PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Using dust, debris, and lint swept from the exhibition space, Rhode Island artist Alison Owen will create a sprawling wallpaper installation titled Divisibility in the lobby of Bell Gallery. The work will be on display from Saturday, Aug. 28, to Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. An opening reception will be held Friday, Sept. 10, 2010, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
“Owen’s works embellish and punctuate the subtle details in a space,” said Maya Allison, the incoming curator at the Bell Gallery. “Her patterns amplify the shapes and textures already in the room, adding flourishes of gold leaf and molding to create a ragged, yet lushly decorative transformation.”
For Divisibility, Owen takes as her starting point the distinctive grid-filled architecture of the List Art Center, designed by Philip Johnson. She will also draw on the details of the rare manuscripts on view in the adjacent Bell Gallery exhibition, Pictures from the Hay: Celebrating the John Hay Library at 100, which resonate with her ornate, hand-made aesthetic.
“Domestic labor, decoration, and creative activity merge in her conversation with the history of the space, inviting us to see all of these elements through a slightly different lens,” Allison said.
Owen describes the process as making visible “the things that have become invisible due to their commonness: the dust we sweep up, the scraps we throw away, the materials we rely upon but rarely see. By paying attention to these artifacts, I interact with everyone who has built the room, remodeled it, cleaned it, or lived in it, and hold all of these past actions in a fragile balance with my own.”
The Bell Gallery, located inside List Art Center, 64 College St., is open to the public without charge Monday though Friday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, please call (401) 863-2932.
Alison Owen has exhibited widely across the United States and Europe, most recently at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, Minn.; Artspace in New Haven, Conn.; and Smack Mellon in New York City, where the jury selected her for the “2010 Hot Pick” award. Currently working in Providence, Owen received a 2010 Rhode Island Council on the Arts Fellowship in New Genres and has held several artist residencies, including at id11 in Delft, Netherlands, the Bronx Art Museum, and Gallery Aferro in Newark, N.J. Owen holds a Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University. Divisibility is her first solo show in New England.