Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cleveland's Christi Birchfield Has a Chat With the Ephemeral

Press Release PDF:
Press Packet (PDF + images):

Exhibition: February 3, 2012 – March 30, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, February 3, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Artist Presentation at Mashed Thoughtatoes: Thursday, March 1, 6:30 p.m.

Cleveland, OH, January 10, 2012—This winter, SPACES welcomes native Clevelander Christi Birchfield as the SPACES World Artist Program (SWAP)'s first local artist-in-residence. Birchfield will bring her innovative, alchemical use of traditional media to a 2-month SWAP residency.

Using iconography surrounding the late sculptor Eva Hesse and actress Marlene Dietrich as catalysts, Birchfield will build an installation that meditates on the relationship between ephemerality and the making of art objects. Hesse, who died of a brain tumor at the age of 34, carries with her what Birchfield calls an "eternal vortex" that shapes her legacy as a revered sculptor. Birchfield will work with objects that pay respects to both womens' legacies, using them as malleable materials in their own right.

Trained in printmaking at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Birchfield's practice amplifies the chance elements inherent in printmaking to produce dynamic abstractions. Her images grow out of forces she implements but does not control: the pressure of a printmaking press, the rays of the sun, the weight of her own body, or the pull of gravity. She then pays minute attention to the final production and framing of works, creating a back-and-forth dialogue between chance operations and intentional decision-making, a dialogue with materials and processes about who controls the outcome. Her process is an alchemy reminiscent of complicated life process, like the unruly ways people feel pain, understand emotion, and receive sensory input.

During her SWAP residency, Birchfield will use these techniques within the format of a three-dimensional installation, as a way to reflect on her own role as a maker of objects.

SWAP is a residency initiative begun at SPACES in 2002 that invites national and international artists to Cleveland for residencies that support the creation, presentation and discussion of new artwork, while facilitating new connections between Cleveland residents and artists from around the world. Beginning in 2012, SWAP will include local artists from northern Ohio in the residency program.


Born September 5, 1983. Cleveland native Christi Birchfield received a degree in printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2006, and an MFA in visual art from Columbia University in 2010. She continued her studies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the summer of 2010. Birchfield's work is included in the permanent print and drawing collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Clinic Contemporary Art Collection. Her most recent exhibitions include a two-person exhibition at Parse Gallery in New Orleans, and New Printmakers Make Their Mark at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey. For more information, visit:

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