We may never know who first described the stars as pinpricks in the night sky. The phrase, like wishing on stars, belongs to everyone. Photographs of pinpricked star fields form the basis for Sheree Hovsepian’s shadow-box assemblages in her second solo show at Monique Meloche Gallery, Reveries of a Solitary Walker (through January 3). The star prints, luscious dye transfers, line the large, shallow wall-boxes, upon which the artist rigs string on pins into irregular polygons, forming imagined constellations.
More objects, such as pieces of found, carved wood, photogram collages, lace fragments, and ink drawings, are carefully arranged in the boxes as well. Hovsepian cleverly uses photographic technique for its capability as a process-based abstract image-making device. Planetary bodies are constructed from misty beige photograms cut into ovals, as if the artist finds something mystical about the photographic medium itself, and the way that chemicals and light magically produce new worlds. She counterbalances traditional modes with experimental ones, as in Autobiographical Time Travel, 2015, where a framed portrait of the artist’s legs is installed on the starry field, along with a carved wood walking staff that looks like an antique tool. In this little ecosystem of meaning, viewers are asked to follow the artist on her journey into the cosmos. Her object-boxes, like dioramas of future relics, convey a convincing self-mythology.
Hovsepian has been exploring cosmological themes since 2011, in a search for the eternal, essential qualities that connect human life in this solar system, and her talent lies in trusting her intuition as she selects the right launch code to another dimension.