Painting + Sculpture
Lives and works in Durham, NC
(b. 1983, American)
8-Word Artist Statement:
“Improvising with reclaimed materials to create colorful objects.”
By combining scraps of wood, fabric, and other found materials, I construct abstract paintings that have a ‘rough around the edges’ quality. I embrace the inherent imperfections of my reclaimed materials to emphasize the works’ off-kilter geometries and irregular symmetries. The painted constructions are modest in scale but occupy a space beyond their physical dimensions. I play with architecture to create unconventional installations that require the viewer to actively look in order to discover the works. Through both my intuitive process and the viewers’ encounters with the finished works, I explore modes of perception and sensation.
On off-kilter, a recent solo exhibition
Clippinger’s colorful work engenders a space where art, design, functionalism, and formalism meet a bit off the beaten path. Undefined by the arguably arbitrary fine art versus craft divide, and unrestricted to a singular medium, the artist’s brightly hued works let us loosen up. From Clippinger’s childhood in Georgia to a longtime adoration of Bauhaus fiber artist Anni Albers to a pivotal collaboration with weavers in Oaxaca, Mexico to a recent residency in ceramics at Kohler, she creates a conversation of culture through the universal dialogue of color and form. Improvisation guides all of the work in which repeated elements flip, turn, and shuffle in their rhythmic compositions. As art critic Chris Vitiello recently wrote, “whether you look at Clippinger’s work effortlessly or with analytical rigor, you feel drawn in. This is a space where everything different from everything else coexists and makes sense.” For Clippinger, a little off-kilter is just right.
- Martha Clippinger received her BA from Fordham University and her MFA from Rutgers University.
- Recent solo exhibitions include Translations at Magic Gardens (Philadelphia, PA); Two Sides/ Dos Lados at Institute 193 (Lexington, KY); Off-Kilter at Hodges Taylor (Charlotte, NC); Hodge Podge Lodge, The Columbus Museum (Columbus, GA); Colorplay at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Winston-Salem, NC).
- Her work has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Burnaway, and Architectural Digest.
- Clippinger is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including a 2018 Arts/Industry at Kohler Co.; 2017 Durham Arts Council Grant in Craft; 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award; and 2013 Fulbright-Garcia Robles research grant completed in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- She has been a resident artist at the MacDowell Colony, the Edward Albee Foundation, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation.
- Her work is in public collections, including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Duke University, and The Columbus Museum.
PRESS + MEDIA
12 x 12: Martha Clippinger