Press Release: The Awakening

Cassandra C. Jones, Todd Pavlisko, Zemer Peled, Rusty Scruby

November 3 – December 8, 2017

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present The Awakening, an exhibition featuring four artists whose work seeks to expand and play with the viewer’s perception. Cassandra C. Jones, Todd Pavlisko, Zemer Peled, and Rusty Scruby all employ techniques of comprisal, forming careful arrangements that appear effortless from afar. Each artist awakens a different aspect of our perspectives: the physical contradictions within Peled’s sculptures, the societal fallacies engaged by Pavlisko, the interconnectedness of nature, history, and humanity exposed by Jones, and the introspective weaves of memory by Scruby. Every piece begs a second, closer look, and the audience is rewarded by investigation—the work transforms under examination.

Cassandra C. Jones, Pyramid, 24 x 24 in. 

Cassandra C. Jones, Pyramid, 24 x 24 in. 

Cassandra C. Jones’ digitally composited images read at first as botanical drawings. In Seven for a Rose, stems shoot from insect legs and antennae, buds from wings and carapaces, while in Rara Avis, a wallpaper-like floral pattern blooms from a kaleidoscope of fluorescent pink flamingos posed like their plastic counterparts. In Pyramid, what appears to be a decorative pattern, something that may be embroidered onto textile, reveals itself to be a tangle of cheerleader limbs. Jones is adept at burying corporeality and grotesqueness in the seemingly ornamental. She explores the relationship between organic and artifice, the line between something living and a kitschy, saturated representation. Her work is aposematic: it utilizes superficial appeal to draw the viewer before demonstrating the depth of grit of her work, infused with personal narratives, religious allusion, and societal critique; it teaches us to carefully consider things that are bright and eye-catching.

Todd Pavlisko’s tag series cultivates an awareness of what our current society consists of. Pavlisko began experimenting with clothing tags and tag guns over a decade ago. He repurposes these physical representations of affluence and excess as a new medium to explore Pointillist techniques on Pop Art subjects. This amalgamation of styles yields work that is simultaneously collage, painting, and sculpture, while alluding to textiles with its texture and process. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the portrait featured in this exhibition, is a combination of many aspects of national pride: an athlete with a diverse background, known for both his career and a lifetime of activism, he represents material success, moral superiority, and overcoming social barriers. The dollar sign, meanwhile, is Pavlisko’s first icon image, inspired by Andy Warhol’s dollar signs. Both pieces are a critique of American consumerism—the tags, all made in Korea, are foreign components used to create national symbols, awakening the viewer to what may underlie the aspects of society we value.

Zemer Peled’s work awakens the senses with a physical, visceral illusion. Each abstract sculpture is made of thousands of ceramic shards, arranged together to mimic softness—feathers, petals. Created from the inside out, Peled’s process invokes growth and evolution. Each shard is carefully placed, conversing with the others surrounding it until they become part of a single body. Otherworldly shapes emerge, alien flora reminiscent of aquatic forms like coral, sea anemones, and urchins. Their fluid lines imply underwater currents or a gust of wind. This fine, delicate work showcases Peled’s meticulous hand and technical proficiency. Looking closer, we discover that sharp point of each fiber, the brutality underlying something beautiful and seemingly innocuous. The larger implications of this dichotomy existing in a single image encourages the viewer to scrutinize: question the inoffensive, look more closely at the alluring.

Rusty Scruby,  Walking Stick: 15,  49.5 x 37.5 x 3 in. 

Rusty Scruby, Walking Stick: 15, 49.5 x 37.5 x 3 in. 

Rusty Scruby’s work looks from afar like a world through frosted glass. The images convey just enough information to form familiar shapes, suggesting a scene with patches of color and allowing the eye to fill in the rest. Up close, each piece reveals itself to be a collage of many smaller images, like the film strip of a moment passed. The photographic compositions emerge three-dimensionally from the wall, creating a visual texture that is felt with the viewer’s gaze through the way the surface of each piece interacts with light. Scruby achieves this through a painstaking analog cut-and-paste process, akin to weaving. There’s a pulse and rhythm to his configurations—repetition with variation, hinting at his background as a musician. Scruby mimics memory with both technique and content: the way we arrange fragments into the narratives of our past, distorting them. Stepping closer to his work illuminates the minutia that can get lost in the bigger picture.

Cassandra C. Jones is an Ojai, California-based artist with an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University. She has exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, most recently at the Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, MA and Porch Gallery in Ojai, CA, as well as the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS. She has received a number of awards and residencies, including the Vira I. Heinz Endowment awarded by the Virginia Center of Creative Arts. 

Zemer Peled is a Los Angeles- based artist with an M.F.A (honors) from the Royal College of Art. She has exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, including Sotheby's and Saatchi Gallery-London, Eretz Israel Museum-Tel Aviv and the Orangerie du Senate, Paris. Peled was awarded a highly commended prize at the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize 2014 with which she has toured internationally. In February - August 2016, she was a visiting artist in resident at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) as well as The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT, USA (2013–2015). 

Rusty Scruby has exhibited both nationally and internationally including exhibitions in Miami, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Chicago and Seoul, South Korea. In 2011, Scruby received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for his solo exhibition presented by Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont. His work is in major public collections including: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Stephen Pyles Restaurant, Microsoft Corporation, Capital One, Lamar University, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Scruby recently received a commission at his alma matter Texas A&M. He is represented by Cris Worley Fine Arts in Dallas, Texas.

Todd Pavlisko received his BFA in Sculpture and Painting/Printmaking from Miami University and his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Pavlisko has most recently exhibited at The University of Massachusetts, Boston and the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH. His work is held in major national and international public collections including the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Museum of Art & Design, New York, Carnegie Mellon University, PA, John Adams Institute, Amsterdam, and City of Naples, Italy.