Eudemonia: Carrie Gillen
  -    -  Eudemonia: Carrie Gillen


Carrie Gillen.

Showing: Winter/Spring 2024
Location: 511A West 22nd St., New York, NY 10011

JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present Eudemonia, a solo exhibition of new works by St. Louis artist Carrie Gillen. Titled from Aristotelian Philosophy, ‘eudaimonia’ translates to a combination of well-being, happiness, and flourishing. As Gillen investigates the space between tension and release in her intricate fabric compositions, she is guided by the Greek principle in her pursuit of creative expression, emotional resonance, and fulfillment.

Focused on materiality and abstraction, Gillen uses synthetic fabric to amplify movement and dimensionality in her work. Strategically bent metal wires are compiled to build a custom armature, or interior framework, for each piece. Gillen then places fabric atop the armature, twisting with precise methodology to create crisp ridges. The physicality of pulling and stretching results in novel canvases, where the elasticity of the material is manipulated to create a new, sculptural surface.

These constructed surfaces provide a space to explore compositional nuance and color relationships where shifts in value and line are dictated equally by form and ideation. Gillen’s manufactured crests yield dynamic compositions where chroma, form, and light exist in a state of stilled movement. Gradually and delicately treating the fabric with layers of gesso and paint, the final texture bears resemblance to leather. Color theory is at play as unlikely pairings and differing color temperatures are juxtaposed to establish visual illusion and further depth.

“I trap color within the form but allow it to breath and refract light through the pleated surface. The folds and seams of the surface abstract the shapes laid therein. The final works don’t rely on narrative, or easily decipherable imagery, but rather our sense experience,” Gillen explains.

Focused on the sensory over the literal, Gillen’s bond with abstraction and materiality acts as a vehicle to evaluate perception while ultimately embodying the eudemoniac virtue.