Franco • Moragrega Gallery presents Invisible Structures: the Artworks of Richelle Gribble and Janna Avner Kowell. The concept of an invisible structure conveys the unseen organizing forces of greater sociological and ecological changes occurring in daily life. The paintings, prints and drawings of Richelle Gribble and Janna Avner Kowell yield hidden, interconnected forms, mappings and underpaintings that dissolve relationships of the figure-ground. These artworks depict immersive webs of life, aerial perspectives, holograph-like landscapes and deconstructed still lifes to remind us of the holistic environments we collectively share. Richelle and Janna’s works reflect on how the figure or “self” is less a discrete entity, but part of the greater ecosystem of totemic forces contributing to tangible and virtual systems of organization that connect and transform the world around us.
Janna Avner Kowell’s oil paintings rely on underpaintings that arise fully exposed or layered upon, sometimes palimpsestically, to create the illusion of depth on the two-dimensional surface. Janna’s paintings are still lifes, figurations and landscapes that locate form and color in virtual spaces. These works consider how form is constructed in virtual and augmented reality software which inspires aesthetic decisions in the materials she uses. Such materials are refraction gradients (holograms), geometric pigment, metallic spray paint, resin and other multi-reflective mediums. These additional mediums in part allude to Robert Rauschenberg's non-medium specific combines while they are also incorporated to alter three-dimensional illusions of unrealistic and realistic depictions of traditional subject matter. One of the artist’s primary goals is to dismantle mimetic representation so as to create, either formal experiences of color or complete alternative realities, immersing viewers in each work to probe the imagination and elicit emotional and psychological responses.
Richelle Gribble explores invisible structures in nature, revealing networks that structure life. As stated in the Hopi Prophecy of the 16th century, “the land shall be crisscrossed by a giant spider's web.” Artist Richelle Gribble interprets the web relative to the modern world as a connective form that brings together species, links information in the World Wide Web, and organizes populations in urban planning. The web is identified in Richelle’s traced aerial maps from above, physical eco-prints of captured spiders’ webs, hand-woven translucent textile and etchings. This invisible connective thread links our social interactions and ecological interdependence. Richelle’s work also references the Voronoi Tessellation, which is found in the wing of a dragonfly, foam bubbles, cells of a leaf and farmlands from above. This form is one of the most efficient structures to organize dense populations within a confined area. Richelle similarly identifies in her work the tree network, a branching structure found in neural networks, the Purkinje cell, slime mold, organizational charts and our family tree. These invisible structures are timeless, yet evolving as we become increasingly globally connected.