Embracing materiality and labor, Erin Washington examines themes of vulnerability and permanence. Questioning how time structures transitions in ephemera, she creates mixed-media paintings and drawings which unravel time through the performance of their belabored making, and their subsequent degradation. Using fugitive and symbolic materials (blackberries, chalk, fire, ashes, moss, bone and saliva), Washington sources imagery from the Sciences, Mythology, and Art History that represent ruptures and failures in the search for meaning and truth. Colors fade or pigments are burned: the objects emulate the cycles they describe. The artists’ actions and products are in a constant state of flux, highlighting the disharmony between meaning, beauty, and a fundamentally messy universe. However, the relative temporality of the work’s making counters ambivalence; the immediate process and present-ness the work demands eclipses uncertainty… for the moment.
Washington is currently a lecturer in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in 2011. Notable solo exhibitions have been held at such venues as Illinois State University, The Riverside Art Center, Riverside Illinois and Zolla/Lieberman Gallery. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at such spaces as Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Julius Caesar, Chicago; and Columbia University in New York. Washington’s upcoming exhibition at Cleve Carney Art Gallery at the College of DuPage is scheduled for Fall 2019.
Erin Washington worked in Collage Office on Sunday, April 28, 2019.
View the work she created below.