Afton Love, Chaco Range, graphite and beeswax on vellum, 6 x 15 feet

Perfect Union: Afton Love

February 27, 2021 – May 22, 2021

516 ARTS presents a solo exhibition Afton Love, a northern New Mexico-based artist, who works across media, including graphite, beeswax, clay, wool, and resin. Her immersive installation sized drawings and exploratory sculpture aim to call attention to our human condition in connection with the natural world.

Afton Love makes work that asks the viewer to approach. Her large scale drawings of erosional rock formations invite you to step in and engage with the scale and proportion of the work. Loves sculptures replicate geologic patterns and evoke experience or direct interaction with the land using a variety of materials and processes. As an exploration of formation vs transformation, and interiority vs surface, this exhibition merges materiality and imagery to reference our human experience of body and time.

Perfect Union explores geology and an interest in how rocks are created and transformed on the earth’s surface. Describing sedimentary rocks as fragile bodies that constantly lose their layers due to constant friction and interaction with the environment, Love states, “We cannot access the interior of things or people, only the thin layer of surface that covers them where a limited portion of reality is manifested. The stone is a metaphor for our planet and ourselves.”

This exhibition is on view in the upstairs gallery concurrently with The (Tense) Present: New Works by New Ambrose-Smith in the downstairs gallery.

Afton Love earned her BFA at the California College of the Arts in 2012, and has participated in residencies at several institutions including the Vermont Studio with a Pollock-Krasner grant, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and most recently, the 2018-2019 Roswell Artist in Residence grant. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.