Central to Jill Baroff’s artistic activity is the ever-changing nature of perception and our place within the world. Using the trinity of circumstance composed of the work, the viewer, and the environment, Baroff suggests possibilities and locations for us in the larger world.
The exhibition, Chameleon, begins with a monochrome floor work, »Southern Cross«, which occupies the front room of the gallery and explores the transitory nature of color and light. Like a clock in constant motion, the sculpture’s hues are perceived as shifting and changing color with each step of the viewer and the movement of the sun in the sky. Begun in 1996, this body of work was originally inspired by the changing appearance of the Japanese tatami floor in the traditional home Baroff was living in at the time. This will be the sixth project of this type that Baroff has completed in the past fifteen years. Unlike previous projects, which were, for the most part, constructed from corrugated cardboard, »Southern Cross« is the first in which the material is wood. Based on the star constellation of the same name, the floor work uses wooden discs of differing diameters and precisely cut corrugation to channel light from varying directions to produce a monochrome blue work that explodes with infinite hues of blue. The work takes advantage of the low autumnal light that enters the large plate glass window at the front of the gallery and is part of an ongoing project based on the constellations of the southern hemisphere.
In the second room of the gallery, a full wall of »Floating Line Drawings« confronts the viewer. The point of departure for these playful drawings is always one and the same, but, like the surprising variations of color discovered in the monochrome work, ends with an infinite number of results. Each drawing begins with the same premise: the edge of the paper is marked with a red oil pastel or graphite colored border and then is cut free and allowed to form line drawings in the space of the remaining field of the sheet of paper. The outcome is simple, lyrical forms determined by a line’s width, load of material and chance, resulting in surprisingly specific archetypes and structural epiphanies.
In addition to these drawings, the exhibition features a new series: »Rotational Drawings«. Referencing the motion of planetary revolutions, an arc is cut through a pre-drawn image and then the sheet of paper is rotated to form a new image.