DODGEgallery is thrilled to present the New York debut of Jane Fox Hipple, Blanks and Holes, opening Saturday, February 19, 2011.
Jane Fox Hipple teases the traditional framework of painting with subtlety and rigor. She works with all of the familiar criteria that denote painting for painting’s sake: oil, egg tempera, rectilinear frames, flat surfaces, wall-hung pieces. She gives the viewer enough to be on familiar terms – hazy lines, hovering shapes, and atmospheric fields of color. Taken at first glance, the works are soft, atmospheric abstractions.
The diversion, indulgence, and joy of Hipple’s work is that she faithfully disturbs these agreeable compositions with a cut hole smack in the center, a bent nail too close to the edge, or incomplete text disrupted by the frame. She quickly undermines ease and replaces it with awkwardness, clunkiness, and physical/visual stoppages. She writes, “Often expansive incidents of paint exude a quiet resonance, only to be usurped by an aggressive puncture or the physical presence of a foreign object, be it a nail or stuffed hole.” She also plays with framing devices, painting on a frame, or painting the illusion of a frame into the composition. Through these unexpected inclusions and flipped perceptions, her work transgresses and becomes a self-conscious, present object that confronts the viewer.
Hipple is interested in the physical, perceptual, and psychological relationship between the work and the viewer. Her work inhabits the space between the material and the mental by being both elusive and concrete. She anchors the viewer with pronounced, misplaced marks in an otherwise formless expanse. They seemingly provide a grounding or entry point, and yet often block the viewer. A cut hole appears as a window, then stops flat and pushes back out. She writes, “Many works thwart desire through edges that don’t meet or eyeholes that don’t go anywhere.” Like impervious skins, thin layers veil her marked surfaces. In the absence of deep space the picture plane collapses, pressing up against the viewer. Hipple’s work exacerbates the tensions between expansion and containment, endlessness and finitude.