I am excited by the potential of material and its transformation through the process of handwork. My work speaks to the physical act of the hand creating -- not in the sense of ‘gesture’, but through intimate care and attentiveness to detail. Informed by time-intensive traditions such as folk art, sewing, and folding, I like to think of my work as falling somewhere between drawing, sculpture, and collage.
I began using ArtForum magazines as a medium for my work in 2008. I had noticed that they were familiar fixtures in my friends’ homes. Apparently, because of their glossy nature, nobody wanted to throw them away. I was intrigued by their square format, particularly when the bloated art market was reflected in their one-inch thickness, and I began asking my friends for their unwanted magazines. Starting with the covers, I cut, bend, manipulate, pull, and dig my way through the magazines, revealing a visceral topography of art trends. The finished work becomes an unsolicited collaboration with the magazine and the cover artist. Maintaining a strong connection to the physicality of drawing, my X-acto blade mimics a pencil, subtracting rather than adding. I eschew glue or other manipulations that change the inherent character of the magazines. In this way, they retain their association to what they are, carriers of information that have been handled, earmarked and scuffed over time. Through physically intervening with these familiar icons of the art establishment, I suffuse the inanimate with emotional power, creating a palpable complexity of form and information.
Artist Bio / CV
Francesca Pastine is an artist and teacher. Born in New York, New York, she currently lives in San Francisco, California. She received her M.F.A in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996 and her B.F.A. in 1993. She was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 2009.
Her work, which is the result of intense focus on craft, material and the presence of the hand, has been exhibited at many venues in the Bay Area and beyond including solo exhibitions at Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco and James Harris Gallery in Seattle. She has also exhibited at the Mills College Art Museum, the Oakland Art Gallery, The Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, and the Sofia City Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria.
In addition to her studio practice she is active in the arts community. She curated Hyper-Ordinary, the Poetics of the Familiar at gallery K2Y in San Francisco. Additionally, she curated Over Easy: Savoring the Feminine, at Gallery 1078 in Chico, California and co-curated Sight Unseen at the Walter Gallery in San Francisco. She participated in Reflection: Day Without Art 2000, a large-scale installation in the San Francisco Art Institute's courtyard. She has acted as a juror for the Diego Rivera Gallery and The San Francisco Women's Gallery and is a past member of the San Francisco Art Institute Board of Directors through the SFAI Artists Committee.
Francesca has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Art, Diablo Valley College, and in the San Francisco City College Extension Program.