Dana Harel & Colette Robbins
Opening Sunday, January 20th, 2 - 6 PM
On view through March 22nd by appointment and Wednesdays 6 - 9 PM (Closed February 23 - March 8).
Dana Harel and Colette Robbins merge archaeology and psychology in works whose rough exteriors, negative space, and composition recall ruins and antiquities. They confront fragility and vulnerability by alluding to the destructive nature of time. The artists transform emotional discomfort into objects of beauty exploring the link between past and present, decay and regrowth.
Harel’s vessels explore the meeting of mind and matter. Beginning with an upturned skull as her base, Harel sculpts clay to form a mold into which she pours plaster. The freehandedness of the rough additive process preserves an element of the unknown in the vase. The inversion of the head serves as a symbol of the artist’s internal struggle and conflict. Yet, the sacred space of the skull is stable, untouched by the turmoil of the surrounding world. Harel presents fresh flowers blooming out of the sculptures—invoking the skull as a mechanism of rebirth and transforming the empty vessel into a breath of life.
Robbins has long been inspired by antiquities such as The Tricephalic Head, a stone sculpture from the first century CE. Its’ symmetry led her to obsessively paint Rorschach inkblots. She conceptualized the inkblots in 3-D format as visual, physical manifestations of her inner anxieties and emotional states. In a dizzying, meticulous, and time-consuming process, Robbins blends drawing, photography and digital technology to create the towering 3D printed sculptures. The sculptures illicit the human tendency to assign meaning and seek patterns in random information, known as apophenia or patternicity. The Totems give tangible form to the psychological and physiological history of the mind.
Dana Harel was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. She received her B.Arch from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where she currently works. Harel has had solo exhibitions at the Laguna Art Museum, Palo Alto Art Center, Gallery Wendi Norris (San Francisco), Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (Herzliya, Israel), and Gensler Architects (San Francisco). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito), the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Napa Valley Museum, and Root Division (San Francisco). Dana received the Irvine Fellowship at the Montalvo Arts Center Residency in Saratoga in 2009.
Colette Robbins’ artistic practice explores the mind’s constant attempts to create meaning, build connections, and contextualize visual information. Robbins received her BFA from The Maryland Institute College of the Arts (MICA) and her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design. She has held residencies at Austevollportalen (Marstein Island, Norway), Cill Rialaig Project (Ireland), and The Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been shown at 101/Exhibit (Los Angeles), Mass Gallery (Austin), Field Projects (New York City), Deitch Projects (New York City), Koki Fine Arts (Tokyo), and Workshop Gallery (Venice, Italy), among others.