Davis Arts Center proudly presents the work of Edith Sauer Polonik in her first large-scale, solo exhibition, Outlook from Inside. The exhibit opens Friday, June 8, and may be seen through June 23. There is an artist reception during the Second Friday ArtAbout, on Friday, June 8, from 6 to 8pm. The reception is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Edith will be present.
The exhibition features two distinct bodies of work that are connected conceptually. The first features sculptural work ranging in size from several inches to over 7 feet tall. The second features a series of photos, titled Photo Reflections.
The work in the exhibition blurs boundaries- literally and metaphorically. The pieces invite the viewer to question the nature of being and in the case of the photographs, the merging of interior and exteriors spaces. Edith’s selection of found natural materials is based on their form and shape- objects that bear witness to the power of nature- be it by wind, water, earth, fire, growth and/or decay. She joins the found fragments using a variety of inks, charcoals, oil sticks, casein, gum arabic, pigments and cold wax. Rather than to embellish the natural object, she “wants to give the material value and meaning – once being a tree, now a fragment in the process of its life, but still belonging to the ‘species’ of a tree.” The Photo Reflections is a series of large, nonmanipulated (no post-processing) photographs printed on Khadi paper from India. Most of the photographs were composed by pointing a digital camera at a storefront’s window(s) but also by including the exterior of the space in the photograph. The photographs simultaneously reveal the interior spaces of the storefront and the exterior of the space photographed. All the images may also be read as self-portraits, as each work mirrors and reflects the image of the artist. In some of the images Edith’s reflection is quite obvious, but other photographs require a careful examination to locate her presence. The photographs confuse perception – merging the geometries, time and realities of both inside and outside worlds. In the series of photographs the viewer is simultaneously pulled in two directions, between the duality of the introspective and extrospective.
Edith was born and raised in the Northern part of the Black Forest in Germany. She spent a significant part of her adult life in Heidelberg, where she graduated with degrees in Pedagogy (M.A.) and later earned a doctorate in Art History. Her main interest is in contemporary art, and she wrote her thesis titled, Selbst im Bilde (Picturing the Self). While in college she worked in a public art gallery and freelanced in a cultural history museum. Nineteen years ago, she moved to Davis and found herself planted in a different cultural environment. She reflects, “It was challenging to grow roots and gain trust.” Initially, art making was a private endeavor that began with lessons from Sara Post. Her art practice developed to include work on paper with natural materials as well as driftwood sculptures. Part of that work was included in Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin’s book, Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations, published in 2016. Last year, Edith had a solo show titled Encounters at ART 26.