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Finding Inspiration: Allison Svoboda


Ubiquitous Fecundity Series, #2
ink on rice paper collage

Allison Svoboda says of her own work, "Fractal geometry is the theory of infinite layers of self-similar shapes repeated in every living thing. These repetitive forms found throughout the natural world hold an endless fascination for me. Plants, feathers, skeletons; this enormous energy in nature influences my work.
The same way a plant grows following the path of least resistance, the quick gestures and simplicity of working with ink allows the law of least resistance to prevail as the ink finds its path across the paper. There is an immediacy to ink on paper, where every gesture and every flaw is readily visible. When I find compositions that intrigue me, I then delve into the longer process of collage, taking the time to digest the image. When the composition is complete, like with Japanese suiseki or a Chinese Scholar’s rock, each viewer has his own experience as new images emerge from the completed arrangement."

In her current exhibit, ORGANIC MATTER, the work is immediate, accessible, and energized by the fact that it is unframed.  Curator Susan Aurinko has selected a combination of Svoboda's past and recent work and it is unified through the display, often suspending the work away from the wall by an inch so that the delicate paper can move with the movement of the air. 

The simple black and white patterns become more complex in the recent work from the Ubiquitous Fecundity Series where Svoboda has collaged together torn fragments of her ink paintings into human sized compositions.  The vertical compositions focus on pattern, movement and rhythms of contrast surprise the viewer by breaking out of the rectangular boundary of the piece.  Although balance and compositional stability is still emphasized, Svoboda directs our attention to the tactile quality of the textures, both visual and actual.

Georgia O'Keeffe (left) was certainly inspired by the mysteries and familiarities found in nature.  This patterning led the artist to choose a dual title making the mystery of what is revealing itself stand for the viewer to experience as well in Ballet Skirt or Electric Light, 1927. 

Arthur Dove found his inspiration in Silver Sun, 1929 presenting us with a mysterious orb emanating a life force, and yet holding a stillness of suspended time.

Svoboda is observing that which is all around us, within us, and beyond us and translating it into her own unique version of the beauty of ORGANIC MATTER.

ORGANIC MATTER continues through Saturday, June 12, 2010.

Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Friday from Noon to 7pm,
Saturday from noon to 5pm, or by appointment. Ph (773) 772-2386.
(open until 8pm on the first Friday of each month)
Coalition Gallery 2010 W. Pierce Avenue Chicago, IL 60622

(773) 772-2385

For more information:, Coalition Gallery,

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