As the cultural calendar transitioned from NYCxDesign to Frieze New York, furniture and decor fairs gave way to an extraordinary array of art exhibitions, installations and events. Among them, Volta New York 2022—a platform for middle-market galleries dedicating their booths to solo presentations from emerging talent—welcomed the wondrous works of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based artist Jen Pack. Showcased by Santa Fe-based Kouri + Corrao Gallery, Pack’s installation contained two separate yet complementary types of work: one geometric shard of color and a series of more subtle creations. Together, they forged a thought-provoking highlight that defies the boundaries of a frame.
Occupying much of the wall space were gals-framed black squares with thin threads extending outward. Up close, these artworks revealed rainbows of pencil lines and taut thread that softens toward the end. “First, I lay out the colored pencil on the velum,” Pack tells COOL HUNTING. “Then I hang the sheet and stitch back and forth.” No two are close to being the same.
Pack’s most eye-catching work—the very piece that drew us into the installation and allowed us to understand the nuance of everything else on display—also employs thread but in a less obvious way. In fact, the multi-colored fabric creation, named “In Ancient Orbiting, a Golden Shadow Whisper-Hisses…(this is the beginning of an inquiry, not the end)” (2021), requires closer inspection to understand its composition.
Crafted from poplar and thread, the work looks painted, but up close, texture reveals the truth to its materiality. It also reveals the depth of the color scheme at play. “I love that it reads as yellow from afar, even though when you get up close you have all of these pinks, blues and greens,” Justin Kouri, the gallery’s managing partners, tells us. “It’s still a yellow piece but I think that speaks to Jen’s ability as a color explorer.” He adds that it’s the lines and colors in this piece and those in the nearby body of work that unify them from a curatorial perspective and yield the very experience we came to appreciate.
Hero image courtesy of Kouri + Corrao Gallery