Touching the Void features abstract drawings and paintings by Ogden-based artist Lydia Gravis, who uses physical mark making to empathically respond to the intangible human experiences of everyday life. A pop-up exhibition presented by Carper Contemporary at The Argo House, Touching the Void features over twenty pieces by Gravis that range from intimate drawings to dizzying compositions created with graphite, watercolor, ink, or oil. “The art I make often stems from an empathic desire to respond to situations that I or others feel, but don’t necessarily understand,” says Gravis, who is also Director of the Shaw Gallery at Weber State University. “These situations may seem senseless or tragic, but ultimately connect us to our collective experience of being human.”
Profound feelings such as grief and loss – or simply the daily overwhelm of navigating our contemporary world – are the seeds of inspiration for Gravis’ creative process.Colonies of lines, obsessive micro textures, and abstract marks attempt to provide a visual language for these intangible ideas, which ultimately draws the artist into a meditative act of making. “Because I work abstractly, what inspires the work isn’t what it becomes,” explains Gravis. “I eventually relinquish my initial intention of control, and it is with this surrender that an unpredictable creative process unfolds.” Ultimately driven by her desire for engagement and sustained by the meditative act of making, Gravis hopes to pass on a sense of wonder and resonance to those who view the work. Founded by independent curator and art writer Kelly Carper, Carper Contemporary occupies collaborative or borrowed spaces for ephemeral exhibitions and artist features. Touching the Void is presented in collaboration with The Argo House, an incubator for art and design professionals and a gathering space for Ogden’s creative community. Carper curates rotating exhibitions at The Argo House every quarter and also features local and regional contemporary artists at WB’s Eatery in The Monarch. Carper Contemporary’s curatorial projects aim to provide more outlets for experiencing contemporary art in Northern Utah, while ultimately expanding the landscape and pushing the boundaries of the commercial art market on a broader level. Carper aims to inspire the next generation of art buyers while giving seasoned collectors new and exciting ways to purchase art and experience exhibitions.
About the Artist
Lydia Gravis earned her B.A. in painting and drawing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. in 2003, and her MFA in visual art from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2013. “Touching the Void” will be on display at The Argo House through February 29th, with work also available at carpercontemporary.com.