Shop Exhibit

E3057067-203A-48E3-BBB5-2108E981ADFC

AVA WOO KAUFMAN | SELVAGE

June 19 through July 31
Opening Reception: Sunday, June 19. 4-6 PM

South Willard is pleased to present the work of Point Reyes-based artist
Ava Woo Kaufman (b. 1986, San Francisco) in her first solo exhibition with the gallery.

When I’m in the air I am weightless. Wind pierces through
each interstice of the feathers. Find weight in the water.
Find fish, find krill. Find plant and sand. Find earth
when I’m feeling brave. Dig dig. In the earth with my mouth
in the air with my nose. Friends come friends go. Make formations
find direction. Clouds are sweet. Cover me shield vision.
Bit of fear bit of pleasure. Not knowing where you’re going
as you charge through the sweet. Dry is clear and clear is day.
When you see the forest for what is laid. Leaves and twigs
and spines. Find some miraculous pool. Seeing my eyes,
glinted reflection of air and blue. Find new pool. See eyes.
Find spine. Return to air.

The work on view stems from a decade-long practice of engaging with found textiles and materials. To put that into perspective: the undulating rock formations found in Central Park are 500 million years old; the Coast Miwok inhabited tamál-húye (Point Reyes) for 10,000 years.
Woven tapestries constructed on Walco Indian Bead Looms* salvaged from Los Angeles thrift stores by her grandmother, Josephine Woo, are mounted onto palm-sized armatures made of materials ranging from book-making board to bamboo from her mother’s garden. Motifs range from transport graphics to dragonflies: “Lily”, a trucking company named after the founder’s mother; “Young” references the Young Brothers logo, belonging to the monopolistic shipping company that touches almost every product sold on the Hawai’ian islands; dragonflies, appearing in art from haiku to the Pueblo Isleta cross, are depicted here as the adder (referring to the snake’s similar pattern) and darner (referring to the mending needle). Centered within the space is a tapestry work, “Untitled (ritual bronze, seasons)”, 2022, affixed to a bronze armature inspired by ancient Chinese ritual bronze vessels. Accompanying these sculpture works is a series of linoleum block prints in sumi ink made during spring 2022 in New York City. Taken as a whole the exhibition is a meditation on the ways in which vestigial materials, objects, and histories of the past, present, and future shape our relationship to a changing landscape of consumption and production.

* A New York company based in the now defunct Manhattan bead alley, the looms were marketed to Americans during the Depression to start projects at home. Beading work had already been practiced extensively by Indigenous Americans using porcupine quill beads, and eventually glass beads that were traded into the U.S. via Italy.