Kristina Paabus_15 km2_Image.jpg

Kristina Paabus

graphite, color pencil, marker on paper
11.5" x 8.3" each

(b. 1976 – Haverhill, MA) Multidisciplinary artist, Kristina Paabus, creates prints, installations, drawings, and sculptures that move smoothly between topics of politics, family, migration, religion, and language. Her drawings could be described as representational, though the objects and subject matter portrayed are not immediately recognizable. Rather, the viewer is treated to the image of something that resembles a structure but cannot be defined as a house or building. Similarly, greens drawn in vertical strokes appear to make up grass, or maybe a hedge, or maybe something altogether different. Pixilated gray forms are layered over one another, at first clouds, then shadows, then swarms of summer insects, undefinable. The works closely resemble items we understand—diagrams, blueprints, everyday objects—but are skewed enough that one loses the language to name it. Through this blurring of the familiar and the unfamiliar, the viewer is challenged to unpack that which is “strange,” and to drive that strangeness toward a sense of comfortable personal association.

Paabus received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited locally and internationally, including solo shows at 2731 Prospect Gallery, Cleveland, OH, Hinge Gallery, Chicago, IL, and Kanuti Gildi Saal, Tallinn, Estonia. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship (2009-2010) for Installation Art in Estonia. Paabus is Associate Professor of Studio Art and Reproducible Media at Oberlin College.

From the nominating artist:

A series of intimately scaled drawings on panel (seen in the ‘Neo Geo’ exhibition at the Akron Art Museum) attracted me to the work of Kristina Paabus. In each piece a simple system of repeated motifs was sensitively articulated to evoke distinctive personal content. Other pieces in her oeuvre, involve more animated shapes, in mysterious or suggestive visual relationships that provoke reflection and meaningful associations. I admire her touch, her material sensibility and her varied use of pattern as form, surface, texture, system, and/or code. Her work reveals beauty, character and relevance.
— Janice Lessman-Moss

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