by Jen Graves
on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 2:34 PM
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
VIBRATE How Brad Winchester handles linen and wood. He didn't use any other materials. His show at Prole Drift is up through tomorrow.
There are four pieces of art by Brad Winchester in his show Three for Four at Prole Drift. They're crafted out of three equal-sized swaths of linen fabric and alder wood. He hand-unraveled and re-handspun every thread of the linens, into objects that have similarities with abstract paintings and minimalist constructions—or just a net you throw to catch a bunch of fish.
COURTESY THE ARTIST AND PROLE DRIFT
There's a gentleness to the palette and the moves, completed slowly and meticulously. How long does it take a man to make a net by stripping a piece of linen down to its individual threads, building the ropes back up, and then assembling the whole lattice to hang on the wall? The pulls you might grab to undo the entire thing jab out along one side and the base of the net.
What I think he gets right is the tone. He's managing to balance purity—in addition to working his fingers to the bone on the linens, he fashioned his own stretchers and the pedestal sawhorse out of alder wood without using glue or nails—and the absurd. There's both homage and good-natured mockery of everything from 1970s art to the currently strenuous movement for locally sourced food.
And they're pretty. They really are. And sort of sad in their extreme modesty. They never do cross over into becoming their own sackcloths. They just sit very still and reach out to you a little, and hope you're there.