Krowswork is pleased to announce Markers: Christina McPhee and Ryan Chard Smith. McPhee presents a four-channel video installation titled Shed Cubed, as well as drawings, photographs, and sculpture from the same series, taking the viewer into the heart of the artist's practice—her studio, which she calls the Shed. The presentation mimics the four walls of her private workspace, with its inherent dichotomies of chaos and order, light and shadow, presence and absence, out of which emerges a charged but serene balance. Smith's photographs—taken using Polaroid, 35-mm, and digital cameras and presented as a single document—narrate a very intimate yet recognizable journey, covering territory from Nebraska landscapes to Oakland lovers, capturing in the process illuminations of self and its accompanying dark. This is an ongoing story told in stark and striking images.
McPhee's and Smith's art is united by their instinctual yet signifiying relationship to light as a way of marking perhaps otherwise unseen moments in time. For McPhee the work folds, like carefully constructed boxes, in order to contain the light like a glowing monument. From this radiates an unmistakably powerful presence, which is the artist herself. Smith approaches light as a means by which to see those people and places that are closest to him. Like great photographers before him, his camera captures the very moment before inevitable dissipation of that light into dark, when the seen becomes unseen.
Intrepid and reflective surveyors, each artist is also interested in the questions that arise when defining boundaries. Do walls allow for creation and windows for understanding? How to account for the instinct that repetition accumulates and will eventually bring one from point A to point B? Is the person who set off the same one who arrives? What is lost and what is learned when the space between the markers is finally collapsed? What is the measure of distance traversed from self to self?
McPhee and Smith are each deliberate mark-makers, whose works of art are also the objects by which they mark their own passages both profound and personal.
McPhee is an internationally exhibited multimedia artist, whose work has been shown at the LA County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Kemper Museum, among many others. This is Smith’s second show at Krowswork; his photographs were recently featured in Moholy Ground photography magazine.