Warp + Weft: Work by Caroline Lathan-Stiefel
September 20, 2016
September 20 — December 4, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, September 23, 5-7 p.m.
The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of installation, sculpture and drawings by 2015 Pew Fellow in the Arts Caroline Lathan-Stiefel. Her expansive and delicate pieces turn everyday materials into seemingly weightless, wonderful objects.
"Since 2001, I have been making large-scale sculptural installation consisting of fabric, pipe cleaners, wire, string, plastic, thread and fishing weights that have been show in gallery, museum and outdoor spaces" Lathan-Stiefel says. "The installations are drawings-in-space that cover, divide, encircle, and fill the spaces in which they are situated. My work involves both the slow, plodding movement of patching and sewing pieces of cloth and plastic to linear structures made of pipe cleaners, as well as quicker, more gestural actions that connect all of the parts into systems, making large suspended sculptures." For this exhibition, Lathan-Stiefel expands her media to include welded objects, cast aluminum and bent neon.
The colorful pieces hint at language and biological forms, creating an undeniable humanness just beyond their abstraction. Lathan-Stiefel's recurring cellular forms are partially based on the rhizomatic networks of the brain. This imagery was provoked in response to an episode of encephalitis suffered by her father in 2012. She continues to explore the brain, especially the areas of speech and language. Using layers of cellular and calligraphic shapes, Lathan-Stiefel's constructions create opportunities to linger in minutia while basking in their vastness. The exuberance of the sculptures belies the delicate handcraft and attention demanded in their creation. Lathan-Stiefel is able to create beautiful work from a potentially devastating subject matter.
Caroline Lathan-Stiefel has exhibited her work in numerous galleries and museums in North America, including The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville in Florida, The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, Suyama Space in Seattle, The Delaware Contemporary Art Center, Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta, Galore Article in Montreal, The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts in Miami and the West Collection in Oakes, PA. Her most recent installation, Ennead, was on view in Terminal A-West at the Philadelphia International Airport. In addition, Lathan-Stiefel is a 2015 Pew Fellow in the Arts and the recipient of an Independence Foundation Grant (2009), A Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant (2008), A Creative Capital Foundation Grant in Visual Arts (2005), and a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Grant in Sculpture (2003). Lathan-Stiefel who was born in Atlanta, GA received her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University in Providence, RI and her MFA from the Maine College of Art in Portland, ME.