Microcosm (n.) c.1200, mycrocossmos(modern form from early 15c.), "human nature, man viewed as the epitome of creation," literally "miniature world," from Middle French microcosme and in earliest use directly from Medieval Latin microcosmus, from Greek mikros "small" (see mica) + kosmos "world" (see cosmos). General sense of "a community constituting a world unto itself" is attested from 1560s. Related: Microcosmic. A native expression in the same sense was petty world (c. 1600). Existing at the intersection of sculpture, painting, assemblage, and installation, “Microcosm” unfolds asa single real place that juxtaposes several spaces. We enter thegallery-site into a sphere of different environments, occupied by works ofvarying contributions of scale, medium, and intention. These varied intricacies invite usto delve into the intersections and respective mirroring betweenthe microcosm and the macrocosm-the junctures between scared and forbidden spaces, utopias and heterotopias, the mythic and the real.
Existing at the intersection of sculpture, painting, assemblage, and installation, “Microcosm” unfolds as a single real place that juxtaposes several spaces. We enter the gallery-site into a sphere of different environments, occupied by works of varying contributions of scale, medium, and intention. These varied intricacies invite us to delve into the intersections and respective mirroring between the microcosm and the macrocosm - the junctures between scared and forbidden spaces, utopias and heterotopias, the mythic and the real.
While the works on view expose this ecosystem, it also creates a familiar tableau. The casual pleasures taken in visual and tactile exoticism, as seen in Kyle Goldbach’s architectural weavings or Cameron Welch’s assemblages of found imagery bound under paint. The source material used by both –large-scale billboard advertisements by Goldbach and personal photographs by Welch- speaks to the political implications of the printed image, once or twice removed from its source. In the organized haziness of Kate Stewart’s lush washes of colors, figure and ground are one, and the space of the picture spreads out beyond the canvas’s physical edges. Mia Ruth Lee’s paintings and free standing sculpture replicating traditional ornamental fences, paired with Sam Davis’ large replicas of everyday objects, address the forces constructing and demarcating spaces of access and site, while George Carr’s innovative and sophisticated approach to capturing the fragmented nature of form further dwells on the multiplicities of power structures.
Differences give way to shared sameness: each piece exists as both a structure, or encased universe, and a narrative tool that engages with a realm beyond its materiality; either heaven in a grain of sand, or the farthest shores of what may be.