Building A Sense of Place: Assemblages by Jean Sausele-Knodt
Forum Gallery and Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery
March 21, 2020 – May, 24, 2020
Opening Reception: Saturday March 21st, 2020
Due to the Covid-19 Outbreak, this exhibition has been postponed.
Please check the Northern Virginia Community College Covid-19 page for updates. – https://www.nvcc.edu/coronavirus/index.html
Direction for these mixed media wall-mounted assemblages grew with a goal to keep various forms and paint surfaces continually fresh while exploring possibilities. The resulting working process is quite animated as I move various parts and pieces about to reveal countless relationships.
The action can, however, also build itself into a frenzied fragmentation that then needs to be tended to and restructured. In this way, perhaps cathartically, the work has become an arena for me to come to terms with all that whirls about in my day-to-day life. A time to both celebrate and confront unfolding visual, societal, environmental, and cultural realities – – those that float about gently and with beauty, or those that disturb and clash-combine.
With gathered fragments that I first cut with saws, draw in graphite, paint with oil, cast in concrete or stitch with thread – – I aim to orchestrate a newly personalized sense of whole. Some works dance about, others hug together in clusters, yet all embody a new time and place and sense of being; ones I am driven to make manifest.
From a very early age Jean remembers spending hours building small habitat structures among the roots of trees. After many years pursuing fine arts, she sees this intrinsic impulse to design and build fully engaged in her current mixed media assemblage work.
Jean studied Fine Arts at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, and earned her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in painting from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. While pursuing her graduate degree, she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine. During her time at these schools, Jean studied with many artists, including Neil Welliver, Janet Fish, Yvonne Jacquette, Rudy Burkhardt, Alex Katz, Francesco Clemente and Judy Pfaff.
Starting at age sixteen a primary focus alongside her studio work has been work as an educator, pre-K to university level. Her experience designing an open-inquiry critical and creative thinking lab for son’s elementary school offered a unique arena in which to engage children with the dispositions or “Habits of Mind” (David Perkins) of artists, designers and engineers. Other pedagogical influences for the lab included the theories of Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner) and Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihaly).
After nine years running the lab for up to 700 regularly attending students, giving presentations and writing a book about the program, Nine Thousand Straws (Libraries Unlimited), Jean returned to full time studio work. There she asked herself a series of pivotal lab questions based on Flow: When are you so engaged in an activity that you loose track of time? What do you remember doing when you were a young child? Her realization, “I have always loved to build things.” resulted in a departure from realism and stretched canvas to cutting shapes with saws and “building” her paintings.
Jean’s work is held in private and public collections and also shows in various exhibitions in the Washington, DC, area, New York and Connecticut.
Learn more about Jean at her website, https://jsauseleknodt.com/
You can follow her online at Instagram at jean.sausele.knodt