Growing Time | Melissa Oresky

  • January 17, 2020
  • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


January 10 - February 14, 2020
Reception: Friday, January 17, 5-7 PM

Artist Statement:

The event of vegetal iteration stretches between the past archived in the temporal register of the plant—which is to say ex-scribed in the materiality of it’s being—and the possibility of future regeneration.      
- Michael Marder, Plant Thinking

In Growing Time, I am making work that follows processes of plants: their iterative growth, movement, decay, and regeneration. Plants are bound to place and cycles of light and weather. So are we, though we pretend not to be. I can’t slow my own body to plant time, but maybe it is possible to make plant time in a painting.

With patience and constancy, plants sheaf endlessly, inventing and modifying forms, gripping and interfacing with ground, scaffolding one surface to the next, and producing atmosphere.

My paintings and collages develop over months, and years. They mutate, bifurcate, cross over. One work generates the next.

The works in this show are composed in several modes: as heterogenous, contained plots, extended patchworks, or individual beings (as much as this is possible for a plant).

They are made by rubbing and dragging materials, wet and dry, over layered, collaged, and painted surfaces. This articulates the edges of buried forms, bringing them into simultaneity and creating surprising material and optical experiences. What is beneath becomes inscribed on the surface. In plant time, everything that matters is present. Linear order and causality is uncertain. It will all happen again in the same way, but will still be different. 

I consider these works as time-based objects perpetually in process, always and never complete. They can be stilled and restarted. Each stage reflects an equally full experience or meaning, as a plant or a person could be regarded as a complete subject in any moment of its life.

Artist Bio:

Melissa Oresky has shown her work in painting, collage, and video nationally and internationally, with recent shows at Tripod Space Project, Busan, South Korea; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, Illinois; Minnesota State University, Mankato; and K. Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco. She also recently organized and participated in the project Collage Office, an experimental, charitable platform for artists to make work for visitors by appointment hosted by The Franklin, Chicago.

Oresky received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has attended residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, and The Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico. Originally from Maryland, she lives and works in Normal, Illinois, where she is a Professor of Painting and Drawing at Illinois State University.


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