weightless exhibition

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Solo exhibition at The Judith Charles Gallery www.judithcharlesgallery.com opened November 14th 2014 and ran through January 16th 2015.


Purling 128L, Study for Ten Dimensions, Plumb 9

Purling 128L, Study for 10 Dimensions, Plumb 9

astrolabe, Star-chart, text,

Astrolabe   ultraviolet acrylic injet on canvas 69 x 189 inches 2015

This solo exhibition features a large  7 x 16 foot painting called Astrolabe.  Astrolabes are basically two-dimensional maps of the three-dimensional celestial sphere (the most important stars and the main celestial circles, such as the tropics, the ecliptic and the celestial equator are projected onto a flat plane). This construction process, which was known to the ancient Greeks, is similar to that used in the production of  a map.  Astrolabes are among the most sophisticated instruments made before the invention of the computer, enabling the user to determine the time in different hour systems at day and night, to establish heights and angles, and to facilitate the casting of horoscopes as well as navigation.

These are photos of the Sloan Astrolabe held in the collection of The British Museum, it dates from 1300 in England, and an ancient Islamic Astrolabe.

Astrolabe, navigation, horoscope, circles

The Sloan Astrolabe c.1300 England and ancient astrolabe from the middle east.

The painting is composed from the outlines of the letters of text that lists the names and class of most of the stars visible in the night sky.  The list of names has been altered visually to become the linear pattern of the artwork.  Abstract patterns encode meaning without explicit messages.  I’m searching for reactions when different systems of shapes interact.  The catalogue of stars is still intact but the explicit identity of the words now have their own rationale as patterns.  And like the classical Astrolabes, the painting compresses the idea of a three dimensional outer space down onto a two dimensional painting.  I’m interested in connecting dimensions of various depths.



This is Astrolabe [State 2].  This work is mounted onto aluminum and to me shows a compression of the idea that space, time and light are part of the same fabric.  The astronomical names of stars are seen as vestiges in the lines across the surface.


This is Plum 9 and Plumb 12 [Leaves of Grass]

Walt Whitman, Leaves of grass, poetry, inkjet, text, abstraction

Plumb 9 [Leaves of Grass] ultrachrome inkjet on aluminum 69 x 38 inches 2014

Plumb 9 detail a

Plumb 9 detail view

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, text, poetry, abstraction

Plumb 12 [Leaves of Grass] ultrachrome pigment on aluminum 69 x 38 inches 2014

Plumb 12 detail view

Plumb 12 detail view

These works are composed from the poetry of Walt Whitman.  Sections from his self published anthology Leaves Of Grass are the source text and starting point for the artwork.  Whitman added poems to this anthology throughout his life.  There is something in there that remains of the poetry which so often celebrated life in all of its forms.  The poetry prompted the idea to start these pictures,  which for me express some of the exquisite details of being alive.

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Ultraviolet, inkjet, abstraction, text, mural