K. Imperial Fine Art is pleased to present its first solo show of the work of Kiki Gaffney. In the Presence of Light will include both paintings and works on paper that center on manufactured and organic structures that are in a state of decay and disrepair yet maintain an enhanced beauty. Gaffney’s work gives relevance and reverence to this beauty that often goes unnoticed, bringing it into the light. Yet it is light that contributes to its decomposition.
One of my primary interests in art making is the visual patterns I notice in my surroundings – whether the organic, energetic lines carved into rocks by the process of erosion, informational diagrams such as street grids and fencing, or the staid compositions of wallpaper or fabric found on walls and furniture I come across. The symmetry and sequence in these designs have a lyrical and meditative quality, and in some way reflect a sense of structure and stability we look for in our lives. So many shapes in ‘created’ patterns can be found in the natural environment. Organic formations inspire and inform designs within our society, whether functional or decorative. There is a visual organization – extracting animate arrangements and constructing them in a way that offers pleasure, instruction or direction. An expressed and poetic energy is inherent, yet this often goes unnoticed, perhaps because patterns are so engrained in our lives that the ordinary becomes invisible, or maybe we just move too fast to notice them.
The work in this exhibition reflects my interest in bringing attention to things that go unnoticed, and placing them in a new context that offers an opportunity for contemplation. Several of the images are from the neighborhood in north Philadelphia where my studio is located – the elevated rail line, dilapidated church, single row house, for example – beautiful ruins that retain a richness of texture reflecting a passing industrial civilization. These images are juxtaposed with that of fallen aspens I noticed on a trip to Utah. The exquisitely formed trees piled gracefully and slowly giving into decay reminded me of the north Philadelphia neighborhood – two vastly different landscapes that each possess their own ethereal beauty, and create the space for pause, contemplation and seeing in a new way. – Kiki Gaffney
Kiki has exhibited nationally including juried museum shows and her work is included in important corporate collections. She’s also a four-time recipient of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts grants and residency program. She received her MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her BFA from Loyola College in Baltimore. Gaffney lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.
In the Presence of Light will be on view February 28 – March 31, 2018 with a reception for the artist Thursday, March 1st 5:30 – 7:30pm.