Holli Schorno and Ben Polsky
Through February 28
Context, whether intentionally considered or not, can become as much a part of a work of art as the work itself. Such is the case for the current exhibition at Gallery 16, new works by New York based artists Ben Polsky and Holli Schorno. San Francisco's current economic climate and dot-com dive serve as an ironic backdrop for these drawings (Polsky) and collages (Schorno), which investigate structures and systems in a state of erosion and flux and the links between creation and destruction. Polsky's large-scale drawings (80” x 100”) of old factories in various states of decomposition amid heaps of refuse and debris are industrial wastelands that are both eerie and beautiful in their decay. The materials he uses reinforce the ephemeral essence of these transitory spaces: spirit process carbon that has the quality of a blueprint and rag paper that has been saturated in water and worked to a coarse and pulpified state. Viewing these works, one is engulfed by the white expanse of the paper and soon becomes a part of this desolate landscape as the only human presence. Interspersed with the drawings are Holli Schorno's collages of book cuttings on paper, which are also large in scale. Resembling networks, flow charts or aerial views of urban centers, these pieces act as intricate codes of navigation for unknown territories. “Phylogenetic Tree” consists of 4 long strips of paper (75” x 24” each) mapped with a labyrinth of interconnecting rectangles that are formed with clippings of text from encyclopedias and maps. Pieces from these snippets read “glenoid fossa,” “medusa buds,” and “internal ostium,” to name a few. Untitled (Blue, Green, Orange), 3 long strips (78” x 16” each), is looser and more open-ended, providing a nice contrast to the density of her other works. The image of the girders and cinderblocks being erected across the street that can be seen through the window as you walk into the gallery provides the finishing touch on this exceptional and timely exhibition.
1616 Sixteenth Street, 3 rd Floor, San Francisco
Mon. – Fri. 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(415) 626-7495, (Megan Wilson)