The Disappearing Ground exhibits work by PAFA alumni Noah Shem Klein (MFA '03), Patrick Maguire (MFA '13), and MaryKate Maher (MFA '04) that speaks sincerely of our temporal and precarious relations to the environment, ourselves, and others.
Noah Shem Klein's works are created in-part during a range of social interactions; from expressive arts exercises with clients in early recovery from substance abuse to building family "sculpture collages" with spiritual seekers, and drawing dreams at the breakfast table with his children. In Klein's collages, a lexicon of personal imagery emerges from pools of printed, drawn, and reassembled media. Gestalt forms materialize in strong figure-ground relationships in an attempt to symbolize the subtle and gross connections in life.
In Patrick Maguire's paintings, portals and planes lure viewers into the vast landscapes of the subconscious. Through pulsations of repetitive mark making, Maguire builds familiar yet elusive spaces for visual passage. Sublime corridors of vibrating color guide the viewer deeper into his pictures, implicating them in the emergent visual happening.
In MaryKate Maher's ongoing series, Map for the Temporary Inhabitant, human-sized sculptures of cast and stacked forms propose an unnatural mix of monumental landscape and post-industrial urban development. The sculptures' rough, stone facsimiles are often interrupted temporarily by smooth ovaluar inserts of aluminum with gradient dye sublimation prints. When considered at their conceptual scale as maps, these objects postulate vast terrestrial landscapes punctuated by desert-hued salt flats and toxic algae blooms.