Welcome Passage: SPRING/BREAK Art Show Los Angeles 2022

February 16, 2022

Visit SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2022 from February 16-20
LOCATION: 5880 Adams Blvd, Culver City Arts District, CA


Installation view, Welcome Passage at SPRING/BREAK LA


Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to announce our first year of participation in SPRING/BREAK Art Show’s installation in Los Angeles, occurring February 16-20th. The booth will feature a two-person presentation of artwork from Katrina Sánchez and Allison Baker.


Katrina Sánchez and Allison Baker’s artwork is rooted in feminist scholarship, alluding to the long history of fiber arts being considered “women’s work.” Each artist invites the viewer to engage with the work through approachable and captivating use of color and materiality: soft edges, bulbous forms and a general sense of playfulness. In reappropriating the medium historically attributed to women, Baker’s combination of material and subject matter ask us to rethink our ideas of traditional femininity. Soft sculptures heaped together on the floor, in shopping carts, and occasionally strewn across specific sites narrate the trials of poverty through the use of familiar material objects: bike tires, empty cans, matchbooks, all arranged in still lifes. Intentionally funny, but at the same time creating a sense of unease. The distortion of scale plays into this, which is an element we also see in Sánchez’s magnified weavings. Her magnified weavings acknowledge this history and celebrate the use of craft as a material marker in the timeline of humanity. Each shift implies development and with each change we have experienced the events of that moment and are moving on to the next experience.


Katrina Sánchez, Empathizing, 2021. Knitted yarn and fiberfill. 50 x 36 in.


Baker and Sánchez touch on themes of contemporary domesticity, bodies and their environments, communities and healing, but approach these subjects from unique perspectives. While their color choices and aesthetics may at first appear bright and beautiful, the underlying meaning of the artwork goes much further. Leading the viewer through the space is Sánchez’s installation, Welcome Passage, an immersive, soft, vibrant and elastic magnified chain link fence passageway that guides you as you transition from one place to another. It celebrates and memorializes the movement of people, and all living things, across arbitrary borders throughout time. In this case, Welcome Passage brings us to a wall of over 150 color aid collages by Allison Baker, all sketches for her sculptural work. Though alluding to migratory borders, the combination of Welcome Passage with Baker’s work allows us to consider the imaginary “borders” that must be crossed to participate in an often elitist art world – and beyond.


Allison Baker, Semi-Sentient Trash (Untitled: Mop; Untitled:Chemical; Untitled: Beer Bottle; Untitled: Cigarette 7) Soft sculpture, dimensions variable.


Baker’s “Semi-Sentient Trash” soft sculptures reflect on her personal history, a journey that has led her to a role in higher education – yet it questions and challenges her place there. When discussing her photoshoot of sculptures in a pile of burnt wreckage, “On my way out of town I stopped by the motel/apartment I lived in that has since burned-ish down. My small-ish town Indiana roots run deep. No amount of schooling, degrees, and conferred upon titles erase “poor person brain.” My work is often about contamination, cleaning, and caregiving but it is *always* about class because I don't know how to filter the world through anything other than poor person brain. People that live in a step up from weekly rate motels don't usually end up at RISD or as a professor. I'm not sure how I got out, probably a lot of luck, teeth gritting determination, help from unlikely places, and the will to do -quite literally- anything by any means necessary.” Baker makes work about class and gendered poverty from a position of lived experience. Her work, much like Sánchez’s magnified weavings, actualizes abstract theoretical concepts as tangible objects and experiences. As the artist explains, “it’s funny (hopefully) but funny with a serrated edge.”


Before Sánchez transitioned her work to mending and then to her Magnified Weavings it was drastically different. It was very serious and often revolved heavily around human and animal rights issues. Aesthetic came last because her main concern was sharing an urgent message. But those works were arduous to create, the work did not come naturally and therefore she was unpleased with the results. Sánchez began to feel like that work was not serving its intended purpose, like it would not make a difference in the world. Art was feeling very superficial, like an unnecessary luxury. “To try something new I moved to mending clothes,” Sánchez reflects, “I had been wanting to try it for a while and it was relaxing, sort of mindless and felt humble in a way. It was also a chance to still care for something and someone in the process. From the mending came my first Magnified Weaving which seemed to bring so much joy and excitement to the people who saw it and interacted with it. Now every time I hear someone say that my work makes them happy, that it brings them joy and they want to hug it or squish it, it feels like my work has served a valid purpose. There’s a lot of wrong in the world, and no one person can fix it but we should try and live with as much joy as we can along the way.” By physically standing within her Welcome Passage you are experiencing the transition from one place to the next.  

About the author

Abigail Ogilvy

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