Friday, 9 October 2015

Amie Rangel: Dwelling at Vane

As I stood in the gallery surrounded by Amie Rangel's beautiful work, I was consumed by them and filled with a sense of calm and peacefulness, despite it being a busy preview event.

"Amie Rangel’s exhibition, ‘Dwelling’, consists of large-scale charcoal drawings on linen, mixed media drawings on paper, and stone lithographs. This new body of work represents her ongoing investigation of the organisation of spatial constructs within modern society. Rangel’s work builds on an observation-based practice that is rooted in traditional methods, which translates moments and nuances of existing and occupied structures through perceptive and expressive drawings.

‘Dwelling’ embodies a glimpse into the subtle structural and superficial changes of an apartment complex located in New Mexico over a three-year period. Rangel’s faithful renderings selectively capture inconsequential moments that often go unnoticed. Indications of occupants arriving and departing are evident in changing window coverings, basic upgrades such as exterior utility infrastructure or doors replaced or removed, and graffiti scrawled on walls – painted over – then re-graffitied. Rangel’s practice dwells upon bringing awareness to these subtleties while referencing the existing sources her drawings are inspired by."

The muted tones and delicate lines gave a softness, and the light wood framing was simple. A few of the window cutout pieces were made in a way I had never seen before. Thick, good quality printmaking or cartridge paper had been stretched over a wooden frame and folded around the edges in the same way that a canvas is stretched over a frame. The paper was completely flat and even the thin strips of paper that remained after parts of the image had been removed, were incredibly strong and taught.

It was a pure delight to see such stunningly honest, unpretentious, multi-layered and emotive drawing in a contemporary art gallery.

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