GINNY SYKES
Finding Space
Sept 12-Nov 1
Chicago Art Source Gallery
1871 N Clybourn
Opening reception Sept 12 5-8pm

Finding Space

Essay by Buzz Spector, 2014

"Space is when you find it. That’s not a typo in my first sentence. Ginny Sykes has been lots of places as artist and traveler, accumulating many “whens,” therefore, in times spent in New Zealand, Europe, the Caribbean, as well as the more mundane Midwest. Each locale has added to Sykes’s history of spatial encounters wherein she has, existentially at least, carried away with her something of those spaces. Bachelard meditates thusly on the matter: “je suis l’espace où je suis” (I am the space where I am), by which he praises the mind’s incorporated spaces in which our inner lives dwell. I read sensations of place in Sykes’s paintings, but they are not offered here in a spirit of documentation. Rather, these bright and buoyantly aerated fields are activated by gestures freed from inscription. They offer a common pulse of sensory liquidity which, in drawing us in, reveals itself to be the transmogrification of space into visceral experience. We find . . . ourselves, after all, in such seeing."

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Finding Space is a reflection on my need for physical and psychological spaciousness: in life, in perspective, and spiritually. Making room for the ebb and flow as opposed to ‘a pushing’ at life. This direction followed in part a prolonged illness during which I had to rethink how I could live and sustain my work. Space is a container, metaphysically and metaphorically. With spaciousness one can receive, rejuvenate, reflect, think. Without it there is panic, defense, a lack of time. Re-rooting my body and work within nature has helped me heal, and hints of nature began to show up my abstractions.

The work in Finding Space veers toward observation, collapsing the space between my lived and perceptual experience and the abstracted performance of my responses, yet it is an essence rather than depiction of nature I am after. I use abstraction to communicate symbolic content, fusing gestural layering with texture, transparency and light. I like what Fairfield Porter once wrote about deKooning’s abstractions, that they "release human significances that cannot be expressed verbally".
I too am interested in releasing painting’s possibilities to create spaces that contain and are metaphors for the nature of subtlety, nuance, and mystery.

- Ginny Sykes