ON THE LINE: Lisa Espenmiller & Sabine Reckewell

APRIL 3 - MAY 28, 2015

  Lisa Espenmiller,  Know when to stop , 2012, acrylic and ink on canvas over panel, 24 x 24 inches

Lisa Espenmiller, Know when to stop, 2012, acrylic and ink on canvas over panel, 24 x 24 inches

On the Line features the work of Lisa Espenmiller and Sabine Reckewell, two artists who use line, movement, and space with similar intentions. Both focus on material and repetition of pattern, and view their process as a meditative one. Espenmiller has a controlled technique akin to writing on a scroll, while Reckewell fills and redefines an architectural context. Their work mimics one another’s, while complimenting and transforming the gallery space.

Lisa Espenmiller draws horizontal ink lines, one after the other, until the entire surface of canvas or paper becomes a field of meditative resonance.  She states, “making art is a way of deepening my Zen practice and furthering my understanding of The Tao in the same way that my practice of sitting zazentwice a day is, or writing haiku, or tending our garden.” 

The lines and washes of color in her paintings are visual descriptions of the chi or breath-energy that flows through all things. In her series (the groundless ground) she depicts the ever-changing inner and outer landscape in a quest to sober and quiet the mind. The (chant) drawings are densely woven tapestries of meditative quotes from The Tao methodically repeated and imbued with talismanic power.  A mystical form and structure surprisingly emerge from the written patterns.

Similarly, Reckewell’s practice is disciplined and repetitious. After carefully considering the dimensions of her installation, she creates simple geometric shapes by stretching ribbons, rope, or tape between walls, ceilings, and columns to make drawings in three dimensions. Manipulating the shapes by changing the spacing between the lines, she then allows gravity to curve the lines and alter the installation’s “personality”. Hard lines are softened and movement is created by the flow of air in the room.

Sabine Reckewell comes from a background in design and fiber art. Her work is informed by minimalism and conceptual art of the 60’s and 70’s. She earned her MFA in textile art from the famed Fiberworks Center in Berkeley. In 2011 she revisited and recreated several early installations from the late 70’s. She has since created new work in public spaces in collaboration with Pro Arts in Oakland, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art. In 2014 she created site-specific permanent installations for Zoo Labs in Oakland and The Summit in Austin. Earlier this year, her work was selected for “HERE Part II”, a 5-person show at the Berkeley Art Center, curated by Aimee Friberg, director of CULT Exhibitions.

Lisa Espenmiller is a poet and writer as well as a painter. Her drawings are in a sense another form of written language—a visual haiku offered as objects of reflection. Lisa studied at UC Berkeley and California College of the Arts after receiving her BS in political science from California Polytechnic State University in 1985. She has exhibited throughout California including at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose, and the Berkeley Art Center.

Exhibition Gallery