© Gregory Kaplowitz

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Gregory Kaplowitz

San Francisco

Artist Statement

My art practice is guided by these four primary interests: (1) the relationship between cameraless photography and abstract painting, (2) the history of abstraction and its relationship to ritual practices, (3) the egregore, a concept from several esoteric traditions, of a thoughtform born out of a group’s collective subconscious that produces an autonomous entity, such as a mythological god or a religious deity, but this can also relate to more contemporary ideas like subcultures, cultural codes, and memes, and (4) an exploration of the question: can a queer gaze be embedded into a non-objective image, or conversely, can an abstract image be inherently queer?

Through the process of this exploration, I use cyanotype emulsion as a photoreactive dye on various textiles. These now light sensitive textiles are then placed within an environment to interact with its surroundings. Then over many hours, they are left to slowly expose an image under the shifting ambient sunlight to create a unique distillation of that particular time and place.

For instance, with some works, I’ll go outside and wrap and weave the cyanotype treated textiles into various plants and then leave them there to expose an image over an extended amount of time. There are other works where I’m covering and draping a window with the cyanotype treated textiles (i.e.: the "untitled" series) and again leaving them there for an extended amount of time to create an impression of the liminal space a window inhabits.

Another process is going out into an environment, taking photos with my phone, and then making paper negatives from these images. These paper negatives are then placed into a grid of nine to imply a window and then contact printed onto the cyanotype treated textiles while also manipulating the fabric during the printing process.

Some of the resulting works are then presented as tapestries, banners, or flags. While others are then further clothed, skinned, or shrouded with additional layers of manipulated textiles into the form of stretched and wrapped layered paintings. The end result are works that blur between objects and images that merge the elements of photography, painting, textile collage, and sculpture.

© Gregory Kaplowitz

Gregory Kaplowitz's Portfolio

© Gregory Kaplowitz

Artist Biography

Gregory Kaplowitz is an artist working with cyanotype photography on textiles combined with elements of painting, textile collage, and sculpture. In 2007, he received a double BFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Solo and two person exhibitions include: Egregore at Transmitter in Brooklyn in 2018, The Sun Shot Out From Its Silver Side at Interface in Oakland in 2017, and Project #8 at C2C Project Space in San Francisco in 2015. He’s participated in group exhibitions at: Grey Contemporary in Houston, Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, Transmitter in Brooklyn, 2nd Floor Projects in San Francisco, Root Division in San Francisco, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, Christopher Henry Gallery in New York City, and the Richmond Art Center in Richmond. Gregory Kaplowitz attended residencies at The Vermont Studio Center in 2020 and 2018, and at The Art Students League of New York’s League Residency at Vyt in 2015. He won the Windgate Foundation’s Fellowship Award to attend The Vermont Studio Center in 2020, The Vermont Studio Center’s Fellowship Award in 2018, and the The League Residency at Vyt's Ruth Katzman Scholarship in 2015. His work is included in New American Paintings issue #139 in 2019, Art Maze Magazine issue #13 in 2019, and New American Paintings issue #121 in 2015. In 2019, Gregory Kaplowitz was announced as the co-winner of Fotofilmic’s MESH Exhibition Award, juried by curators Lindsey Young and Rebecca Morse. The forthcoming exhibition, presented by Fotofilmic, will be at Polygon Gallery in Vancouver in December 2020. Gregory Kaplowitz is currently a studio resident at 1240 Minnesota, the Minnesota Street Project’s studio program in San Francisco.



© Gregory Kaplowitz

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