Artist Elliott Puckette crosses the line at Kasmin New York

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Tension, Freedom, Suppression: Elliott Packet Crosses Line in Kasmin, New York

Artist Elliott Puckette talks about questions, contradictions and sculptural challenges in Kasmin, New York

Elliott Packet’s new show at Mistin, the ninth in the gallery, occupies 3,000 square feet of space on the 509 West 27th Street designed by Studio MDA. Afternoon winter light coldly penetrates through about 20 skylights on a poured concrete ceiling into paintings of various sizes, several pieces on paper, and a new package containing two sculptures. , Finally, we will show the new development of the artist.

Elliott Packet: Decades of Obsession with Line

Packets are best known for their abstract line drawings of swirling arcs and winding wavy lines. Kentucky-born artists have been obsessed with the line for decades, neither plain calligraphy nor direct metaphor, but “there are more possibilities than shapes and colors,” she said. Explaining. “I was always interested in graphology. I was reading the psychology of how it was written, not necessarily something someone wrote,” she disclosed and the artist. I quoted Henri Michaux’s imaginary alphabet as influential. “It’s a kind of asemic writing, and it’s open to interpretation.”

Portrait of a three-dimensional cast bronze sculpture mounted on the wall of Elliott Packet Random walk, 2021, at the Kasmin Gallery in New York.

Packaget makes all her paintings in the same elaborate and systematic way. She always works alone and prepares all the boards first (but only one at a time). This is a unique gesso recipe that blends acrylic and powdered clay kaolin (after having an allergic reaction to traditional marble dust). Gesso A few years ago she had to create herself). Apply about 12 layers to the package, dry the gesso each time, and then sand it for a smooth finish. Then the ink is washed on the board. In most cases, it is dark gray, black, and in some cases blue, dark purple. She cuts into a dry, black surface with a razor blade and draws a line with a fast, freehand chalk before revealing the underlying white gesso. “It’s a subtractive color mixture,” she says.

Next, she works on the line, creating a microcross hatch, shaping its thinness and thickness. If you capture the surface of the board with proper light, you can get a glimpse of the subtle dents. The lines on her whiteboard are made a little different: “I put a gouache on the ground, then draw a line, then etch it with a razor blade, then put ink on the line, so it’s etched. It’s like. ”This process is a painstaking time, but meditative. “You really go into the zone. It’s perfect for these times,” she says.

Above: Elliott Packet, Star, 2021, with Gesso, Kaolin and Ink. Moreover: Goose blanching, 2021, with gesso, kaolin and ink

The package, of course, refers to the swaying stop highlighted by our recent chaotic swirls. Each piece of her New York exhibition has freedom and restraint. The fluidity of the instinctively drawn lines competes with the precision of her little crosshatch. We all lose some control and make graceful submissions. Has this feeling been enhanced by the package? “I don’t think everyday suspicion is that bad,” she says. “There is no certainty in anything, it’s exhausted and I don’t know. But I definitely don’t want the world.”

There is a coincidence in Packett’s work, but as she says, her new work evolves this established theme with subtle but distinct differences. Each painting was born as a small maquette of twisted and distorted wires. The lines drawn on the board reflect the shape of the maquette, previously creating a continuous Ouroboros loop, but now draw the start and end points of the painting lines, that is, the start and end points of the maquette wire. I am. Every time she recycles the wire and restarts. “I wanted to see if something substantive, like bronze, still retains its temporary nature in the sculpture. That’s a contradiction I’m interested in.”

Top and Top: Three-dimensional cast bronze sculpture mounted on the wall of Elliott Packet Random walk, 2021, until February 26, 2022, exhibited as part of the “Elliott Packet” exhibition held in Mistin

The larger of the two sculptures appears to be floating in the air. It is made from 117 individually cast and soldered bronze and was created in collaboration with the Workshop Art Fabrication Foundry in upstate New York. “The hardest part was letting go of control, but I knew I had to hand it over to an expert,” she says. “This was our first and only attempt. There is a huge yearbook of soldering procedures that explains which parts are next to which parts, and each one is numbered, so everything is where. You can check if it is connected.

Packet goes to her studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn every day. It’s the same place where she has worked for over 30 years. “It’s part of my routine,” she says. “It’s the space I find safest. I got it when I graduated from art school in 1989. It’s a funky old building, very unmanageable and unadjusted. Hmm. It’s a little old New York. ”

Now that the show is open, will she take a day off to recharge? “I like to keep the motor running all the time, otherwise it may be difficult to get it back on track. I’ve already prepared a bunch of panels that are winking at me in the studio.

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