The Gallery: Emily Payne

The Gallery: Emily Payne

Maxwell Ryan
Nov 29, 2005

Red & Green VI, 2003

Introducing Emily Payne, an artist who hails from Berkeley, California and whom I was lucky enough to have met at a wedding on the east coast about two and half years ago.

The first piece of Emily's I saw looked a bit like these (above and below). I loved how the paper tiles of saturated color were suspended on pins so they danced and floated in the space of a shadow box frame, making a delicate new picture plane…

Isabelle's Tapestry, 2003

Lately, she has been revisiting this work there's now a little more space between the pieces. Round shapes are also beginning to appear inside the floating squares of paper…

or emerge as an image carried on the grid of tiles.

Emily works with many different kinds of materials. In this post, we have ink/gouache-soaked paper on pins, recycled book cloth and board (below), and wire sculpture.

Arch of Triumph
Mixed media sculptural painting, 68"x28"


Here are Emily's words:

"I like to find existing materials, take them apart and reconfigure them. I take great pleasure in revealing hidden surfaces such as the backs of book covers or other objects that are rarely, if ever, seen. I like the play between two dimensional and three dimensional perception. And although my work often appears two dimensional, its sculptural value is as important as the flat surface."

While making her most recent work, a series of wire sculptures (detail below), she began noticing the shadows they cast, and has made this the subject of her exhibition, opening this Saturday up in Earlville, NY.

What is so ingenious and dynamic about this new series of wire, rounded sculptures is that they are both intended to be viewed on their own, and to be used as tools for making shadows – many of which she has recorded in graphite and gouache drawings that will be shown alongside the sculptures. And because these sculptures are traveling now to a new space, the Earlville Opera House, they will afford her the chance to create a new range of shadows, to be observed and compared to those already on display, captured on paper in another place and time. These new shadows will likely be recorded by the artist in situ. The exhibition shall unfold as she installs… it all remains to be seen… so come, come, see for yourself.

In the kind words of the Earlville Opera House:
Join us for Emily Payne's gallery opening event on December 3rd, from 4-6 pm in the Earlville Opera House community gallery in Earlville, NY (a few miles south of Hamilton NY and Colgate University). Everyone is welcome! Emily's work will be on display until January 21st, 2006. Contact the EOH for gallery hours. (315) 691-3550

To see more of Emily Payne's work, go to the Cecile Moochnek Gallery website, or contact the artist at

- Amy Chase (not Maxwell below)

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