|Goldsleger's work is currently on display at the Georgia Museum of Art|
Cheryl Goldsleger, a native of Philadelphia, received her training there, in Rome and in St. Louis before coming south to teach and to create. Many viewers have responded to her early work (which is architectonic and features numerous empty chairs scattered throughout physically impossible buildings) with feelings of desolation. Is the viewer encountering the aftermath of a party or meeting or something post-apocalyptic? To Goldsleger, however, these spaces are just that: spaces.
Although “construction” is a word rarely used in the context of “fine” art (outside constructivism), it’s a good locus for Goldsleger’s process. The artist utilizes an inherently layered approach and has experimented extensively with 3D printing since the mid-1990s. Starting with encaustic (hot-wax) painting, she built layers of color and line on the supports. Wanting to investigate further the idea of built space, she built her paintings out from the wall by incorporating printed architectural models. The 3D-printing process Goldsleger uses dates from the early 1990s and creates wax objects. Blending these wax objects with encaustic painting was a natural progression.
Interest in architectural and construction plans brought a renewed interest in the gesture and act of drawing, as seen in the works currently on view at the Georgia Museum of Art. They began as large panels of stretched canvas, which Goldsleger primed until they were comparable to a traditional paper surface. The resulting drawings can be displayed without protective glazing and offer a much larger scale beyond the traditional limitations imposed by papermaking.
The works on view at the museum originated in a 2012 project with the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D.C. Goldsleger began the series with archival blueprints of the academy, at a time when it was undergoing restoration to return the building to its original form. Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue drafted the original plans, and Goldsleger was able to examine critically not only the plans, but also building reports, invoices, bills and correspondence. She steeped herself in the history of the building to such an extent those involved with the physical restoration contacted her for information!
|Details from Goldsleger's work|
That said, these works are not literal plans of the building. Goldsleger has abandoned the pristine skin that is the hallmark of contemporary spaces to reveal more complicated environments. Her layers of graphite build a “poetry of lines in space and a geometry of analytical spaces,” as she writes. The works invite us to consider how space impacts us, how it unconsciously can force us to behave in certain ways, fostering or prohibiting actions and ideas.
These two works will be on view in the main lobby of the museum until July 23. You can learn more about the artist and her work here.
Assistant to the Director