In the exhibition “a sky in the palm of a hand” Lloyd Hamrol’s felt sculptures and Joan Perlman’s abstract paintings, prints, and video work provide a platform to consider the shared ideas and sharp distinctions between two artists’ investigations of materials, process, impermanence, and landscape. Taken from a W.S. Merwin poem, the exhibition’s title alludes to the conundrum of reconciling intimacy and distance as well as the ephemerality of observable moments and entities.
Both Hamrol and Perlman embrace landscape as source and subject and examine the complex relationship between culture and nature. With over thirty site-specific public works created throughout the United States, Hamrol remains tied to the Earth art movement that has paralleled his career. His industrial felt pieces integrate the directness of drawing with dimensional form-building, and his intuitive process employs the idea of potential to shape and define the architecture of his layered and knotted constructions. Similarly, Perlman’s two-dimensional works and—more recently—video have unfolded intuitively, a process inspired by the primary energy of geological forces and fostered by a two-decade engagement with the landscape of the far North. Working from her own footage of Iceland’s glacial meltwaters and vast terrains, Perlman’s large paintings and meditative videos explore the mutating relationship of land, water, and ice in a changing climate. The resulting artworks are abstracted stories of personal experience rather than formal observation.
“A sky in the palm of a hand” will include a new suite of biomorphic floor-based works and small sculptures by Hamrol and new acrylic paintings on canvas, monoprints, and a video by Perlman. Through primary form and fierce natural phenomenon; intimacy of place; process, change, and uncertainty, Hamrol and Perlman’s shared universe and the exhibition consider the connections between art-making and the final creation, between observed landscape and man-made form.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website