Erin Weckerle “Sympathetic Hum”

Mast Books

poster for Erin Weckerle “Sympathetic Hum”

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Mast Books presents Sympathetic Hum, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Erin Weckerle. This ongoing body of work explores the traditional folk-art iconography of Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs, and the artists own inquiry into the ambiguity and discrepancies of the motifs.

Hex signs, which are usually comprised of geometric stars encompassed in a circle, are most often found adorning barns or other structures in rural Pennsylvania. Their origin and purpose is subject to numerous conflicting interpretations and mythologies. Some sources insist that they are celestial figures (where each motif has a specific meaning, e.g: abundance, luck, love and fertility), others propose that they hint at magic and witchcraft. Another suggestion is that that they are “just for nice” and the symbolism was invented by painters who wanted to capitalize on the tourist market in the rural areas of Pennsylvania.

Taking equal cues from the folk-art tradition and geometric abstraction, Weckerle explores these discrepancies by producing her own symbols using an idiosyncratic vocabulary, starting with the general graphic structure as a literal and figurative focal point, and then allowing the composition and palette to emerge intuitively. By maintaining a certain meditative freedom to the process, she empowers the paintings themselves to become a space of transformation and new mythology.

Erin Weckerle is a painter born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1976. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.



from April 15, 2021 to May 10, 2021


Erin Weckerle

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