Uprise Art is proud to present Set Apart, an exhibition of graphic abstraction by artists Carla Weeks, Hayley Sheldon, and Hyun Jung Ahn. Created during a state of global uncertainty in 2020, the works of all three artists represent a reevaluation and development of their previous practices to examine themes of place, time, and interpersonal relationships. Through self-imposed boundaries and rules, each artist explores how new patterns and rituals in our daily lives affect our desires and needs; the result is a visual catalogue of time spent outside of ordinary routines.
Hayley Sheldon is a West Palm Beach, FL-based multidisciplinary artist and sculptor focusing on tactility and structure. Her color field screens explore discrete and subtle palettes from the natural world in a repeated set of shaped wooden frames. These works create composite views that combine to create new visual experience, juxtaposing colors taken from the new growth of plants with colors taken from sunlight on the ocean, for example. Sheldon’s palettes for Set Apart stem from the desire to evoke a late summer sky, pulling different moments in the transition from afternoon to dusk to create an unordered depiction of time. The playful arches and curves present a landscape, or skyscape, in fragmented pieces that detach the sensation from any single view of a sunset or dusk. Just as one day blends to the next, each grouping of screens presents a different-yet-familiar vista.
Hyun Jung Ahn is a Brooklyn, New York-based artist who investigates personal connection through enigmatic, abstract forms. Originally from South Korea, her practice of graphic drawings and paintings started when she moved to New York and began recording a diary of an abstract visual language as a response to the challenges she faced due to miscommunications stemming from a language barrier. These idiomatic illustrations use shape and color to crystallize an experience, often paired with a phrase in English that relates the artist to an unseen object or speaker. Ahn’s works for Set Apart feature a log of time under quarantine – Day 5, Day 14, Day 52, and so on – alongside sentiments of longing and distance, like “There’s an ocean between us” and “Let’s meet in the middle”. Her stark compositions repeatedly feature two larger areas of color that are clearly separated from one another apart from a single window or narrow bridge between the two. Growing from a desire to communicate in an unedited and direct manner, these new works speak not only to the art of conversation but also the importance of being physically present.
Carla Weeks is a Philadelphia, PA-based artist whose work relates heavily to location and memory. Using patterns inspired by architectural forms as a vehicle for memory of place, the colors and shapes together form a kind of language to communicate intangible or subliminal sensations. Typically, Weeks begins with place as a foundational element in her work: each color and shape are representational, corresponding to a real object. Now, painting in a period where travel is restricted and we’re each forced to turn inward, Weeks turns to self-imposed limits by restricting the colors from piece to piece. These rules test the idea of place, and examine what is left when the typical signifiers are withheld. Each work features a small, solitary circle that could stand for the sun, moon, or an analogue clock, giving each of Week’s intimate studies a contemplative air and sense of incredible stillness.
- Carla WeeksArrowsic, MEArtist Page
Carla Weeks (b. 1985) is an Arrowsic, Maine-based artist using abstraction to articulate the subtleties and nuance of sensory memory. In Carla’s work, color, line, and form function as glyphs to navigate through the physical and emotional experience of place. Carla’s quiet reflections on the immateriality of memory are a testament to her commitment to careful looking, feeling and existing within the present moment.
- Hayley SheldonWest Palm Beach, FLArtist Page
Hayley Sheldon (b. 1984) is a West Palm Beach, Florida-based multidisciplinary sculptor and installation artist. With a focus on tactility and color, Hayley’s shaped screens explore fleeting experiences of the natural world, like the slow growth of plant life and the gentle shift of sunset to dusk. Distilled to discrete shapes and palettes, these individual pieces can be arranged and reconfigured to suit multiple installations and story-telling opportunities.
- Hyun Jung AhnBrooklyn, NYArtist Page
Hyun Jung Ahn (b.1986) is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, from Seoul, South Korea. Through her work, she investigates enigmatic abstract forms which she references as “shapes of mind”. She begins by drawing from her visual diary which captures feelings, personal connections and emotional states of being. She then translates these notions into minimalistic drawing, painting and sculpture.