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A closer look: 'Cape of Stars' by Felice Koenig

Cape of Stars (Side Detail)

A detail of Felice Koenig's sculpture "Cape of Stars," on view in the Nichols School Gallery through Jan. 13.

Title: "Cape of Stars" // Artist: Felice Koenig // "Felice Koenig: Meditations," through Jan. 13 // Nichols School Gallery

The paintings and sculptures of Felice Koenig -- like three-dimensional cousins to the obsessive drawings of Katherine Sehr or Fotini Galanes -- are about the meditative process of making art. Koenig painstakingly builds up the surface of her work with layer upon layer of painted dots in a process that takes days. The final product is like a strange reptilian skin, a bubbly layer of camouflage designed for a landscape that exists only in Koenig's imagination. She described her sculpture "Cape of Stars," a detail of which is shown above, as an exploration of the human impulse to wrestle the idea of nature down to some manageable form. The piece, she wrote, "gets at "the idea of trying to contain and hold something as large as nature, as large as the universe."

After the jump, Koenig explains a bit about the meticulous and meditatiuve process behind her paintings and sculptures.

Here's Koenig on her process:

The surface is compressed polystyrene that is sculpted to create a form to paint on.  After it is sculpted I cover it with several layers of Permacoat -- ceramic roof tile coating -- to strengthen the foam then prime it with gesso. Then the painting begins. I work in layers of paint "dots" using paint mixed with self leveling medium and a round brush. Each layer is created by touching the surface of the painting over and over with this round brush to create dots and then dots upon those dots. Initial layers take a few hours and subsequent layers can take from days to weeks to complete.  The nature of this entire process os medatative. Once I have begun a layer I paint as if on intiutive autopilot watching the piece tranform as the new color spreads across the surface.

--Colin Dabkowski

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