A public garden & cultural center

Audrey Hasen Russell


Slant Branch Souvenir (Thinkin' on You)
Sunroom Project Space | August 1–September 13, 2009

Slant Branch Souvenir (Thinkin’ on You), 2009, plywood, beams, 2 x 4s, fabric, blown glass, Depression-era glass, foam, paint, cardboard, acrylic rhinestones, sticks, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Audrey Hasen Russell takes a cue from the landscape visible from the Sunroom’s windows with Slant Branch Souvenir (Thinkin’ on You), a large-scale installation. Comprised of three sculptural components, these works combine to collectively register the rolling hillside and woodlands that make up the room’s distinctive views. In one corner, a leaning plywood structure upholstered in mustard-colored fleece that stands in for gently sloping wedge of topography is embedded with green glass and white twigs that resemble indeterminate organic growth. An arch made with sticks has the look of a young sapling, while a clutch of glasswork stationed nearby captures the microcosmic intimacy of a flower garden.

Russell’s work is also informed by childhood memories of a family farm in the Appalachian foothills of east Tennessee. Consequently, she chooses familiar materials that reference a distant nostalgic notion of the bygone, such as fleece and Depression-era glassware. At the same time, she resists a literal depiction of the imagery of her personal history. A heavy beam and an antique window pane possess a barn-like aesthetic, but they also suggest a tree trunk and a jutting precipice. By deftly navigating this boundary between representation and abstraction, Russell delves into the slippery nature of memory itself, and speaks to the persistent impulse to idealize days gone by. The resulting work is suffused with emotional resonance, provoking narratives of both comfort and loss.

 

 

 

 

Slant Branch Souvenir (Thinkin’ on You), 2009, plywood, beams, 2 x 4s, fabric, blown glass, Depression-era glass, foam, paint, cardboard, acrylic rhinestones, sticks, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts. 
 

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