The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to present new work by Janice Caswell, on view January 19 through April 27, 2003. Installed in the Museum's Micro Gallery on the second floor, a space newly dedicated to the exhibition of small artist's projects, Caswell's colorful iconic maps will fill the diminutive gallery with glimpses of places both real and imagined.
What began as a project to catalogue the many places the artist has lived, visited, and read about, has grown into a larger investigation of the way Caswell views and understands the physical world. As she was growing up, Caswell's family relocated often, developing a desire within her to remember and catalogue all the places of significance she left behind. For fear of losing these precious reminders, Caswell began mapping out the spaces from memory, identifying spatially the places of her past on paper and canvas.
Caswell's deceptively simplified maps consist of hole-punched paper, collage, marker, acrylic, and pins arranged on a white background. Paths of solid and broken lines meet with smooth flat areas of color and multicolored bursts, delineating routes taken, relationships between places, starting and end points, and groupings of people. In simplifying these represented places, Caswell focuses on lines, relying on the movement and abundance of the paths of color to evoke the ambiguous presence of their inevitable beginnings and ends.
On closer inspection of the artist's wall drawings, the places and paths themselves become less important than the process. In the act of recollection, Caswell is infusing her emotions-whether consciously or unconsciously-into the color, line, and space that make up each of her works. Born from a purely physical motivation to depict space, these drawings become a metaphysical exercise the artist has unwittingly embarked upon.