Project Space
Thursday, October 12, 2017 – Friday, February 16, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 12, 5-7:30 pm

Duality of Presence, co-curated by Kerianne Quick and Jess Tolbert, brings together 19 contemporary makers united by their concern with ‘material specificity’ in their work, specifically as a way of looking at how material itself can communicate complex and distinct narratives.  In this show materials become active agents in the work, in the words of the curators becoming “conveyors of information, bearers of histories and assemblers of discourses”.  Each of the 19 artists is represented by multiple pieces of jewelry reflecting this concern, which are in turn accompanied by artist made videos which can be viewed in the gallery via virtual reality platforms. The videos reflect the broad range of subjects and landscapes behind the materials and demonstrate a broad range of subjects such as the derelict brickyards of the Hudson River Valley, industrial production and labor, post-consumer waste, Florida’s material culture and more.

Kerianne Quick is Assistant Professor of Art (Jewelry and Metalwork) at San Diego State University.  Jess Tolbert is Visiting Assistant Professor and Head of Jewelry and Metal at The University of Texas at El Paso.  This show was originally organized for Munich Jewelry Week 2017. 

View the embedded image gallery online at:

- from the co-curators, Kerianne Quick & Jess Tolbert
Duality of Presence takes an explicit look at a generation of American contemporary makers united by the urge to connect to things and the world. As we grapple with the legacy of [alternative] material use in art jewelry in the age of globalization - we are united in the urgency our works express to identify with and bring insight to what it means to be in the world now. This exhibition was born from a noticeable shared concern and strategy expressed in the work of curators, colleagues, and other makers in the field. Within the field of contemporary art jewelry many reject or limit the use of precious materials associated with conventional jewelry in favor of non-traditional materials, focusing on a formal expression that may be conceptual in some way, or simply aesthetic. However some contemporary practitioners, including the artists in this exhibition, are mining material - calling upon origins, sourcing, histories, and/or supply chain information to embed value into the materials they select and use. This excavation is a powerful tool for authenticating and enhancing their underlying concepts. 
Recognizing this shared methodology as an important movement in American contemporary art jewelry and metalsmithing, Duality of Presence defines and explores those engaged with ‘material specificity’ in their making. We position the term ‘material specificity’ as a way of looking towards how material communicates complex and distinct narratives. Thinking of materials as active agents in the creation of meaning pushes past the notion that they are meaningless conduits and asserts a more substantive role; as conveyors of information, bearers of histories, and assemblers of discourses. Material Specific Artists enter into a deliberate collaboration and cooperative act with materials in the pursuit of meaning.
Jessica Anderson • Lynn Batchelder • Thea Clark • Nikki Couppee • Motoko Furuhashi • Steven Gordon Holman • Alexandra Hopp • Masumi Kataoka • Joshua Kosker • Tova Lund • Sharon Massey • Jaydan Moore • Wei Lah Poh • Kerianne Quick • Kaiya Rainbolt • Yumi Janairo Roth • Jina Seo • Demitra Thomloudis • Jess Tolbert