THE BLOG

Amy Barkow: Ink on Paper

12/30/2013 02:36 pm ET | Updated Mar 01, 2014

Amy Barkow would like you to read between the lines. She'd also like you to contemplate the shape of the space between those lines. In her previous work, combining elements of drawing with photography and/or mimeographic printing, she has addressed aspects of the interactions between space and text on pages -- working with printed and handwritten text, truncating meaning through economies of scale and privileging the luminous empty spaces on the page. In this way, she provides experiences and possible meanings of language far beyond its content-imparting functionality, opening an investigation of narrative abstraction, juxtaposed with what she calls: "A longing for the handmade and even the printed word which is becoming scarce."

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In her recent work, exhibited in N.Y.C. at Fourth Floor Gallery's This, That, Then, she is proposing that the space around the words constitutes an actual meta-physical space. In this, she is influenced by her concurrent practice in architectural photography, whose principles have enhanced the structuralist elements of implementing her universe of ideas. In a wobbly, but confident hand, she painstakingly traces the outlines of the areas between the lines of text and gaps between words. The content of the original texts themselves are oddly salient, considering their total excisement from the images. For example, Robert Irwin's "Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees," dictionary pages defining space, and a New Yorker article on coastal flood damage. Barkow is captivated by the idea that the empty spaces could perhaps represent untold stories -- giving, if not voice, at least form to the voiceless.

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All images: Amy Barkow, Ink on Paper, 2013