Projective Planes



In mathematics, a projective plane is a geometric structure that extends the concept of a plane. In the ordinary Euclidean plane, two lines typically intersect in a single point, but there are some pairs of lines that do not intersect.’


Our featured artists exhibiting in October, Topher Gent and Conny Goelz Schmitt explore multiple levels of planes, fusing color and texture within the two and three-dimensional forms that they construct. There is a clean, pure and mechanical precision in their work and a subtle soft fusion of organic properties. Gent and Goelz Schmitt find themselves pushing the boundaries of their materials, while remaining open to what is communicated back during their ritualistic process. Unexpected shapes and spaces intermingle in both bright colors and earthy shades, equally commanding a powerful physical presence.

Topher Gent
Conny Goelz Schmitt

Much of my work for this exhibition began as explorations of three-dimensional form; geometry, balance, proportion and ratios. When making objects I gravitate towards some kind of harmony between naturalistic forms and a human-made aesthetic. Despite some of the hard angles, tool marks, and geometry, it’s important that all of my work evoke the sense that they are life-like in some way. I am often finding this through hollow steel forms in sculpture or functional vessels. The presence of apertures on these forms imply that they could contain life, almost like shells for some kind of terrestrial (or extraterrestrial) beings. In relation to this, some of my objects even begin to feel almost like artifacts from an indiscernible time.

There is a duality in almost every aspect of my process. In order to approach this, I am challenging an aesthetic of man-made and natural forms, and balancing the use of modern technology and traditional craft. It’s my hope that through the process itself, these concepts will be projected onto the final objects. The decisions made throughout the creation of an object are often driven equally by some level of design intent and emotional reactions to the object itself.

My work exhibited in Projective Planes spans the course of six years. The conceptual parallels tell the story of a multi-faceted focus, where elements of form, function and craft intersect. And within that, each facet of this bears personal significance from some point in my life. Through making these decisions about my objects, the narrative that they produce together places us somewhere completely different, beyond these formal elements.

In my work I deconstruct discarded vintage books, on the hunt for textured surfaces and faded colors. By means of décollage the element of chance becomes an integral part of my process. While extending the margins of my compositions I build new space, always conscious to maintain balance and harmony within the work. Although my work seems planned and calculated, it evolves organically within a rule-based system.

The interplay of sizes, shapes and color leads me on a search for their perfect placement. Through considered alteration and arrangement of my salvaged and manipulated materials I create geometric collages, assemblages and sculptures. This pursuit for balance and harmony becomes a meditation and a ritual, leading to new interpretations of past and present.

Coastal Contemporary Gallery
491 Thames Street, Newport RI 02840  401.612.6121

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