Perimeter raises ‘Standard’

Jul 02, 2014
Karen Gelardi will show new banners this summer at Perimeter Gallery, in Belfast’s Chase’s Daily.

Belfast — On Thursday, July 10, Perimeter Gallery will open “Standard,” an exhibition of new banners by South Portland artist Karen Gelardi. The public is invited to a reception to meet the artist that evening from 6 to 8 p.m.

Gelardi's colorful geometric fabric assemblies are the second series of banners to be shown by the artist at Perimeter Gallery. These new works are minimal yet animated compositions of sewn linen shapes. The work departs from her previous banners in its simplicity and direct connection to design and production.

The new banners were produced with a mass manufacturing approach utilizing standardized components, design processes and the labor of the Maine-based workshop New Factories.

Banners, by their nature, signify individual and group identities — military, religious, trade unions and radicals. The work in this exhibit explores an alignment with the utopian modernist principles of the Bauhaus, where artists and mass-manufacturing are reconciled.

Gelardi studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design, comes from a family that owns a plastics factory in Biddeford and has long had interest in an intersection between manufacturing and art. Her work has often made use of reproduction processes from photocopying to printing on fabric, as well as the use of others’ labor to execute elements within a piece.

In 2007, Gelardi participated in Andrea Zittel’s “Smockshop,” a project in which artists created smocks (a double wraparound garment) interpreting a design by Zittel. The garments were exhibited internationally, including at the Portland Museum of Art. In 2012, she became involved with New Factories, a production company that works with artists, workshops and factories to create objects and images.  That year, as a New Factories Artist Intervention, she installed handmade kiosks at the Portland Museum of Art that dispensed free prints to be collected by museum visitors.

Gelardi has exhibited widely including at the Coleman Burke Gallery in New York, SPACE Gallery in Portland and solo and group shows at the Maine Center for Contemporary Art in Rockport.

“Standard” will remain on view at Perimeter Gallery through Aug. 24. The gallery is located in Chase’s Daily, 96 Main St. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 338-0555.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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