August 20 - 25, 2020
A weekly window-front exhibition organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center.
From the Nasher:
“This week’s Nasher Windows exhibition features the work of artist Lily Hanson and runs August 20–25, 2020.
Hanson’s spare installation of hanging sheets of cut tracing paper harnesses the transparency of the Nasher Sculpture Center vestibule to heighten our awareness of the shifting quality of light in the space and thus the passage of time. The varying light from the windows and glass ceiling illuminates the thin paper and passes through its apertures, casting a changing display of light and shadow on the overlapping sheets. Materially, the installation harkens to the cut paper collages of Henri Matisse, but its affect is more akin to the spare painted compositions of Agnes Martin that draw our attention to subtle incidents we might otherwise overlook. This attention to the delicate and elusive aspects of experience, honed through Hanson’s 20-year practice in yoga and meditation, often finds more emphatic, material form in sensual, whimsical, amorphous sculptures of upholstered fabric and wood. Her cut paper installation for Nasher Windows introduces a new path in Hanson’s body of work.
In the midst of the pandemic, many have sought opportunities for peaceful, quiet reflection in an attempt to cope with the uncertainty and anxiety it has generated. Titled Santosha, a Sanskrit word meaning contentment or satisfaction, the work aspires to offer one such moment to viewers. “Like the transformation of light and sound through curtains,” the artist notes, “my hope is that this work can act as a meditation on stillness and silence, removing external elements that distract and busy the mind, the physical presence of the work acting as a vehicle for introspection and, hopefully, contentment.”
Artist Lily Hanson on Santosha
“My idea for the Nasher installation is informed by the idea of isolation. This work attempts to give representation to positive feelings gleaned thru separation and isolation. Artists tend to spend a lot of time alone in order to get to a place where they create in ways that are not strapped to societal conditions and external influence. With the current addition of the Covid-19 virus, we see the world in various states of isolation. This has created opportunity for deep reflection for many people as they find themselves with excess time and quiet to contemplate their existence and purpose in life. Currently, with little to schedule in my days, I have found my sleep and waking hours erratic with a lot of time to watch the light change thru my windows as I try to consider and process the current state of the world and my place in it. I generally use concepts I’ve learned in yoga to try and bring a positive perspective to conditions that can easily be perceived as limiting, lonely, and saddening. The title, Santosha, means contentment and satisfaction in Sanskrit. I became familiar with the term through my yoga practice as it is also used to describe one of the personal observances one is to make to bring themselves towards a state of happiness by finding contentment within, excluding comparison to the external. This is not an easy place to get to and requires practice to develop and sustain. The work in the Nasher window is a physical representation of this process of realization and enlightened thinking that comes through observance. I think of the panels of tracing paper as both representations of light changing, the passage of time, and of the layers of thinking within the mind that one pulls away to reveal the inner light that all people possess equally.”
About Lily Hanson
Lily Hanson (born 1971) divides her time between Dallas and her native New Hampshire. She received her BFA in sculpture from Hampshire College in 1995 and moved to Dallas in 1998 to attend graduate school at SMU, where she earned her MFA in 2000. Her practice encompasses drawing, installation, and sculpture, the last often consisting of works that utilize materials associated with furniture making—wood, fabric, padding—to explore the visual and physical relationship of the object to the body. Hanson has received a number of awards and scholarships, participated in several competitive artistic residencies, and exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across the United States including in Alabama, California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Vermont.”
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