JUSTIN AMRHEIN • COLETTE ROBBINS
FEBRUARY 17 – MARCH 26, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 6–9 PM
In Remainders, mythological totems, meticulous drawings of mechanical objects, and graphite drawings reminiscent of Rorschach tests coalesce in an investigation of rational and psychological interpretations of reality. While Justin Amrhein’s schematic drawings depict recognizable objects in a mechanical, seemingly rational and practical manner, Colette Robbins harnesses the irrationality of projecting meaning onto abstract forms in uncannily symmetrical drawings and sculptures. Both artists scrutinize the distinction between fact and fiction, and question the reality that we routinely navigate.
In his drawings, Justin Amrhein utilizes an instructional, schematic format to label the components and functions of objects ranging from mechanical walnut trees to a large-scale engine depicting political history in America. Left open to interpretation is what we are to do with his schematics, and whether they refer to objects that exist in the past, present, or future. Why might a mechanical tree exist, if not to replace the natural species which has gone extinct? One may conclude that the human relationship with technology and the natural world may lead to a post-apocalyptic reality; one in which we must build our environment per Amrhein’s instructions, in order to sustain humanity.
Conversely, Colette Robbins peers inward, and through a process-oriented practice, investigates psychological states and the human drive to project meaning onto visual information. Klecksography—the art of altering inkblots into recognizable images—inspired Robbins’ work, leading her to create hundreds of her own inkblots. She scans and digitally alters these, incorporating images of personally significant places, which lead to her large-scale graphite drawings. Further transforming the abstract, nonobjective inkblot, Robbins creates three-dimensional ‘totems’ from a meticulous process of digital repetition, 3D rendering, 3D printing, sanding, soldering, and painting. Ultimately, the totems take on an allegorical presence reminiscent of ancient archeological forms.
Justin Amrhein, born 1979, received his MFA from San Jose State University, and has exhibited at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts (NY, NY), The Center for Book Arts (NY, NY), Pierogi (NY, NY), Michael Rosenthal (San Francisco, CA), and Axis Gallery (Sacramento, CA), amongst others. His work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Artnews, Wall Street International, and Hyperallergic. He currently lives and works in New York, NY.
Colette Robbins, born 1980, received her MFA from Parsons, the New School for Design, and has exhibited at 101/Exhibit (Los Angeles, CA), The Hole Gallery, (NY, NY), P.P.O.W. (NY, NY), Deitch Projects (NY, NY), Kirk Hopper Gallery (Dallas, TX), Koki Arts (Tokyo, Japan), and Workshop Arte Contemporanea, (Venice, Italy), amongst others. She has been awarded residencies in Norway, Ireland, and at the Vermont Studio Center, and has been actively teaching, lecturing as a visiting artist at several universities, and curating exhibitions at various venues in New York. She lives and works in New York, NY.