Abstract art exhibit opens Nov. 3 in Caestecker Gallery

“Built-In Closet,” an exhibit of work by abstract artist Gyan Shrosbree, will run Nov. 3 through Dec. 8 in Caestecker Gallery, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, on the Ripon College campus. Shrosbree will give an artist’s talk at 7 p.m. Nov. 3.

Shrosbree creates colorful paintings and assemblages from paint, tape, fiber and other materials. She is an assistant professor of art in the Department of Fine Arts at Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa.

“My inspiration is drawn from the world around me,” Shrosbree says. “In some ways, my studio is an escape from my more practical life, but no matter what, my life comes into my art. My life is what inspires what happens in my studio. The relationships I have. The conversations I hear. The places I go. The artwork I see. The clothing I wear; I look at; I dream about.”

She says she loves combining material, words and color. “These pieces came from a place of wanting to integrate a more direct drawing practice back into my studio,” she says. “They are about mark making. The buildup of the marks adds a physical weight that makes the pieces sag and slump in a tactile way. There is an inability to control the materials to some extent that I find exciting, and adds not only a sense of play to the work, but a sense of process.

“The physicality of the actual making is important. When I am painting I try to stay in the process and out of my head. The tarps are big and I am not that big, so they kind of take over my body in a way that I would like them to then take over the viewer’s body. The layering of marks speaks to memory — the experience of moving in a fast car in a country like India or Mexico, where you have so much layered visual stimulation bombarding you. You see bright colors, people living life, nature, signage, tarps, animals, clothing, fabric. Those images stack in your mind, and that memory is abstract yet vivid. This is the way that I began to understand the building of these paintings. The format lends to this idea of landscape that came after the making and is something new to my work.”

She says she is inspired by fabrics, quilts, clothing, paintings of the past and present. The paintings in this exhibit are from a series called “Walk-In Closet.” Each piece is titled “Dress.”

Shrosbree has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States. She has been an artist-in-residence at The Vermont Studio Center, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Two Coats of Paint.


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