Online Exclusive: Alyson Fox | Vessels with Child
As we launch this new series of works on paper, blown glass and textiles from multi-disciplinary artist - and Print Club collaborator - Alyson Fox, we reflect on the artists’ creative background and conceptual grounding for this new grouping of pieces. Each piece is a unique, non-editioned work and is available exclusively through our Print Club Ltd. Artsy gallery page.
–– Sep 26th – Nov 30th
Online Exclusive Exhibition
Alyson Fox is first and foremost a maker. Untethered by medium and pledging no fine art or design world allegiances, Fox is a true descendent of the Bauhaus ethos of the multi-faceted maker. At a moment when design world darlings are mounting solo shows in blue chip Chelsea galleries (The Haas Brothers’ Madonna at Marianne Boesky) and the decorative arts are given a critical reconsideration (Less is a Bore at ICA Boston), it appears that both the market and art world curators are offering joint help in doing away with the art and design world boundaries.
Fox has been a proponent of that blurring since completing her MFA at the University of Colorado. Shortly after graduating she brought her training in photography and drawing along with her unique material sensibilities to a position as the Visual Director at Anthropologie. It makes sense that her independent studio output in the subsequent years has all involved an engagement with and experience of spaces for living.
Peppered with her very particular experiences of shape, surface and the fascinating interactions between objects and images, Fox’s work reflects how she moves through the world; seeing and absorbing the ways in which edges touch, forms overlap, shadows are case or objects obscured. The creative outcomes of these observed moments can take as diverse forms as fine art photography, weavings, blown glass, editioned silkscreen prints, tufted carpets, wallpaper patterns and even a series of unconventional ikebana-inspired flower arrangements she shares on her Instagram.
Fox’s work emanates an understanding that art is to be lived with, whether directly (in the case of her rugs, wallpaper or silverware designs) or more indirectly with the prints and photographic pieces. Often bodily without being figurative; minimal without feeling removed, her visuals twist and weave through materials and mediums.
“I always work in series. I make a lot of the same “idea”, using different mediums because I am interested in the conversation those mediums are having together. I would say my artistic process is very intimate, immediate and playful without being very concerned with how pretty something is to look at. I like a bit of a mess,” Fox says.
For her newest series Vessels with Child, Fox approaches the motif of the rounded, pregnant belly and the growth of new life through a series of pastel rubbings, hand-blown glass vessels and small weavings. Soft surfaces, smooth and fragile glass skins, curved forms are recorded through blowing, weaving pressing and rubbing.
In Fox’s own words:
A vessel, it seems to me, is a curious thing. It exists in service of that which it has the purpose of holding. The word "vessel" brings forth sometimes dialectical thoughts of hollowness and space, fullness and emptiness, object-hood and porousness, stillness and possibility. For me it is also imbued with the bodily messages of expectation, dependence, pregnancy, functionality, loneliness, fragility and linage. Those are the considerations and imagery I explore through this series.
The notion of functionality is particularly poignant in this series when the work addresses one of the more miraculous functions of the female body. The term “function” often stands at the nexus of any debates about art vs. design and it hoovers over the themes, forms and histories behind this body of work in a very productive and pleasing way.