Alice Hope: Monoprints and Sculpture
By WM September 18, 2023
From the press release:
The Drawing Room is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition with Alice Hope, an artist who divides her time between studios in Brooklyn and East Hampton. On view through October 1, the show features a selection of recent works on paper created in collaboration with two master printers in Brooklyn. Two sculptures are also on view.
Named New York’s “Woman to Watch” in 2018 by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Hope is widely recognized for the public and privately commissioned installations that are central to her practice. This exhibition introduces the artist’s monoprints, which capture on paper the compelling three-dimensional presence and tactility of her monumental work. Accompanying the works on paper is an ethereal sculpture that cascades from the wall, a flexible grid of reflected light and delicate shadows.
At the core of the Hope’s approach to developing all new bodies of work is her choice of materials with embedded cultural references and relevance. Over the past decade the can tab has been the most salient element, and she has sourced hundreds of thousands in varied metallic hues. From dense coils of tightly threaded tabs mounted on the wall to curtain-like armatures suspended from the ceiling, her intricately engineered structures range dramatically in effect.
While traces of the can tab remain visible in the monoprints, the more prominent marks are expansive wavy grids that mirror the fibers and knots of commercial fishing nets. Several feature linear white patterns embedded within a backdrop of deep indigo, and as a conceptual nod to the inherent reversal created through all printmaking methods, three diptychs pair impressions made using the front and the back of the same net. The enveloping realms of Hope’s compositions transcend the materials of their making, evoking constellations, underwater marine life, and the lexicon of Modernist geometric abstraction.
Hope’s interest in seine netting as a sculptural medium was prompted by a 2019 visit to Maputo, Mozambique for an Art in Embassies commission. Mesmerized by heaps of discarded fishing nets strewn on the beach across from the U.S. Embassy and inspired by their resonance, she soon embarked on planning Murmuration 1, an undulating wall sculpture comprising monofilament netting and masses of Modello can tabs. In 2022, a related large-scale work was exhibited at The Church in Sag Harbor. Last summer netting took on a buoyant and more visible role in an outdoor project sponsored by Guild Hall Museum at the site of the historic Amagansett Life-Saving Station. Ghost Net (2022), the five-foot tall silkscreen at The Drawing Room serves as a poignant two-dimensional evocation of that ephemeral installation.
Alice Hope holds an MFA from Yale University. She has exhibited widely at galleries in New York and on Eastern Long Island and has created site responsive works under the auspices of several public institutions. Among her many site-specific installation projects, Under the Radar was presented by the Parrish Art Museum in 2012 at Camp Hero State Park in Montauk. Subsequent projects in New York City include installations at WNYC Greene Space (2013), the Queens Museum (2015) and the Armory Show art fair (2013). In 2014-2015 she was artist in residence at New York’s Museum of Art and Design, and in 2018 her work was the subject of a one-person exhibition at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton.
On view August 25 through October 1, 2023. WM