Rachel Mica Weiss: CounterMeasures
September 3 – October 3, 2015
Reception: Thursday, September 3, 6-8pm
Rachel Mica-Weiss, Pyramidal Planes (Intersecting), detail, 2014, tencel thread hand-strung on site, maple
Rachel Mica-Weiss , Draped Stone, 2015, maple, concrete casting compound
Rachel Mica-Weiss, Fallen Portrait, 2015, cast vatican stone, maple, cotton thread pigment, sand
Rachel Mica-Weiss, Pyramidal Planes (Intersecting), 2014, tencel thread hand-strung on site, maple
Rachel Mica Weiss combines textile languages with the density of stone, cast forms, and wood constructions to create sculptures and installations. Her practice, rooted in the craft of weaving, explores various iterations of tension and real, imaginary, and self-imposed barriers.
“Countermeasures” a term that means a measure of action taken to counter or offset another one, references the methodical planning and physicality of Weiss’ installations. Primarily used to describe tactical or strategic navigation of space, the exhibition’s title relates to the “dance” carefully choreographed by Weiss between each material. Weiss hand braids leather, casts faux-stone, intricately weaves architectural planes. Each of these gestures marks a fluid partnership; a negotiation between artist, material, physical space and the boundaries set by each pieces’ engagement with the other. Collectively her work is a dialogue, a steady conversation concerned with the pliancy and restriction of material.
CounterMeasures occupies both the 301 and Frame 301 Galleries, featuring two site-specific, hand woven, yarn installations. Weiss developed each work in response to the architecture of the building itself, particularly focusing on the window panes. In the Frame, “Pivoted Planes” (2015) transforms a four-paned storefront window into a crossway portal. The flat wall becomes a surface of intersecting lines, harmoniously balanced with each methodical placement of colorful fiber strands. Keeping the same color palette in 301 Gallery, “Three-Planed Vaultway (Locked and Crossed”use “spice”, bright red, indigo and navy tencel to slope and fade into one another. Each pigment creates a series of criss-crosses. “X” marks the spot for a compelling interpretation of architectural pillars, as Weiss creates her own infrastructure.
Weiss also exhibits several works from her Portrait series. Framed in maple, cast vatican stone hangs from the gallery wall behind a thin guise of cotton thread. At first glance, the convergence of materials seem unbalanced. A hefty, bulbous rock constrained by thin strings of cotton? “Fallen Portrait” (2015) presents a crimson red rock, slipping through the cracks of carefully laid black thread. Warping around the maple frame, the fallen rock defies its own characteristic. Weiss has considered this juxtaposition, and in fact creates a balanced composition that levels power with grace and restraint with boundlessness. These oppositional states of being prove evident that the stone busts impossibly cradled by delicate thread, parallels the personal portraits and representations that define our inner counterbalance. This is a common thread throughout her practice; revealing the tension of losing control before gaining it again.
Rachel Mica Weiss is a sculptor and installation artist. Weiss holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, an M.F.A. in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. She is a 2011 recipient of the San Francisco Foundation Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship. Her solo exhibitions include In Place at Fridman Gallery, New York (2014) and Engulfing the Elusory at the San Francisco Arts Commission (2013); group exhibition venues include Storefront Ten Eyck, Soho House New York, SOMArts Cultural Center, and the Fiber Philadelphia Biennial. Weiss has created large-scale installations for Norwood in Chelsea, Nassau Community College, and PULSE New York. Weiss is the 2015 Visual Artist in Residence both for the Chelsea Music Festival and the Quarry at Marble House Project in the Green Mountains of Vermont. She recently completed creating a commissioned installation for the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. Her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Hyperallergic, the Bad at Sports blog, and several international publications. Weiss lives and works in Brooklyn as a resident of the Chashama Studio Program.
more work in this exhibit