Sunday, June 9 - Friday, June 28
Reception: Thursday, June 13
6:00 – 8:00pm
SVA Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21st Street, New York, NY
Free and open to the public
Tools are purposeful extensions of the hand; created to supplement the potential of human ability, of human innovation, human creativity. Tools are used to create value from material. Their importance to the process of art-making is underscored in every mark they make. Seeing “the hand” of the artist is, more often than not, seeing the mark of the artist’s tool. How do artists consider their tools? With care, with devotion, with analysis? How do the objects we use to create value become, themselves, valuable and valued?
Win Knutson presents modern tools and their ancient equivalents in a series of drawings, offering a sense of history to otherwise unremarkable devices. Her stone-carved boxcutter and mallet do the same, thinking not just about the importance of these objects, but their historical lineage as well.
Two sculptures by Forrest Meyer (BFA 2016 Fine Arts) show loyalty to the care of tools. The handle of a handsaw sunken into the wooden shelf it sits on, a modified toolbox for a single tool; both works consider the home of a tool at rest; the tool placed in absolute comfort with a sense of worship. '
Johanna Odersky’s twin sewing needles, balanced in a corner, meditate quietly on one of the smallest and most essential tools. Strung together with a thread of twisted branch, the scale of the work shifts the needles towards daggers.
Hannah Zbitnew’s hanging installation Loom conjures a portrait of the loom used to weave the very material constructing the work. In this way, the material, the tool and the product are collapsed together.
The tips of the pliers in Megan Feniak’s bronze-cast Clasps are replaced with the artist’s fingertips. Holding in place a strip of bent wood, they touch the work on behalf of the artist. Feniak’s Clasps return a sense of humanity to tools—and returns to us a reinvigorated sense of their proximity and importance to human creation.
This exhibition is curated by Erika Verhagen (BFA 2018 Visual & Critical Studies) with support from BFA Visual & Critical Studies and SVA faculty member and alumnus Peter Hristoff.