ESTUARY // Isa Gagarin — LIQUIDATION // Gudrun Lock // 11.8.19 – 12.8.19

Isa Gagarin — Estuary + Gudrun Lock — Liquidation, concurrent solo art exhibitions of sculpture/painting/installation by two important Minneapolis artists to opened November 8, 2019. Both Gagarin and Lock exhibited at HAIR+NAILS for the first time and each took a highly site-specific approach to the storefront gallery. Gagarin coated the gallery’s basement ceiling beams directly with earth-based pigments mixed with casein paint. Her “Estuary” focuses the viewer’s attention on the experience of “re-orientation”: the trip down the stairs when “what was once the ground floor under foot becomes the ceiling overhead”. Above, on the ground floor, Lock’s sculptures were. simultaneously dense and light, chunky and sprouting, bottom-heavy and sky-and-sunlight-through-windows- reaching. Conceptually, Lock’s “Liquidation” is both serious and light-hearted: she is clearing out her studio accumulations, sparking a conversation about value in relation to the objects and the artist’s labor.

Isa Gagarin says of this new work:
“Estuary is a site-specific installation created in response to the basement gallery in Hair + Nails. Named after the tidal mouth of a river that runs into an ocean (an encounter between fresh and saltwater), I produced Estuary in consideration of the downward and upward movement between the ground level and the basement. While developing this work I visited the site to observe the space and look for formal, material or spatial qualities that interested me. My experience of stepping down the stairs was one of re-orientation: what was once the ground floor under foot became the ceiling overhead. I felt compelled to draw the viewer’s attention to the wooden ceiling beams, because of their liminal position within that change in orientation. I was also interested in creating a relationship between painted colors and the architectural structure, which offered a unique challenge for me to paint formal compositions within the long and narrow proportions of the ceiling beams. Responding to the presence of soil, roots, minerals, sediment and other elements of the underground environment just outside the walls of the basement, I arrived at using earth-based pigments mixed with casein paint and applied directly on to the ceiling beams.”

Gudrun Lock describes Liquidation:
“Liquidation results from a need to redistribute the assets of an artist’s practice
as current liabilities demand a shift in prioritization. The items in holding consist of fully realized works, experiments and studio debris. As of 10/07/19 all property is located on floors and shelves, in rooms, trunks, boxes and bags. The release of these accumulated assets, through the Hair+Nails Gallery in November of 2019, will enable the public to profit from labor performed between 2005 and 2019, allowing a capitol redistribution to debts and commitments previously acquired. In addition,
the Liquidation process will expand the reach of the commodities’ output to the private sphere where other people’s rooms, shelves and walls will convey the artistic gestures in new contexts, un-encumbering the artist of petrified sentiment. A “free shelf” will be available for scavengers.”

Artist bios:
Isa Gagarin (b. 1986) is a visual artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Educated in painting and drawing, Gagarin’s work is currently focused on site-specific installation. Working with varied materials such as earth pigment, colored tissue paper and transparent silk, her installations respond to the formal and spatial qualities of both galleries and unconventional sites. Gagarin’s recent site-specific installation, Intervals (2019), responded to architectural elements of the Quarter Gallery at the University of Minnesota. Born in Guam and raised in Hawai’i, Gagarin received a BFA in Painting from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2008, and earned an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018.

Gudrun Lock is an artist based in Minneapolis by way of Montreal, Canada. She has worked with sculpture, video, performance, painting, and collaborative public engaged art. Repurposing everyday detritus, Lock re-contextualizes society’s scraps with a sense of beauty, humor and abjection. She has shown in galleries in the US and Canada and has also installed projects in foreclosed homes, storefronts, bars, a houseboat, and a soon-to-be-demolished apartment building as well as in Union Square Park, the Atlantic Ocean, and a hole in her backyard.
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Gudrun Lock “Liquidation”

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Isa Gagarin “Estuary”