Eliza Evans’ work addresses the now permanent marriage of the mechanical and the organic, systemization and lived experience. Her work has been exhibited in Santa Fe, Austin and New York. She has attended residencies at Byrdcliffe and Internationale Sommerakademie für Bildende Kunst Salzburg. Before turning to art, Evans was economic sociologist with a background in qualitative and quantitative methods, network theory, and technology commercialization. She received a BA from Oberlin College, a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from SUNY Purchase. Evans was raised in rural TN and lives and works in Brooklyn NY.
In physics the impact of past events on outcomes is called path dependence. Path dependence is not deterministic. Cumulative decisions and events can lead to any number of states, each of which bears the imprint of the past.
My family started out in Pittsburgh where my father worked in industrial plastics. When my family moved to a log house on a few acres in Tennessee we packed our belongings in round, sturdy containers that had held 50 and 100 pounds of tetrafluoroethylene resin. A fascination with industry and nature has followed me since. The places I make art look more like light industrial spaces than a studio. It is the space where the mechanical and the organic--systemization and lived experience—meet. I work with paper, construction materials, plastic, trees, rock, wire, cabling, electronics and lighting to instantiate the technological mediation of everyday life and the cumulative impact of this mediation over time.
I explore different models of visibility and engagement. When my work moved from paper to installation and sculptural works, viewers engaged in different ways—moving their bodies around and through the pieces, touching them, and even stealing from and vandalizing them. I think this engagement is a response, in part, to the removal of imagery and information. Figures are erased and shrouded. Trees are encased. The wrapping reduces the object to a shape and masks textures, colors, and other indicators of meaning. The absence of information forces the viewer to fill in the blanks to arrive at a contingent understanding of a thing prompting curiosity, empathy, and, perhaps, intervention. Contingent understanding is robust in that it can adapt to and accommodate new information. It survives in science and folklore and almost never in granite. The wrapping is also a seal but it is unclear if the object is being sealed from the world or the world from the object.
- Land and Time, Momenta Art at Atlas Studios, Newburgh, NY
- Truth, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY
- Transpire, State University of New York, Purchase, NY (solo public art installation)
- Animation and the Book Arts, Center for Book Arts, New York, NY
- Artefactual, Equity Gallery, New York, NY
- Artefactual, Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery, Purchase College, Purchase, NY; Faye Hirsch, curator
- Stolen/Missing/Disappeared, Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery, Purchase College, Purchase, NY; Faye Hirsch, curator
- Motion Pictures, Jacob Burns Art and Film Series, Pleasantville, NY
- Animation+Print, White Box Gallery, University of Oregon, Portland, OR
- New Prints 2016/Winter, International Print Center New York, New York, NY
- Medium Rare, Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery, Purchase College, Purchase, NY; Faye Hirsch, curator
- Printfest, International Print Center New York, New York, NY
- Force of Nature, Karl Drerup Art Gallery, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH; Judith Brodsky, juror
- What if..., El Zaguan, Santa Fe, NM
- The Contemporary Print, PrintAustin, Austin, TX; Kathryn Polk and Kevin McNamee-Tweed, jurors
- Cupid’s Arrow, Wheelhouse Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Bruce Helander, juror
- Ryder Studio Exhibit, Argos Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
- The Hand, Issue no. 13
- The Hand, Issue no. 12
- Hinchas de Poesia, April, no. 18
- The Hand, issue no. 10
- New Editions, Art in Print, July-August, vol. 5, no. 2
AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES
- Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Woodstock NY
- President’s Award for Student Public Art on Campus, SUNY Purchase
- Internationale Sommerakademie für Bildende Kunst, Salzburg, Austria
2017 SUNY Purchase, Purchase NY, MFA
2001 University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX, PhD
1990 Oberlin College, Oberlin OH, BA