February 7 - March 8, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, Feburary 7, 6-8pm
Sting, 2019, glass, 9.5 x 20 x 3 inches
press, push, pinch, pull, stretch, fold, sexy, funny, sad
Essex Flowers is pleased to present Squeeze, a solo exhibition of work by Janine Polak. The exhibition includes monoprints of worn clothing, inked and printed directly onto cotton. The process reveals X-ray-like ghostly images that retain detail and fidelity, yet are reduced to simple lush compositions. Also included in the show are sculptures made from high-fired slip- dipped porcelain, glass stretched thin in a kiln, and objects pressed tightly between wood. The work is quiet and serious, yet deploys a subtle humor with the exaltation and preservation of everyday, prosaic items like dirty socks, old undershirts, or cat whiskers found shed on the floor.
The sculptures are made from materials that, much like our own bodies and psyches, contain simultaneous and contradictory strength and fragility. The work takes very human emotions, gestures, or relationships and distills them into a pristine object or image, a frozen moment. Desaturated colors, creases, and flaws suggest usage and age, while the delicate and still nature of the work evokes a careful reverence.
Janine Polak was born in Nebraska and raised mostly in Virginia. She has exhibited throughout the US including at Essex Flowers, NYC; Brennan & Griffin, NYC; TSA NYC; Sculpture Space NYC; Scott Charmin, Houston, TX; and Sardine, Brooklyn. She has also exhibited internationally in China, Australia, and Iceland. Janine Polak received a BA in Studio Art (Sculpture and Photography) and Economics from the University of Virginia in an MFA from the Yale University School of Art, Department of Sculpture. She currently lives and works in Queens, New York.