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James Watrous Gallery | “Kyoung Ae Cho: Pause” & “Dakota Mace: Land and Memory” Opening Reception
September 23, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Artists Kyoung Ae Cho and Dakota Mace engage with the natural world, family, identity, and loss in these paired solo exhibitions running from September 9th to November 6th.
Kyoung Ae Cho is engaged in a conversation with nature. Encompassing sculpture, installation, and fiber-based works, her art is grounded in an intimate dialogue with her materials. Cho starts each piece by mindfully gathering and preparing organic matter and objects of little value, attending to the way their physical properties reveal nature’s language of growth and change. As she explains, “Each meditative, repetitive gesture, each cut, stitch, and placement is part of the experience of merging the natural and the man-made, the physical and the spiritual.” At a time when we are facing the twin crises of intense climate change and species loss, the humility and tenderness of her process offer both hope and inspiration.
Dakota Mace’s work can be appreciated purely for its graphic power and sensitive use of color, but it is also a rare and generous offering: a window into the world of the Diné, the people of the Navajo Nation. Drawing from her Diné heritage, Mace explores themes of family lineage, community, identity, and the concept of balance within nature. Her art has often centered on the symmetry of designs within Diné culture and the stories connected to land, memory, and place. Mace works across several media, from photography to weaving, beadwork, and papermaking. She challenges her viewers’ understanding of Diné culture by using alternative photography processes and translating traditional motifs into the language of contemporary art. Yet no matter what medium she chooses, Mace weaves in her understanding of the symbolic abstractions of her Diné culture.