Side by Side
John Guthrie / Isabel Riley
Exhibition dates: February 10 - March 26, 2010
Reception: Friday, February 12, 2010, 6-8pm
808 Gallery - Boston University, 808 Comm. Ave., Boston, MA
If two artists work side by side for 18 years, does their art strike up a conversation with each other? In the case of John Guthrie and Isabel Riley, the answer is yes, despite the differences in their materials and methods. The two Boston artists have shared a studio for almost 2 decades, with no wall dividing their respective workspaces. At first glance, the similarities in their work are not at all apparent, but closer inspection reveals their affinity.
Starting with blank white paper, black watercolor, pencil, and a ruler, John Guthrie creates drawings that gyrate, dance, and pulsate off the paper. Salvaging remnants of wood, linoleum, fabric, rope, vinyl, and tape, Isabel Riley fashions modernist, Bauhaus-style sculptures that remind us of our own personal histories while simultaneously evoking the history of industry and technology.
Despite their disparate raw materials, the artworks that are produced, each on their own side of Riley and Guthrie's shared studio, have much in common: grids, wood, puzzles, highly controlled lines, an air of mystery.
It is the energy that flows between these nonexistent walls that creates an architectural rhythm that keeps the artists separated but also closely entwined.