Artist Talks Gallery Openings and Events

BlackRock Center for the Arts’ Kay Gallery Presents Elisa Berry Fonseca, Suzi Fox, and Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin Over, Under, Through

Elisa Berry Fonseca Canyon Spires, felt, steel, variable dimensions. Courtesy of BlackRock Center for the Arts.

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Reception: Saturday, November 11 from 2pm to 4pm
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Artist Talk & Gallery Tour: Saturday, December 2 at 2pm

The exhibition Over, Under, Through presents works of sculpture and installation by Elisa Berry Fonseca, Suzi Fox, and Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin, three contemporary sculptors whose work often focuses on the manipulation of common materials to create new three-dimensional forms. Elisa Berry Fonseca stacks and cuts scraps of tar paper, felt, plywood, and carpet or welds and brazes steel wire into sculptural installations that replicate scenes found in the natural world. Suzi Fox responds to the inherent characteristics of carefully chosen materials and tools, many found at the hardware store, then manipulates them into thought-provoking sculptures. Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin uses additive forms of construction, often using materials considered obsolete, in works that question how we produce, consume and discard technological inventions.

Highlighting the varied techniques employed by Fonseca, Fox, and Yurcisin, Over, Under, Through also seeks to emphasize the connection the three artists share in using repetitive processes to transform manmade materials. At first glance, we are drawn to their powerful forms and appealing tactile surfaces. On closer inspection, we appreciate the physical process each artist has used, as we notice the striped layers Fonseca has stacked from roofing felt, the stitched rows Fox has knitted from carpenter’s string, and the webbed patterns Yurcisin has woven from strips of plastic video tape. Engaging with each work, we begin to contemplate and recognize how each artist has also imbued their sculptural forms with deeper layers of meaning.

Elisa Berry Fonseca finds comfort in repetitive actions and techniques. Her sculptures are derived from a process based on responses to materials. Hours spent cutting, stacking, welding, or brazing amass an accumulation of material. In works like Black Stalagmites, she individually cuts pieces of tar paper and colored felt, then stacks them onto metal rods. Her layering process echoes the natural process by which strata of sediment build landmasses. Fonseca then carves the layered stacks of manmade materials into tapered spires, in the same way that wind and water might carve away at canyons. She also bends, welds and brazes steel wire to create more animated gestural forms. Her stalagmites emerge from the gallery floor while stalactites hang from the ceiling in a canyon-like installation.

Suzi Fox uses process as the primary means of generating form and meaning. Her sculptures explore a reinterpretation of common manmade objects and techniques of building forms by hand. She is fascinated with discovering new approaches to working with a material and utilizing these to make forms. Fox often uses manipulations such as carving, weaving and twisting. In works like STRAIT-LINE III, Fox has knitted the red string from a carpenter’s chalk line reel to craft a well-fitted “sweater” for a three-dimensional cube. Her sculptures are infused with humor and playful explorations of materials, but upon closer inspection many suggest deeper social concerns. Fox ultimately hopes the viewer looks and contemplates a little deeper to recognize the layered ways we can experience and interpret meaning.

Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin repurposes obsolete recording materials, like video cassette tapes, and typewriter ribbon. The panels, cages, and nets she weaves are reflective surfaces that question the speed in which we produce, consume, and discard our technologies. Her installations and sculptures relate to water and landscape, even though they are made with materials entirely manufactured by man. In works like Suspended Reflections, Yurcisin saturates space and asks the viewer to discover the unavoidable relationship between the inner-outer walls of her pieces. She intentionally pours copious amounts of labor into the precise and deliberate construction of her work. Yurcisin is concerned with the protection and preservation of our planet and uses hi-tech residue to question the sustainability of a society based on consumption. By building metaphors that explore the caging relationship we have with the natural world, she explores the impossibility of our superiority to nature.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Elisa Berry Fonseca holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Minnesota, an MAR in Religion and the Arts from Yale Divinity School, and a BA from Macalester College. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Vivid Solutions Gallery in Washington, DC, galerie102 in Ojai, CA, and Fallout Urban Arts Center in Minneapolis, MN, and Carkeek Park / Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle, WA. Fonseca’s work has been selected for numerous group exhibitions presented at museums and art spaces which include Beijing Film Academy in Beijing, China; the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in New Haven, CT; and the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, MN. Fonseca has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte, NC. In 2016 she was an Artist-in-Residence at the Henry R. Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. She has taught as an Adjunct Instructor at Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, NC, University of New Haven in New Haven, CT, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. Fonseca recently relocated her studio practice from Frederick, MD to Inver Grove, MN where she lives with her husband Ricardo and their daughter Milena. Learn more about the artist at: www.ebfonseca.com

Suzi Fox received her Master of Fine Arts at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI and her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She has exhibited in solo exhibitions at Hillyer Art Space, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA, Fayerweather Gallery, and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Her group exhibitions include shows at Acme Gallery, Columbus, OH, Phoenix Gallery, New York, NY, White Box Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA and University Art Museum, University of Albany, Albany, NY. Professor Fox has taught a range of courses at several universities including Color Theory/Drawing I at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Maryland, 3D-Design at Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA, Intermediate and Advanced Sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA and Drawing I/Sculpture I, at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Fox maintains her studio practice in Northern Virginia and is an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of Sculpture at The American University and George Washington Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in Washington, DC. Learn more about the artist at: www.suzifox.net

Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin was born in Mexico City, Mexico. She received a BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL and a BA from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S., Mexico, and Germany in curated and juried group exhibitions which include Arlington Arts Center (Arlington, VA), Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Washington, DC, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA, District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington, DC, Mae Kramer Gallery, Silver Spring, MD, Hardcore Art Contemporary Space, Miami, FL, International Gallery, Baltimore, MD, Salzlandmuseum, Schönebeck, Germany, and a solo exhibition at Paseo del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Yurcisin’s work is included in numerous collections, to include the permanent collection of The Joan Flash Artists’ Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a member of Sparkplug, an artist collective organized by the District of Columbia Arts Center in Washington, DC. Yurcisin maintains her studio practice in both Playa del Carmen, Mexico and Bethesda, MD. Learn more about the artist at: www.fabiola.com.mx

Gallery Hours:

  • Monday – Saturday: 10am to 5pm

BlackRock Center for the Arts is located at 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown, MD.

Editorial Team
Authored by: Editorial Team

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