The Chazan Gallery is pleased to present Alchemical Reactions, an exhibition of works by Susan Freda and Allison Paschke from February 14 to March 6, 2019.  There will be an opening reception for the artists on February 14, from 5:00 - 7:00. The public is invited.

Susan Freda,Vitro Orbis (Glass Circle) detail, 2018

Susan Freda’s work explores transparency, form, and flowing line, the play of cast shadows and  light on a wall, sparkling, subtle states of being that invoke intimate, emotive responses. She imbues her pieces with an ephemeral presence and ability to catch and hold light and form.  Created from hand woven wire and glass, her pieces envelope viewers in a seductive, entranced space. Their transparent and interconnected forms and jewel-like nature reference nature, fashion, and otherworldly phenomena.
Freda’s work is inspired by numerous sources, some of which include: Giacometti’s stretched and elongated figures, Judi Pfaff’s installations and deft use of material; and the sculptures of Anish Kapoor. Her explores the transient, poetic, and ephemeral experiences of our world—intimacy & emotion, and offers a space for their consideration.

Susan Freda was educated at the Rhode Island School of Design where she earned her BFA and at the Massachusetts College of Art for her MFA. She has received numerous awards, notably a residency & exhibition at the de Young Museum & a Pollock Krasner Award.

Interaction and the ephemeral are central to Allison Paschke’s work. Her passion for materials has led to an investigation of light-reactive materials such as mirrors, resin, acrylic gel mediums, glass, and translucent porcelain. The interaction of these materials creates complex layers of translucency, reflection and shadow. While her work’s rich material qualities are palpable, the transience of light is equally important. Each piece changes constantly depending on the time of day, the environment it reflects, and the position of the viewer. While most of Paschke’s installation work has been overtly interactive (participants are invited to touch and move objects), her work involving mirrors is also inherently interactive.

Other aspects of her work also imply the ephemeral. Delicate, materials such as tiny, translucent porcelain elements create a feeling of vulnerability. Amber resin and insect pins are both associated with the preservation of organisms. Porcelain is both easy to break and at the same time durable for millennia buried in the earth. Pyramids evoke the quest for immortality. Through her work, Paschke seeks, paradoxically, to capture and immortalize what is transient.

Interaction and the ephemeral are central to Allison Paschke’s work. Her passion for materials has led to an investigation of light-reactive materials such as mirrors, resin, acrylic gel mediums, glass, and translucent porcelain. The interaction of these materials creates complex layers of translucency, reflection and shadow. While her work’s rich material qualities are palpable, the transience of light is equally important. Each piece changes constantly depending on the time of day, the environment it reflects, and the position of the viewer. While most of Paschke’s installation work has been overtly interactive (participants are invited to touch and move objects), her work involving mirrors is also inherently interactive.

Allison Paschke, pinfield: sand around ips (detail), 2018

Other aspects of her work also imply the ephemeral. Delicate, materials such as tiny, translucent porcelain elements create a feeling of vulnerability. Amber resin and insect pins are both associated with the preservation of organisms. Porcelain is both easy to break and at the same time durable for millennia buried in the earth. Pyramids evoke the quest for immortality. Through her work, Paschke seeks, paradoxically, to capture and immortalize what is transient.

Another underpinning of Paschke’s work is geometry. Basic forms such as squares, circles, ellipses, grids, pyramids, and the relationships between them form compositional structures. Sequential systems inform component-based works or patterns within a piece. At the same time, each geometric structure is altered and enriched by materials
and by the hand’s intervention in the forming process. Paschke searches for the edge between the geometrically perfect and organically irregular, and the place where the present and the infinite coexist.

After her first eight years growing up in Providence RI (both parents were RISD alums), Allison Paschke spent her childhood moving around the country with her artist mother. Small living spaces and an itinerant lifestyle encouraged her natural tendency toward working in miniature.

Her first BFA at UC Santa Cruz focused on photography, a pursuit that led to a lifelong interest in light. Paschke then worked as a graphic designer. Many hours spent at the drafting table are visible in the geometric layout and precision in much of her work. A desire to work directly with physical materials lead to her discovery of porcelain; she then went on to receive a second BFA in ceramics from KCAI, as well as an MFA in ceramics from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

In 1999 Paschke and her family settled in Rhode Island. Living with two very active children encouraged her tendency to make meditative, quiet work. Having more studio space allowed her to work on a larger scale, though she continues to make small, intimate works. Paschke’s current work explores geometry and light through wall pieces and installations. She uses reflective and translucent materials such as mirrors, porcelain, acrylic gel mediums, glass, and resin. Her work is often interactive in terms of touch, light, and sound.

In addition to her studio practice Paschke has curated and participated in several large-scale installation-based exhibitions, including three in Rhode Island and one more recently in New York City. These endeavors have connected her to other artists, with whom she has completed a number of collaborative projects. She is currently a national member of the women’s cooperative A.I.R. in New York City.

Paschke has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions locally and nationally. Her work is included in corporate and museum collections including the Newport Art Museum, the Kansas City Art Institute Museum of Art, and many private collections around the world. She was the recipient of RISCA’s second place fellowship in “new genres.”