Alterations Disconnect Memory from the Dream

Amber Cobb

Amber Cobb

May 31 — July 13, 2013

Opening Reception
Friday, May 31st / 7pm-10pm

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Gildar Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by Denver based artist Amber Cobb Alterations Disconnect Memory from the Dream. Amber Cobb has long drawn on the duality between the attractive and the abject in her highly personal sculptures and drawings. Mattresses, stripped of their initial form and re-stretched over new frames are mounted to the wall as both sculptural objects and paintings. Treating their surfaces with household liquids – ink, motor oil, coffee and soap, Cobb transforms the soft quilted material giving each piece the appearance of a well-worn receptacle of the human body. With additional layers of silicone poured and painted on, these objects acquire a glossy and often 'just used' quality that, as the artist describes, depict "the burden of life with both living and dying stains". Within Cobb's intricate drawings, many delicate hairline marks, and at times actual hair, also reference the body. Undulating bundles spill over one another tapering to stretched sinews. These tissue-like shapes, like the mattress works, are also coated with a silicone skin. Graceful execution and minimal composition contrast corporeal content as again attraction and repulsion coexist. Inviting, the slick rubberized surface at once begs a tactile response, while if left unprotected, quickly attracts the detritus of its surroundings. The title of the exhibit references the first few moments of waking when any body movement will affect one's ability to recall the contents of the previous night's subconscious journey.

Cobb, who describes her work as semi-autobiographical in nature, discusses this powerful series: "This new body of work investigates the complex relationship I have with intimacy, love, and loss. There are moments when I am embraced by warm memories of my younger days, a smile, a hug, and a tender touch. Embedded within these recollections are souvenirs of anticipation and anxiety. The memories I adore and embrace are stained with a stagnant fog. Memories I have lived with my entire life. I have spent a lot of time working through them but I feel as though I have reached a plateau and the memories just linger, co-existing with my past and present. While the memories are far from ideal they are a part of me. Like a dull chronic pain, it aches and sometimes flares up, but I've become used to it and it doesn't bother me because it is what I know. I ask myself these questions: Is it possible that I am comforted by this pain. If it wasn't there would I feel empty? Who would I be today without it?"