Grace Bakst Wapner
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I am interested in exploring our shared characteristics of curiosity and vulnerability, our emotions of sorrow and loss, and the need to understand what is hidden and inaccessible. The tension generated by the longing to expose and penetrate what is often blocked and obscure is what animates my work.
Beauty and what makes for beauty are central. For me, a work is not successful until it finally resonates in that sweet spot. But what lands it there? Integrity within the evolving parameters and constraints of each piece, an immediacy that comes from the expression of some measure of uniqueness, the palpability of intent, and the choice of physical material, color, form, line, and texture consistent with the ambition of each work. It is the engagement of the mind, the hand, and the heart in tandem, working together to affirm our human connection while asserting our singularity.
- Grace Bakst Wapner’s work with urethane or satin, clay or bronze, chiffon or pipe cleaners in an interactive dialogue between material and object has been determinative in her process. In the early 1970s she erected walls and barriers constructed from satin and velvet, alluding to the dual nature of our social interactions, and now, in the 2000s, after working for years with clay and bronze, on paper and on canvas, she has returned to working with fabric, sometimes conjoining the fabric with clay. Throughout, there has been a continuing belief that the implementation of color, line, texture, and form
can evoke abstract truth. She studied painting and sculpture at Bennington College and at Bard, where she participated in the MFA summer program. But it has been her intensive day-to-day studio practice and the looking at the work of other artists that have most significantly informed her work. She has had twenty-nine one-person shows, participated in over one hundred group shows, lectured and taught, and been the recipient of honors, grants, and awards. She believes that the singular and complex practice of making art both asserts and affirms our humanity.
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