Conduit Gallery presents Susan Barnett: "Mind Travel" opening reception
Stare too long at the still-frame kaleidoscopic works on paper by Susan Barnett, and the cognitive and the subconscious mind start to buzz in unison. This is the quality that the artist is interested in, how the mind is able to take raw perception, shapes and color, and plug them into a framework that our mind can understand. She has searched far to find different systems of grids to hold her balancing of color against desaturated grays. A few of her most recent explorations are on view in this exhibition of gouache works on paper.
A favorite of hers is that of the Topkapi, a 15th-century Islamic design motif that adorns the interior of palaces from centuries gone by. These concentric matriculations allow for Barnett’s psychological investigations. They feature a plenty of acreage to fill with colors, finely distinct from each other, so the eye can dream for hours upon them. Barnett will try this several times over on the same grid design, like designing a crossword puzzle and finding the right fit.
Rules and sequences of a multiple are the theme here. The artist, working in gouache this time around, paints on paper. It’s a portable surface, and doesn’t require all that much preparation to work with. Barnett is playing with the mind’s ability to perceive, but it is still play, after all.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on view through February 22.