Klee Currents,11.75 x 11.625, Acrylic and Hinging Tissue on Cut Paper
A fugue is a musical form or compositional process developed by using a system of rules. With their interweaving melodies, variations, and repetitions, fugues appeal to the analytical mind as well as the ear. We can hear the process–or at the very least sense it. In Amanda Sweet’s exhibition Fugue in Blue we get to experience something similar.
Three large canvases and numerous works on paper gives us a glimpse into Sweet’s process. Working from distinct variables using mathematical systems and patterns, she applies these principles and steps back to see the results. Sweet uses cut paper, stencils, gouache and spray paint to establish a series of abstract marks, often within a grid or horizontal axis. Cut-outs become marks as well as stencils and stencils become a new mark–a recycling of sorts. Variations of this mark making run through all the work, aligning in compatible and antagonistic relationships. Repetition, variation and rhythm are established. It all seems to make sense. It has the steady hum of nature.
In fact, Sweet takes her cues from nature. She is a keen observer of motion and growth in nature, and uses this information in her practice. Sweet states that process is the subject of all her work and in this exhibition, tidal motion in particular informs her process. We see this most notably in the smaller works on paper. There, within their intricate grids, we sense the experimentation, the analyzation, the working things out. With Low Tide 1 and High Tide 1, color becomes more diverse, the grid becomes less perceptible, and a sense of freedom occurs as if a conclusion is drawn. It is in these works, as well as the larger canvases, that her process yields a true sense of tidal motion. Unexpected hues fill the large canvases, marks gain in scale and travel across the field. Depth and motion are present, and the sea and shoreline are palpable in these pieces. Much like the sea, there is a sense of contradiction–safe/threatening, tumultuous/calm, surface/depth. In this exhibition, Sweet’s work flows with life, holds the sound of the sea and makes their own sort of music.