Punch Card

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Goethe from 'Paranormal Postcard' series, 2004 Postcard And Thread 4 3/8" X 6 3/8" © Courtesy of the Artist and Catharine Clark Gallery
Allegory of the Prisoner's Dilemma, 2012 Jacquard Tapestry Edition Of 8 + 2 Ap 106 X 76 Inches © Courtesy of the Artists and Catharine Clark Gallery
Punch Card

248 Utah Street
Ground Floor
94103 San Francisco

January 19th, 2013 - February 23rd, 2013
Opening: January 19th, 2013 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Potrero District
Tue-Wed,Fri-Sat 11-6; Thu 11-7
weaving, tapestry, digital, installation


San Francisco, CA: Catharine Clark Gallery announces Punch Card, a group exhibition featuring Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth, Nina Katchadourian, Ligorano/Reese, Devorah Sperber, and Stephanie Syjuco. The exhibition dates are January 19 through February 23, 2013. The reception will be held on Saturday, January 19, from 3 to 5 pm. There will be a casual walkthrough of the exhibition at 3pm.

Punch Card examines the ways artists are merging technology and the traditional textiles to redefine and repurpose craft, each uniquely forming their own “digital stitch” as they merge art historical and contemporary references. The exhibition title, Punch Card, refers to the mechanics of the jacquard loom, suggesting the loom as a precursor for contemporary digital practices. Predating computer pixilation and CNC mechanic precision, the 19th century punch cards guide the design of jacquard weaving: cards of individually punched holes correspond one-to-one to components of the design, combining to form intricate patterns. Whether weaving digitally, pixel by pixel, like Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth, with fiber optic thread in Fifty Different Minds by Ligorano/Reese, or directly on digitally printed photographs, as in Nina Katchadourian’s Paranormal Postcards, the artists in this exhibition are openly exploring the possibilities between hand and machinery in the digital era.

Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth present a triptych of tapestries, each of which appose the tapestry medium’s traditional aesthetic and storytelling function with the precision of CNC machinery and graphics technology. Just as a punch card controls the design row by row, so too did the artists individually select the palette and layout, creating digital files that reference the customary weave patterns. The series is based on The Unicorn Tapestries, seven textiles from the early 16th century, which concealed information about Medieval politics within seductively decorative visuals. Diaz Hope and Roth were inspired by the time-honored medium because of its ability to “communicate complex stories and ideas” and to challenge the viewer to “decipher the multiple meanings of each element.” Allegory of the Monoceros, Allegory of the Infinite Mortal and Allegory of the Prisoner’s Dilemma incorporate contemporary topics of bio-ethics, philosophical and scientific theories, and human struggles of cooperation and conflict within the woven medium and design. Rich with imagery, dense with intricacy and color, all three tapestry works compellingly illustrate Diaz Hope and Roth’s personal “digital stitch,” fusing traditional craft with technology and contemporary discourse. The artists have worked with Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California and Bergarde Gallery in Rotterdam, Belgium throughout the project. Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth began collaborating in 2004, and currently live in San Francisco, California. Andy Diaz Hope’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, and the London Crafts Council as well as in numerous international shows. Andy Diaz Hope has been exhibiting with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2005. Laurel Roth has shown widely around the country, including shows at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. She is represented by Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco and Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago. Both artists exhibit at Schroeder Romero & Shredder Gallery in New York. 

Stephanie Syjuco’s Pattern Migration series considers the role of textiles and craft in our contemporary society of mass production, combining digitally printed patterns and out sourced fabrication with traditional 19th century tapestry visuals and manufacture. Commissioned by the Colombus Museum of Art in Ohio, Syjuco was challenged to reinterpret the museum’s extensive collection of Victorian-era coverlets, hand-crafted by Scottish immigrants, who fled industrialization in their own country. Pattern Migration overtly examines  fabrication, materiality, and cultural slippage within globalized commerce. Contrasting hand sewn coverlets with Scottish plaid patterns against 19thcentury décor printed on plastic fabric in Beijing, China, Syjuco brings these textiles full circle with their muddled history. Stephanie Syjuco’s work has been shown nationally and internationally, and included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; The New Museum in New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, among others. Her works have been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Art Practical, and The New York Times, to name a few. Stephanie Syjuco lives in San Francisco and has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery since 2009.

Paranormal Postcards, by Nina Katchadourian, is an ongoing project about networking and connecting in the contemporary world, consisting of over 200 postcards she has amassed from city, town, and airport gift shops. Visually connecting elements of digital postcards with sewn red thread, Katchadourian makes a literal bridge between the mass produced world of digital postcards with delicate needle work. With references ranging across art history, such as The Raft of the Medusa (2004), the Paranormal Postcard series examines art, object, and image in the world of digital reproduction. Katchadourian’s work has been exhibited domestically and internationally at venues such as PS1/MoMA, New York; Dunedin Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. Her work has been published in a number of national and international book editions, including in the upcoming monograph, Sorted Books, released by Chronicle Books in February 2013; she has received critical attention in The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Art in America, and Artforumamong other publications. Katchadourian lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and has shown with Catharine Clark Gallery since 1999. 

In her Thread Spool series, Devorah Sperber deconstructs art historical or pop culture iconography, first inverting the image, then recomposing it, pixel by pixel, with individual spools of thread. Appropriating composition from computer pixilation and form from historical works of art or cultural images, Sperber’s work questions the state of the art object in the contemporary world of media, internet reproduction, and technology, and also the human ability to synchronize visual imagery and memory. Sperber is an internationally renowned artist who has shown at Galerie Nordine Zidoun in Luxembourg and Paris; Ierimonti Gallery in Milan; and the Hangaram Museum/Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, Korea, among many others. She has been reviewed numerous times by The New York Times, Art in America, The New Yorker, and Sculpture Magazine. Devorah Sperber lives and works in New York, New York. Catharine Clark Gallery is thrilled to exhibit Sperber’s work for the first time.

Presented in the Media Room is 50 Different Minds by collaborative duo Ligorano/Reese, an interactive textile that defines new possibilities of weaving with technology, syncing information from Twitter and online sources with the social and connective history of tapestry making. Utilizing the capabilities of the hand and technology, the artists weave fiber optic panels on a handloom, then attach them to a custom computer controlled lighting system that corresponds to changes in internet data. The visually abstracted piece references the minimalist work of Joseph Albers and the textiles of Annie Albers, the psychology of perception and vision, and history of weaving, aiming to “redefine the role of tapestry in contemporary culture.” Fifty Different Minds also creates a connective thread from archaic tapestry narratives to the ever changing social network sites as carriers of information, culture, and storytelling. Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese have collaborated together since the early 1980s. They have shown widely throughout their career, and are included in the public collections of many institutions, not limited to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The New York Public Library, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Ligorano/Reese live and work in Brooklyn, New York and have been affiliated with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2010.