Everyday realities, unfathomable scale, and untold histories come together in Impossible Archive. Chosen through an open call juried by PAFA’s Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum, Brooke Davis Anderson, and Director of Exhibitions, Judith Thomas, the works of seven PAFA alumni—Kaitlyn Basta, Rosemarie Chiarlone, Jacintha Clark, Emily Elliott, SaraNoa Mark, Kate McCammon, and Ana Vizcarra Rankin—question how one might place themselves within the vast, complexity of existence. Through tiny slices in a surface, painted interventions as writing, or explorations in human and natural history, each work in Impossible Archive acts as a document of experience—whether collective or personal.
Basta [BFA ‘16] is fascinated by historical context, she draws inspiration from forms and images found within art history to create narrative works from personal memory. In her current practice she connects written-word and image-making by creating complex, meticulous patterns of small images that read like lines of text.
Chiarlone [Cert ‘71] received a certificate at PAFA in 1971, and her BFA and MFA at Florida International University. Now living and working in Miami, FL, Chiarlone creates subtle works out of folded and perforated paper. Her method produces low-relief shapes that appear like jumbled letters that cannot be interpreted. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and has work is in numerous private and national museum collections.
Clark [MFA ‘13] With porcelain as her primary medium, Clark makes large-scale installations that focus on memory, time and place. She describes her work as three-dimensional clay drawings that allow her to make connections with both material and subject, uncovering the intimate moments buried beneath the surface of a constructed environment. The installations and sculptures offer the viewer a space to daydream - evoking unknown, untold and imagined histories.
Elliott [MFA ‘15] is affected by the sense of quiet vastness and sublime in astronomical and celestial phenomena. Working with sculpture and printmaking, Elliott mimics the textures and conditions of atmospheric spectacles in a small, personal scale. Her works are an attempt to capture the unfathomable vastness of space within works that can be held within a hand.
Mark [BFA & Cert ‘15] pursues a drawing practice that reflects a desire to evidence the constant and invisible activity of time. She leaves tick marks on natural papers as an indication of subjective and objective time. The result is like an archaeological map of her time spent. A PAFA Women’s Board Travel Scholarship supported her visual pilgrimage to Europe’s museums, cave paintings, and natural sites, while hiking through eight countries. This year Mark will be a BOLT resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition.
McCammon [MFA ‘16] received her MFA from PAFA in 2016 and her BFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2012. Currently she lives and works in Philadelphia, where her studio practice involves the making of objects out of fabrics, mesh, lace, and other media. Using painting’s histories, conventions, and materials as a framework, her fabric pieces wrap around stretcher bars as revealed threads mimic layers of paint and brushstrokes.
Rankin [MFA ‘12] makes drawings, paintings and sculptures about the phenomenological sense of being in and of the universe. Drawing inspiration from naked eye stargazing, subatomic particle collision readouts, telescopic and microscopic images, Rankin transmutes these images into physical objects that explore themes of travel and scale, at the intersection of science and magic.
Brooke and Judith thank Morgan Hobbs and CJ Stahl for providing a framework for the grouping as well as a title.