To put it plainly, Holding Pattern brings together artists working with multiple kinds of compositions simultaneously. Inspired initially by the pattern poems of Rabanus Maurus, a ninth-century Benedictine monk, theologian and encyclopedist, the exhibition—like Maurus’s well-known De laudibus sanctae crucis works—reveals itself in layers depending on the compositional structure one keys into, the direction one takes when navigating the space, and whether one is looking or reading or both.

At first glance, I was struck by how contemporary Maurus’s 1200-year-old poem drawings felt. In looking further, it became clear that what I was recognizing was a way of thinking and making visible in a lot of the artists’ work that I love today. The poems, like many of the works in the exhibition, have a literary organization and a visual organization, and those modes are inextricably linked, two frequencies buzzing in tandem. As signifier and signified become entangled and compositional elements begin to slip, letterforms may read as non-representational shapes or come into focus as words with understood meanings. Geometric structures might organize a visual plane or disrupt a poetic cadence, narrative, or landscape. Repetitive marks might coalesce, like a murmuration of starlings, into a new form only legible at a distance.

While the scale and materiality of the works in the exhibition vary greatly, a number of formal, aesthetic, and process throughlines emerge: textiles and references to domestic textile objects; collage and found imagery/text; camouflage and floral pattern references to landscape; codes, symbol vocabularies, and words as both images and things (and more, if you’re looking for them). As an exhibition, the goal for Holding Pattern was to mirror and amplify the textual, visual, and material interplay within the works in the space itself, an installation as meta-poem and vice versa.

– Nick Larsen, Guest Curator

Featuring works by Chris Duncan, Nick Fagan, Hasler Gomez, Kara Gut, Ann Hamilton, Alicia Little, Alex Lucas, Cat Mailloux, Julia Schwadron Marianelli, Michael Mercil, William J. O’Brien, Hannah Parrett, Austin Pratt, Emily Manalo Ruiz, Dean Smith, Jared Stanley, and Ryland Wharton.