Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of mixed media works by Scott Andresen.
Andresen’s work focuses on the art of repair; more specifically how such actions have consequences both intended and unintended. Using a variety of materially driven processes the work hovers between two-dimensional abstraction and physical representation, each piece goes through separate phases of construction, destruction and reparation. This theme became central to his work when he was involved in a serious accident over a decade ago and had to put his body through the same stages that his work went through, in the hope that what comes from the process is stronger than what came before.
The exhibition title, Gather Up Worn Edges, comes from a line in the C.K. Williams poem Invisible Mending which centers around the work of three women, silently repairing garments, displaying equal measures strength and tenderness in their quiet actions. The work in Gather Up Worn Edges brings together two distinct, but interconnected bodies of work. The first series is inspired by a form of Japanese ceramic repair where cracks of broken objects are mended with silver and gold making the broken object more valuable and beautiful than the original. In his work he began to gather ripped and torn pieces of sandpaper he used while restoring his house. This inconsequential material was collected, organized quilt-like into grids, then each tear was mended with gold, silver, or copper leaf raising the inconsequential to something worthy of reflection.
The newest body of work is inspired by various textile mending techniques throughout the world. These repairs commonly happen because of the utilitarian value or the emotional connection the wearer has to the object. For this body of work Andresen focused on veils of silk scrim, some of the lightest fabric found, and a material where the inherent fragility can be seen in each thread. Culturally veils are often found at important transitional phases in a person’s life, and in these works are composed on the canvas as if caught in the wind, a single frozen frame of something already set-in motion. Once damaged the wounds are then mended with delicate stitching drawing attention to the history of the object rather than trying to erase it, and the scars now function as a badge of honor rather than a marker of trauma.
Scott Andresen lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received his MFA from Yale University and BA from Hunter College. He has had over 50 solo and group exhibitions around the country including Lehmann Maupin Gallery, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and The Bronx Museum. He has attended residencies at Black Rock Senegal, Socrates Sculpture Park, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation while also receiving fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. Andresen’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art and Museum of Arts & Design in NYC. Scott is an Associate Professor at the LSU School of Art.