Materializing Time

February 27 – March 2
Curator: Sizhuang Miao
Artists: Kara Kendall, Samhita Kamisetty

The concepts of material and process preoccupy artists, Kara Kendall and Samhita Kamisetty.

Both artists come from a printmaking background and became intrigued by a photogram-like print process in which objects leave their contours directly on paper, leading to the formation of unexpected shapes and textures.  Gradually, however, their works developed in different directions.

Kamisetty’s work layers memories and personal references onto textured surfaces.  Working with textiles, paper, and ceramics, Samhita produces drawings and objects that embody a sense of intimacy.  Weaving and patterning are essential aspects of her artistic practice. Kamisetty braids textiles into hanging objects, or cuts out cardboard to create intertwining patterns.  The figures in her etchings also consist of intersecting shapes and varied patterns. Her ceramic pieces and dyed fabrics show similar attention to surface quality.  The moulded topology of the exterior on her ceramic objects, or the rumpled cloth, interact with colorful glazes and gradated dyes, resulting in an array of intricate textures.

Kamisetty’s additive process allows her to collapse time and space onto singular objects.  Footprints, religious imageries and snapshots from memories are ingrained into her work through the physicality of their impressions.  Matter and objects from various spatial and temporal locations that hold personal meaning for the artist, interact with each other on the surface and leave their mark.  Time is preserved in the form of individual moments and then blended in the surface of the objects she makes.

Kendall, on the other hand, is less concerned with the surface than with the materiality of objects.  Kendall originally created serial objects that mapped out the consecutive moments in her creative process.  Her current work now compresses those different temporalities onto single spatial units. She allows her personal feelings to seep through in her automatic line drawings at any given moment; the dreamlike shapes float in the undetermined space of the paper.  Rendered mostly in loose, continuous contour lines with little sense of volume, each of the drawings carries a distinct temporality that records her subconscious mind at that moment.

Apart from producing the drawings as free-standing artworks, Kendall also uses these drawings to create spatial installations.  By using industrial materials such as cement and iron wires in her installations, Kendall gives the undetermined shapes in her drawing a spatial specificity through color and material variance.  She tries to reproduce a similar feeling that she experienced when making the drawing through the materiality of the different parts of the installation. Her working process is evidenced by the traces of yellow dye on the ground of her installation and the deliberately unfinished quality of the work.  The installation brings together different temporalities by evoking not only the specific moment that the act of drawing took place, but also the process in which the work comes into being.

Exchanging ideas frequently with each other, Kamisetty and Kendall both give physical shapes to otherwise abstract creative processes and memories.  This exhibition explores their different approaches while adding new meanings and temporal dimensions to their processes.

Left to right: artists Samhita Kamisetty and Kara Kendall

Left to right: curator Sizhuang Miao, artist Kara Kendall, and artist Samhita Kamisetty

Photos by A. Leonardo Amiri