Not unlike the way two old friends can finish each other’s sentences, Metric brings together the work of two artists who each pick up and extend the ideas and concerns of the other. Dana Hemenway and Anthony Ryan, both emerging Bay Area artists with outstanding technical skill, share formal and material concerns that effectively push forward the dialogue around fine art, design and craft. The work on view occupies a liminal space between utility and abstraction.
Underpinned by the notion that framing and context imbue every-day objects with meaning, Dana Hemenway’s sculptural work repurposes found objects to construct formal installations stripped of context. She also flips this relationship by replicating every-day objects used for framing or installation, rendered useless as art objects on display. Her work is carefully hand crafted, putting her practice in dialogue with contemporary craft as much as Minimalism.
Trained as a printmaker, Anthony Ryan’s most recent work pushes his material interest in paper a step further by using it as a sculptural material. Ryan collects massive amounts of cast-off paper strips from industrial printers and weaves them together, using the test patterns on the paper scraps as formal blueprints. Each is composed according to its own internal logic.
Aptly using ParkLife as its frame, this exhibition calls attention to the often-blurry distinction between art and design. Both artists make work that points to various stages of commerce, using discarded consumer materials to create finished works of art. Metric points toward the shared interests of Dana Hemenway and Anthony Ryan around the supremacy of formalist geometry; repurposing discarded consumer by-products; and the roles of design and craft in art. Metric refers to the precise measurement shared by each work on view and installation of these works together in the gallery.
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