Steven Husby: Paths of Least Resistance
Loose ends are typically what is left of a process that has come to completion – those elements which remain unresolved, unreconciled, and unaccounted for after the rest of the threads have been tied up. But what if those ends with which we begin are already loosely defined, or even unraveling, even as we take them up? What remains of those winding paths when the straight and narrow is left behind at the outset? Do they remain unresolved if we follow them through, unwinding our intention as we do so, or do they transform into something even more solid and binding than what was imaginable at the outset? Do we tie ourselves in knots attempting to unravel the contradictions in our acts of deliberation, or do we tighten our grip on the hidden tracks as we loosen our grip on the whole?
The work included in this exhibition was begun a little over three years ago in the midst of an uncompleted project – a group of sixty-four paintings, of which only thirty-two were finished. The first half of the project consisted of these thirty-two paintings, made up of every possible combination of a set of four strictly defined elements. The second, incomplete half of the project would have consisted of every possible combination of these same four elements, only with their orientation reversed. In other words, the second half of the project was to be a set of thirty-two paintings which mirrored the compositions of the first. As the midpoint of the project approached, I grew restless. Eight of the thirty-two completed paintings were shown as part of an exhibition entitled BRUTE FORCe at 65GRAND in 2013. The remaining twenty-four paintings, each 24 x 30 inches, remain unexhibited, awaiting completion of the project.
In the midst of a process whose end was in sight from the beginning, but whose outcome remained uncertain, I began other projects with more loosely defined parameters, and more casually delineated end goals, building on the language which had gotten me there, but with a twist. The works presented together here for the first time were begun in a spirit of curiosity and idle distraction, perhaps as a way to blow off some steam, and perhaps as a way to pick up where I had left off before I began.
Steven Husby (b 1977 Huron, SD) is a visual artist who lives and works in Chicago. Operating across multiple disciplines, including painting and printing, teaching and writing, blogging and artist books, his work investigates the relationship between the universal and the particular by collapsing the distance between the axiomatic and the idiomatic. Recent solo exhibitions include myotherisanother at devening projects + editions, BRUTE FORCe at 65GRAND, and RUBICON at Julius Caesar. Recent group exhibitions include Chicago and Vicinity at Shane Campbell Gallery, Fragments of an Unknowable Whole at Urban Art Space in Columbus Ohio, and Afterimage at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago. For more information, please visit stevenhusby.com.
For further info: romansusan.org/paths-of-least-resistance or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Image courtesy of Steven Husby