'Square Routes' Lead to Multi-Dimensional Awareness at SJU Gallery

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (September 23, 2009) – Square Routes, a collection of mixed media works by Philadelphia artist Sarah Steinwachs, is the next exhibition at Saint Joseph’s University Gallery. The exhibit, which features urban-inspired grids examined through paint and paper constructions, will open Monday, Oct. 5, and run through Friday, Oct. 30. An artist’s reception is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9, 6-8 p.m.

Steinwachs became interested in the visual complexities of urban environments after leaving her mountainous hometown of Boulder, Colo., for the busier architecture of cities like Philadelphia, Rome and Tokyo.

In exploration of these dimensional constructs, she began a search for exactitude in Square Routes. “I quickly came to see, however, that the natural gesture of process, including the unexpected slip-ups that occurred, was visually much more interesting than the challenge of perfection,” Steinwachs says.

Associate gallery director Jeanne Bracy notes the tension in Steinwachs’ work. “Her art at first glance is exact and rigid, yet the space she creates through layering is elusive,” she says.

Like the city infrastructures some pieces resemble – but in miniature – Steinwachs’ collection may best be experienced with one’s chin placed at the base of the individual piece.

“Viewers must examine her work up close to appreciate Steinwachs’ painstaking process,” Bracy says. “Her mixture of painting and sculpture is unique in its process and final result.”

Steinwachs’ process includes using a knife to cut out spaces between the grid lines of graph paper. “The lines that remained were contradictory to the air around them – a two-dimensional construct – in a three dimensional reality,” she says. “The layering of these ‘in-between’ dimensions created environments that were reminiscent of the everyday, such as a grate, over a screened window.” This result comments upon the contradictions between the illusion of – and actual space – observed in cities.

Steinwachs has received numerous awards for her work and has exhibited across the country and internationally. She is an assistant professor and coordinator of design in the art and art history department at Drexel University. She earned her B.F.A. at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and her M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art.

The Saint Joseph's University Gallery is located in Boland Hall on Lapsley Lane, off of City Avenue, between 54th Street & Cardinal Avenue in Lower Merion. A campus map can be accessed at http://www.sju.edu/about/campusmap/.

Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840, or access www.sju.edu/gallery.

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240, patricia.allen@sju.edu

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