September 2nd —September 24th
Opening Reception September 2nd 7-10pm
Conversation with the artists September 19th 6:30pm
Closing Reception September 24th 7pm
The term “traverse” signifies a dynamic array of possible movements: to extend, summit, pivot, span, swivel, orbit, cross, and roam. In this exhibition, four artists—Gwen Comings, Casey Egner, Lesia Mokrycke, and Rebecca Tennenbaum—contemplate the ways in which such trajectories transform physical or psychological expanses, echo through time, and conduct energy. Traversals is co-curated by Naoko Adachi and Ramey Mize and inaugurates the second annual Incubation Series, an interdisciplinary collaboration between students in the Fine Arts and History of Art graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania.
Gwen Comings coheres material and memory in uncanny sculptures that recall domestic interiors and Americana more generally. The artist draws from personal experience living in rural poverty to imbue each object with an inherent dysfunctionality; recognizable materials, such as gingham, incite collective memory and intimate the ephemeral nature of the built environment and the comings and goings within it. Casey Egner’s work engages diagrammatic language to bridge and collapse dimensionality, employing symbols that evoke legends, blueprints, routes, and inertia to explore real and imagined space(s). Photographic installations by Lesia Mokrycke probe the natural environment’s capacity to archive human processes, rhythms, and history. The imperceptible transference of energy between organic bodies, environments, and quotidian objects informs Rebecca Tennenbaum’s sculptures; each piece structurally conveys the implied connectivity within closed systems, such as electrical appliances. In sum, Traversals takes as its mantle the nuance of navigation through landscapes of abstract, artificial, earthly, and subconscious proportions.
The Incubation Series derives its name from the idea that graduate school is a laboratory where one can investigate new ways of thinking; the Series aims to showcase the work of MFA students in focused and conceptually rigorous exhibitions in the greater Philadelphia arts community, while also offering an opportunity for art history graduate students to expand their curatorial practices. This program was made possible due to the support of the following sponsors and partners at the University of Pennsylvania: the Provost's Interdisciplinary Arts Fund, the Departments of Art History and Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the School of Arts and Sciences Government (SASgov), and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA).