At MAG: Off the Grid

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Sun Valley Grid

The grid has been an important form in the visual arts to organize ideas and impose structure, from it’s use in the Renaissance period to define perspective, to the Modernist grid as depicted by artists like Mondrian, Malevich and Sol Lewitt.  The grid has been used to impose a regularity devoid of randomness; geometrically ordered yet infinitely variable.

Its structure is predominately one of repetition, but it can still offer multiple perceptual sensations. Stamford, Connecticut artist Karen Neems explores the concept of the grid in her own personal way. The framework for her compositions is layered, merged and repeated. Her grids conceal and simultaneously reveal.

“Off the Grid” speaks about breaking out, moving beyond the framework and formal structure imposed by a grid. The inspiration for this show came from a photograph she took of a deer fence in the snow, which she then layered and combined with other photographs of the fence/grid to form an entirely abstract piece.  She discovered that the process of layering images imposed an additional structure and created another dimension of grids. The variations and permutations became endlessly engaging and led to this body of work.  In these photocollages, light and shadow draw the viewer in while another image floats on the surface.

The elements have a certain familiarity, but the space remains a mystery creating a visual puzzle.  Whether using a deer fence, snow fence, screen, net, bricks, barbed wire, etc., the grid is explored in various dimensions:  ranging from a strictly formal sense to that of a psychological barrier, either protecting or confining. Ms. Neems’ work has been included in many selective exhibitions, juried by curators from major museums; among them, the Faber Birren National Color Award Show, the Images show at the Fairfield Museum, CameraWorks at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, and exhibitions at the Flinn Gallery and Westport Arts Center, among others.

She has won awards for her work in photography and mixed media, and has been a member of the Mamaroneck Artist’s Guild for four years.  This is her third solo show.

The exhibition will run from August 30th through September 17th, 2011.  A reception will be held at the gallery from 4 to 6 pm on Saturday, September 10th.

The Mamaroneck Artists Guild is open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5 pm. 126 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont. 914-834-1117

—Ruth Mendes

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