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CONSTANCE DEJONG: Measure & Light, 30 Years October 4 - October 30, 2017


There is so much noise in our world. Whether it’s the constant ping of a phone announcing an email, text, tweet or the hazy wall of media images and sounds that overload our senses – the world has become a place where humans rarely sit in silence, hearing only heartbeat and the steady flow of thoughts through their own minds. With the art of Constance DeJong, however, we are given an opportunity not only to delve into those realms of silence where we may find both origin and evolution, but to explore the fundamental questions of who we are. DeJong achieves this experience in her work through an elegant use of universal mathematical equations, subtly nuanced aesthetic, and the physical invocation of light. Measure & Light, 30 Years presents a selection of DeJong’s work from a 30-year span which specifically explores these themes of form generated through mathematical principals and engagement with light. The primary series included in this exhibition come from the “Black Works” and the “Reflected Light Drawings” which form a parallel exploration of those themes in two radically different scales. The pieces from “Black Works” are large metal wall-hanging sculptures – some up to 4 feet in size. The forms themselves – rectangles and squares, are created precisely using the Golden Mean and Golden Rectangle. The first impression is of the black plane of the main form as it sits, canted at an angle off of the wall. This black surface, which on closer inspection is a richly textured and nuanced roil of black on black, is created when DeJong chemically patinas the metal. DeJong mounts the metal forms outside in the sun and slowly adds the chemical patina, which drips, pools, and churns down the sheet, creating those subtle patterns. Unseen at the top of these pieces is a strip of raw copper which reflects light – casting a warm glow onto the wall behind it. As the light changes, the reflection varies and in the right circumstances the shape created by the light completes the larger form. The “Reflected Light Drawings” are the microcosm to the “Black Works” macrocosm, with the metal and Conté charcoal forms measuring only 1-2 inches, housed in white framed casings that average 11 x 11 inches. Here the housings act in the same way as the walls for the larger pieces, creating a palette for the cast-light. With the smaller pieces, the raw copper is additionally scored according to numerical patterns or grids which creates a more active set of effects with the light pattern. The difference in scale highlights much more than a size variation within the themes. The visceral response to these works are markedly different. The larger pieces, with their deep black tumultuous surfaces and secret glow of copper, hit one hard in the gut, creating almost the desire to fall forward into them in the way a storm, a vast canyon, or a solar eclipse might. This is the sublime – both beautiful and terrifying. The smaller works, intimate, active, and sparking, are joyous – the crackle of electricity through the nervous system that is life. Mathematics is a universal language used to describe the universe. With equations we can map the paths of stars or the activities of unseen particles. But art is also a language of the universe. DeJong’s work not only marries essential principles of science with the magic of art, but in doing so, creates for the viewer the experience of that still, quiet resting place between, where we may be able to find ourselves. -Michaela Kahn


CD167, Constance DeJong, square/grid 12, 2016, copper and conte on board, 11 x 11 x 2.5 inches


CD168, Constance DeJong, square/grid 6, 2016, copper and conte on board, 11 x 11 x 2.5 inches


CD169, Constance DeJong, square/grid 5, 2016, copper and conte on board, 11 x 11 x 2.5 inches


CD171, Constance DeJong, light drawing XI, 1994, bronze, paper, graphite, 14 x 11 inches


CD170, Constance DeJong, light drawing VI, 1994, bronze, paper, graphite, 14 x 11 inches


CD172, Constance DeJong, light drawing X, 1994, bronze, paper, graphite, 14 x 11 inches


CD152, Constance DeJong, Golden I, 1991, copper, wood, 22 x 36 x 6 inches


CD090, Constance DeJong, Square 48/6, 2003/2004, copper and maple, 48 x 48 x 6 inches


CD158, Constance DeJong, Square 36/12, 2015, copper, wood, 36 x 36 x 12 inches


CD159, Constance DeJong, Square XII, 1991, copper, wood, 14 x 27 x 20 inches


CD161, Constance DeJong, section .018, 1991, copper, wood, 60 x 12 x 16 inches


CD160, Constance DeJong, “steppe I” square XVII, 1992, copper, wood, 21 x 9 x 15 inches


CD157, Constance DeJong, 1:2 rectangle 57/10, 2017, copper, wood, 29 x 57 x 10 inches


CD184, Constance DeJong, V10 o 1, 1982, steel, 38 x 16 x .25 inches


CD163, Constance DeJong, Helix-coral, 1985, stained aluminum, 29 x 28 x 1 inches


CD146, Constance DeJong, Arc/ r43, 2015, copper and maple, 15.5 x 15.5 x 3 inches


CD185, Constance DeJong, copper drawing X, 2004, copper on panel, 14 x 11.75 inches


CD181, Constance DeJong, copper drawing IV, 1992, copper on panel, 14 x 11.75 inches


CD180, Constance DeJong, copper drawing III, 1992, copper on panel, 14 x 11.75 inches


CD179, Constance DeJong, copper drawing II, 1992, copper on panel, 14 x 11.75 inches


CD173, Constance DeJong, score I, 2017, copper on board, 12.5 x 14 x 1.5 inches


CD175, Constance DeJong, score III, 2017, copper on board, 12.5 x 14 x 1.5 inches


CHARLOTTE JACKSON FINE ART 554 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 | Tel 505.989.8688 | www.charlottejackson.com

Constance DeJong: Measure & Light, 30 Years  

"Measure & Light, 30 Years," on view October 4 - 30, 2017 presents a selection of Constance DeJong’s work from a 30-year span which specific...