Text: Alec Coiro
All Images Courtesy of Situations
Once the Corinne Jones show at Situations draws you in, you will be delighted to read more about its backstory and theoretical underpinnings, as they involve secret chambers in the underground nexus of Tennessee’s sunless Lost Sea. Sunless though the lost sea maybe, it was the colors of refracted sunlight that first drew me into the show. Hanging in the window is a maze of colors refracting light, and reflecting the patterns of the subtly but effectively synchronized work within. When I visited, the colored light was cast onto a white blanket placed under the gallery’s window.
The show is very much designed for comfort and reflection. The blankets are the sort that come with moving vans; they’re designed for labor — is there a more dreaded day of labor than moving day? — but they are reimagined for repose. The blankets also contain in their stitching the arcing zigzag pattern that Jones has cleverly incorporated into all aspects of the show. The show itself is also nested into a larger exploration of The Lost Sea that Jones will continue not long after this show closes.
Along with the maze in the window, the show’s main attraction is the pair of 7-sided paintings hung opposite each other. Each is a field of color with subtle gradations. Jones’s laborious process involves spreading and sanding down the very same colors we see reflected in the mirror. And the trace of this work is smartly left evident in the drips that come down the side of the paintings. Jones both restricts herself to using a set palette of colors but also invites the sun (the source of all colors) to inform how the show will appear from day to day. Thus the white of the sun is refracted and then these colors are recombined in the 7-sided paintings.
Situations gallery poses a sonnet- or haiku-type of problem to the artist: how to make the most of a small storefront space? The answers are often poetic, and Jones’s is no exception. Her paintings radiate out as the sun radiates in filling the space (or perhaps the chamber) with her exploration of color.