Jane Lackey · Warren Seelig

Innovative fiber artists Jane Lackey and Warren Seelig have recent works on display at the JCCC Gallery of Art. The artists will both be present to lecture at the opening reception.

Lackey’s recent works draw upon her interest in working with diverse materials as well as the act of drawing to recollect and record images. In Lackey’s words, “I came to understand the physical material as an abstraction somewhat akin to a surface of skin or earth.” As inspiration for her recent works, Lackey relies on images available only through the most sophisticated technologies, which yield intricate mappings of the human body as well as the surface of the moon.

The process that Lackey uses in her work emphasizes the physical nature and tactile qualities of industrial felt, a heavy woolen material. She begins by drawing, scoring or burning the felt surface in order to reveal implied layers of potential meaning. She continues to work the surface by painting, reburning then rebuilding with pigments or wax, mixing the images and gradually eroding the felt’s surface. As Lackey states, “the work is drawn, examined, canceled, retraced or adjusted in response to repeated action.”

Seelig’s interest in producing sculptural forms composed of mesh or fabric sections supported by pairs of spokes which radiate from axles is grounded in his early fascination with weaving and non-objective forms. Seelig states, “I was mystified by a process (weaving) and by materials that allowed me to construct a surface with both the hand and the appearance of something organically whole.”

Seelig’s recent works are informed by his constructions of the past 20 years. These constructs rely on flat, relief and three-dimensional non-objective forms and are derived from Seelig’s interest in the physical effects made possible by tension, compression, gravity and light. Wall-suspended works and fully three-dimensional suspended forms manifest his primary motivation in discovering the potential of new forms. Seelig’s interest in constructing monumental forms that shape and create large volumes of space, that carry no conscious meaning and are not meant to resemble any certain object are expressed in his own words, “the impulse toward abstraction is a way to discover and reveal what is within the fantastic, the eccentric, the sublime.”

Jane Lackey was born in 1948. Lackey received her BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Before she became Head of Fiber at Cranbrook, she was a fiber professor and department chair at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Warren Seelig was born in Abington, Pennsylvania, in 1946. After receiving a BS from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, Seelig completed his MFA at Cranbrook in 1974. Seelig is currently professor and head of fibers and textiles at the Philadelphia College of Arts and Design.