Municipal Bonds is delighted to present the gallery's first exhibition with Afton Love. Featuring a new body of work by the New Mexico-based artist, "Afton Love: White Window" explores the visible world with its tethers to human consciousness. In doing so, she looks to the existential, the unseen, and the limitlessness of space. Using a range of media—graphite, mica, wild clay, goatskin vellum, porcelain—Love creates delicately rendered, materially distilled, and geometrically abstracted, monochrome environments.
Each work appears as an open portal between the "inner" and "outer." Through perspectives of place and material, Love investigates erosion and preservation in relation to time. She elevates surface as her principal matter—delving into vast planes, into substance. Nearing translucent, she employs light in context to both the luminous and its shadow. By cultivating repetition within series, Love examines the angles of presence and absence, and expands the significance of subtle details. Her work exalts the form and the formless, resulting in a dimensional voice grounded by the transcendental.
Afton Love (b. 1983, Butte Creek Canyon, CA) lives and works in New Mexico. In 2012, she earned a BFA at the California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA. She has been awarded residencies at several institutions, including the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Taos, NM; the Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM; and the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Foundation, Roswell, NM. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
"The sublime is to be found in a formless object." — Immanuel Kant
"Ventana Blanca" depicts a window created by time and erosion, so that we may peer through solid stone. It is a drawing in which graphite is brushed onto delicate tracing paper and dipped in beeswax, an act of preservation; a way to honor and fix the moment in time in which we both exist together.
"Prima Materia" is an installation of nine nearly transparent porcelain tiles. They hover in place asking for the intimacy of your close attention. Prima Materia or "First Material" refers to the formless base of all matter. The very beginning. A thing that is no thing.
I am interested in the psychological Jungian interpretation of Prima Materia as the "projection of the unconscious." Jung posits that in order to begin—in order to see ourselves clearly—we must realize the role each of us personally plays in what we see, and come to terms with the fact that we create the reality in which we live.
"Aurum" is Latin for Gold. The alchemists sought the Philosopher's Stone. The gold within.
"The Other Side" series takes inspiration from what Edmund Burke described as the "abstract sublime." These drawings give us an opportunity in which to see what might be considered void, by correlating the naturally eroded windows of stone I find in desertscapes. With what Burke calls the "infinite voids that lie beyond reason," the stone apertures offer views of distant horizons while simultaneously acting as a lens for internal reflection.
"The Body Remembers" is a series of paintings on traditional goatskin vellum with egg tempera. These paintings act as relics; intercessors between the material and the nonmaterial. Pairing the goatskin vellum with precious natural pigments from the deserts in which I live and work; the paintings become a symbolic offering of gratitude for the tenuousness of life.
— Afton Love, 2022
Afton Love: White Window will be on view at Municipal Bonds, located at Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco; November 12, 2022–February 18, 2023, Wednesday–Saturday, 12–5pm, and by appointment. For more information, please contact Emily Miller at 917.450.0583, firstname.lastname@example.org.