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Viewfinder: “Working Flux” by Travis Flak

After recently attending Laura Stack and Val Jenkins’ two-person show, In-Flux, at Rosalux Gallery in Northeast Minneapolis, I was particularly struck by Jenkin’s side of the show. Writing about it here  becomes a turning of a solidified table as Jenkins was my senior thesis adviser at the College of Visual Arts.  Jenkins has a very […]

"Time Line" (Detail), Val Jenkins (Photo courtesy of Rosalux Gallery)

After recently attending Laura Stack and Val Jenkins’ two-person show, In-Flux, at Rosalux Gallery in Northeast Minneapolis, I was particularly struck by Jenkin’s side of the show. Writing about it here  becomes a turning of a solidified table as Jenkins was my senior thesis adviser at the College of Visual Arts.  Jenkins has a very intentional series of work. Her method consists of shredding paper and drawing it from observation – does it get more intentional than that? 

"Time Line," Val Jenkins, Graphite on Paper, 48 inches x 30 feet 2011 (Photo by Travis Flak)

Jenkins draws paper on paper, and it seems so artistically incestuous.  She cleverly and clearly observes the world around her.  By taking the mundane and making it interesting to look at—it is both meditative and contemplative. Her work rests on a contemporary line between representation and abstraction.  This line is crossed, literally, when the work is viewed in person: when first approached from a distance, Jenkins’ work is reminiscent of the all-over-action-compositions of abstract expressionists, but as you get closer, you physically cross this line as recognition meets representation.  The best part? Jenkins’ execution. Even better? She is not done yet.

 

Travis Flak and Barbara Kreft looking into "Distance or Speed," Val Jenkins, Red Pencil on Paper 2011 (Photo by Travis Flak)

Jenkins’ two-year-old work is definitely still in flux.  Always aware of how her work interacts with the viewer, Jenkins aims to push the idea of a physically interactive viewing experience.  She wants the viewer to bend, kneel, and look into her drawings.  So look at graphite on paper of paper, see the meditative process, but more importantly, enjoy the simple fact that humdrum heaps of shreds are now worthy of note.  When’s the last time you discarded paper scraps?

For more information on In-Flux and the upcoming artist talk on June 21st at 7 pm, please visit: http://rosaluxgallery.com/

About the author: Travis Flak is a painter, our mnartists.org intern, and a recent graduate from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul, MN. You may view his work at www.travisflak.com

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Viewfinder posts are your opportunity to “show & tell” about the everyday arts happenings, interesting sights and sounds made or as seen by Minnesota artists, because art is where you find it. Submit your own informal, first-person responses to the art around you to katie(at)mnartists.org, and we may well publish your piece here on the blog. (Guidelines: 300 words or less, not about your own event/work, and please include an image, media, video, or audio file, and one sentence about yourself.)