Daina Mattis “The Present Matter”


poster for Daina Mattis “The Present Matter”
[Image: Daina Mattis "Nostalgia" (2016) graphite on paper, 78.5 in x 50.5 in.]

This event has ended.

SLA307 presents a solo exhibition of new work by Daina Mattis entitled The Present Matter.

On display are a selection of drawings and a sculpture depicting life-size objects. Each drawing is created from the undulating pressure of thousands of vertical and horizontal graphite lines. Discernable as tally marks, the vibrating lines form upon the surface echoing/imitating the x and y-axis of the picture plane. For Mattis, the activity of drawing is about repetition and pattern; it is a slow, habitual, calculated and multi-sensory activity. There is a constant flux of pressure, motion and overlap wherein time is materialized into line, creating a visual abacus. Transparency is a hallmark of drawing; even after the physical act has ceased, the process is visible.

Concerned with our perception of time, sight and touch Mattis purposefully constructs the subtlety of the images to present the viewer with a different experience relative to their proximity. A farsighted, passive, experience forms visible re-representations of objects. A nearsighted, active, encounter with the lines reveals process and time. Just as letters from an alphabet form sounds, Mattis is exploring the language of representation and how viewers read the marriage of process, image and concept. The drawing, Nostalgia, depicts a pre-civil war heirloom hutch composed of all vertical lines. In the same image, composed of all horizontal lines is the re-representation of an American flag that can be purchased over the Internet drawn to the exact scale of the hutch. With the overlapping graphite optically merging the forms, each drawing contains a visible presence and absence of either image, an instant obscuring and accentuating that relies on the personal and perceptual experiences of the observer to mitigate. The hatched precision of each mark defines a force of visibility yet the overall subtleness in palette is akin to the color and concept of “battleship gray,” a neutral tone typically used by warships to reduce visibility.

Giving physical shape to the exhibition are a pair of hand sewn gloves made from rice paper and thread. The paper gloves allude to drawing’s multi-dimensional possibilities; it is conventionally used as a surface to create two-dimensional images, but it can be physically altered into a third dimension, adjusting the material’s purpose. Fragile in nature, the paper as material is antithetical to the function of a glove while also relating drawing to touch, gleaning concepts from Jacques Derrida’s essays, Memoirs of the Blind in which he theorizes the act of seeing as blindness and the act of vision as touch. Elaborating on this metaphor, the glove shares the same skin yet one side turned inside out can never see the other. Although this personal blindness is inescapable, new vision/perception is created as the eye is turned inside out. Altering our perception of these senses provides a new consciousness and a unique depth to familiar objects.

Daina Mattis (b. 1984, Los Angeles) is a Brooklyn based visual artist. Mattis earned her MFA from Syracuse University in 2011 and BFA from Laguna College of Art & Design in 2007. Recently completing an A.I. R. at The Cooper Union, Mattis has been the recipient of numerous awards and is in many private and public collections. She has exhibiting nationally and internationally and has served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Kutztown University, PA and as an Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University, NY.



from October 21, 2016 to November 27, 2016

Opening Reception on 2016-10-21 from 18:00 to 21:00


Daina Mattis

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