The Wagner College Gallery presents “As Above,” an exhibition of work by Shelley Thorstensen. The show runs from Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Friday, Jan. 15. The opening is timed to coincide with the IFPDA’s 2015 Print Week, running from Nov. 2 through 8.
Shelley Thorstensen has expertise in all printmaking techniques, specializing in hand-pulled, color multi-print media. Her work is part deep personal archive, part printmaking evangelism, woven together in fabric of color, metaphor and commentary. Edward Sozanski, the late art critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, said, “The ease with which [Thorstensen] combines these processes and exploits their individual strengths gives her prints uncommon presence and, more often than not, transcendent beauty.”
“My work is a result of the confluence of inner and outer stimuli,” Thorstensen said. “It’s a result of personal narrative as much as observed affect. It derives as much from experience as it does from answered and unanswered questioning. I think about the connection between the manmade and what we call natural, and the extension and overlap of each modality. Sometimes in my work, things are sure footed, sometimes less so. The forms evolve, they turn, and I rely on a sense for which I cannot always find a proper name to hesitate the turning, to coalesce a given form. The Sufis, grounded in the ecstatic fragility of daily life, call the turning ‘zikr,’ the call of the heart, the way of remembering. The hesitation helps me to stay grounded in what is often called the Unified Field. These meditational practices give me the best ability to get at meaning. This is how I ultimately make my way in the world and in my work.”
Thorstensen’s recent solo shows include “Field Studies: The Scheme of Things” at the University of the Arts (Fall 2015), “Since the River Spoke” at the Rose Lehrman Gallery (2013), “This the Smoke From When the Horses Left” at the Painted Bride (2011), “Counterpoint: The Leap from Vision to Print” at Woodmere Art Museum (2010) and “The Preponderance of Evidence” at the Print Center (2009).
Shelley Thorstensen has an undergraduate degree in experimental studies from Syracuse University’s School of Visual & Performing Arts and a graduate degree in printmaking from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her work can be seen at Dolan/Maxwell in Philadelphia. She is the founder of Printmakers Open Forum and teaches printmaking at Tyler School of Art. Her work can be found at museums around the world, including the Cleveland Art Museum, Kenosha Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Palmer Art Museum, Royal Museum of Art (Antwerp) and Woodmere Art Museum.
Wagner College Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m. The Wagner College Gallery is located in the Union Building at Wagner College, 631 Howard Ave., Grymes Hill, Staten Island, New York. For more information, phone the Wagner College Art Department at 718-390-3192, or email gallery director Bill Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org.