Stephen Sollins is interested in the intersection between sentimentality and the geometry, grids and systematic approaches of high modern, minimal and conceptual art. The artist states that, “Source materials are very important in my work. I have used worn household linens, television schedules, camping supply catalogues and the daily newspaper. All have to do with domestic space or the establishment of it.”
This exhibition contains works from Sollins’ “Elegy” series in which he incorporates altered embroidered textiles, and his “Static” series which includes compiled television schedules, along with recent intriguing quilt pieces constructed from the security liner patterns of used envelopes.
In his “Elegy” series Sollins transformed secondhand, embroidered linens into Modernist geometric abstractions by altering the arrangement of the original stitches. By juxtaposing a new “Modern” composition with the sentimental remains of the original textile design, the artist eulogizes the anonymous craftsperson while drawing attention to possible similarities of intent between “high” and “low” art. The transformation of these abandoned household linens contrasts the symbolism of a “craft-based” formula with a rigid Modernist one, thereby questioning the artistic process itself
Sollins has an abiding interest in the emotional response of viewers confronting familiar objects that have been altered in unexpected ways. His combination of sources and systems involves questions about the symbolic economy of love and affection while evoking loss, the element of time and the process of handiwork.