforming the awe-inspiring qualities of nature, into an experiential, dream-like realm. Sturhahn’s work freely recalls Pattern and Decoration, Minimalism, and Op Art among other movements, and probes the significance of the aesthetic origins therein.
For this exhibition, Sturhahn will present two interactive installations, along with several paintings and works on paper. Taking inspiration from the Florida landscape, her work incorporates refracted sunlight, pouring rain and mercurial bodies of water that traverse multiple dimensions. Upon entering the gallery, prepare to be transported by Night Fall, an interactive installation comprised of black lace and hundreds of hand-sewn sequins. In Sturhahn’s second installation, Achromatic Rainbow, white lace painted in atmospheric values takes the form of an overhanging arc that spans the width of the gallery. Her textile-based paintings display black and white striped fabric that has been variously altered by cutting, slicing, painting and sewing processes, disrupting the perpetuity of the original pattern. Sturhahn’s works on paper reinvigorate the landscape with abstracted impressions, void of horizons, and inventive approaches in ink and wash. With experimental intuitiveness, patterns and imagery cycle through refinement, distortion and reinvention: lace takes on architectural space; sliced stripes vibrate optically, and inky impressions negotiate gravity. Sturhahn’s unique interpretations allow us to perceive our environment in unexpected, refreshing ways.
About the Artist:
Kelly Sturhahn is a New York and Florida based artist. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College in New York. After graduate school, Sturhahn continued to live and work in the thriving art community, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sturhahn’s work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States. Highlights include solo projects in New York at Ann Street Gallery, Skylight Gallery, Saratoga Arts Center, and Times Square Gallery; and in Florida at Melvin Art Gallery. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions at the Boca Raton Museum of Art; The Space/Fardom Gallery, Long Island City; Hudson Guild, New York; Garbageman Astronaut Space, Portland; Skylight Gallery, Keene Valley; Artists Space, New York; and Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, among others. She has also been featured at international art fairs including Scope in New York and Grendel Miami during Art Basel. Her artwork may be found in private collections throughout the United States. Recently, Sturhahn was honored to be a Visiting Artist and Lecturer at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, and an Artist-in-Residence and grant recipient at both the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), and Salem Art Works (Salem, NY). Sturhahn is currently Assistant Professor of Art and Foundations Program Director at Florida Southern College.